Romney vs. the “Bitter Politics of Envy”

Mitt Romney’s main challenge going forward, aside from the general need to unite the party, is to find a message that refutes the class warfare arguments without offering up clumsy sound bites. If his victory speech last night was any indication, he may be finding his voice on this. He said:

President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. In the last few days, we have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him. This is such a mistake for our party and for our nation. This country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. We must offer an alternative vision. I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success. In these difficult times, we cannot abandon the core values that define us as unique — we are one nation, under God.

Even more important than his defense of capitalism and the free market is the acknowledgement that President Obama’s success in November will depend entirely on how successful the president will be at dividing the country and setting Americans against one another.

The class warfare Obama will employ will mirror to some extent the recent attacks on Romney’s business experience from Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry. But the other element of Obama’s strategy will be what the White House’s allies and insiders have described as seeking a coalition of “voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment… and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.”