I agree wholeheartedly with both Ashton and Troy that Romney does a poor job defending/advocating democratic capitalism and that Troy’s approach to what Romney should say is a good one. I also agree with Ashton that Romney, alas, is always going to have a tough time making that sort of case, because experientially and temperamentally (and maybe philosophically) he isn’t prone to that sort of approach. He really is easy to demonize (from the left)as a corporate raider, which makes him much more vulnerable to such charges in a general election campaign where the opponent has $800 million and is playing for a different set of voters than he is vulnerable to the charge in a GOP contest where the attack is rightly seen as perhaps scurrilous, and at least rhetorical overkill. Gingrich and Perry right now are doing Obama’s work for him — and it will make Romney all the more vulnerable in the fall.
Yes, if Romney tried language like Troy’s, it would help. But only so much. The sad reality is that he’s the perfect foil for Obama, both as plutocrat and as yet another Republican dynastic legatee. If he gets the nomination, he will be a weak general-election candidate because of it.