It has been said by some prominent conservative pundits that, by his refusal to speak to "president" Obama's character issues - the dope smoking and cocaine use in high school and college, his long association with bomb-throwing Marxist terrorists, his family "spiritual advisor" Rev. "God damn America" Wright, and more - Romney is "doing what McCain did by offering to "fight with one hand tied behind his back".
Nothing could be further from the truth. McCain was indeed "too nice" during the campaign, and he should have been pounding on those things about Obama that hardly anyone knew about. Those were the only weapons available and McCain did not use them.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, does not need to use these weapons because he has an even more effective weapon: Obama's record.
When Obama ran for office the first time, nobody knew what he stood for or what he believed. His slogan was "hope", and his entire campaign consited of being a blank canvas on which disgruntled and benighted voters could paint their hopes on.
Now it is Romney who is fighting, and Obama and the Democrat Party have handed him iron gloves with which to pummel them. His right fist is clad with Obama's record in office and his left fist is weighted with the dissatifaction of the desperate white, blue-collar rust belt workers who put Obama over the top in 2008 - and whom he has publicly and explicitly abandoned.
Now it is Obama who must resort to character assasination and distraction. And the conservative media, super PACS and others can remind everyone, and loudly, that Obama is an un-American Commie sleazebag and a nincompoop into the bargain. And what's beautiful is that Romney can disavow all these attacks and say "Tut, tut. We have much more important issues to discuss."
And all Obama and his bunch will be able to counter with are a bunch of things Romney may or may not have done in his youth, and when they do that, Romney need only steer the subject back to the fact that for example Obama promised to halve the deficit before he was elected and has proceeded to more than double it; and demand an explanation.
Another factor is that Romney at one time faced opposition from conservative Christians and "social conservatives", and the abortion issue seemed at one time a promising wedge for the Democrats. That all changed with Obama's (insincere, in our opinion) "evolvement" into a supporter of so-called "gay marriage". If there is one thing social conservatives and evangelicals disdain more than abortion, it's calling two dudes a "marriage". By their lights, Sodom was not destroyed for abortion. Obama supports "gay marriage" and Romney opposes it. Thus has Obama delivered droves of social conservatives to the voting booths who may have stayed home in 2008. By his support of "gay marriage" - which by the way makes a lot of people want to vomit - Obama has made many things about Romney (such as his Mormon faith) which formerly caused reservations among conservative Christians into non-issues.
On the other hand, many African-Americans see Obama's epiphany on "gay marriage" as a slap in the face and a betrayal. They see Obama as a sleazy con-man who used his half-blackness to get them to help vote him in as a matter of "black pride" but who has now betrayed American black culture, which is astoundingly socially conservative to the point that it is a mystery as to why they vote so often for left-wing Democrats in the first place. (Actually, it is because they are given "lip service" by the Democrats. Obama's new position on "gay marriage" isn't even "lip service". To most African-Americans, it's cultural treason.)
Republicans were fond of saying Ronald Reagan would win if they just "let Reagan be Reagan". And they did and he did. Now all Romney needs to do to win is to "let Obama be Obama". And to just keep constantly pointing out what that means.