1422094133Mitt Romney had better get his foot out of his mouth soon. The trend of off-color remarks — stretching back to what seemed to be racist comments during his summer visit to the Middle East and, most recently, the “47 percent” gaffe — is taking a serious, detrimental toll on the Republican candidate’s campaign.

Romney does not have the luxury of incumbency. While Obama’s presidential tenure affords him a degree of protection from scrutiny of his silence (and one might notice that candidate Obama has been notably quiet), Romney is expected to constantly communicate with the electorate. He is perpetually under the media’s microscope — to his disadvantage, as recent events can attest.

While some of Romney’s comments are undeniably just cause for criticism, the overarching narrative that his opponents are using together to vilify him is unfair and inaccurate.

This is what I — a young, Republican woman — see in Mitt Romney: Impersonal as his adversaries may portray him, and contrary to what his political polish suggests, Romney is genuinely a family man. He has been married to his wife, Ann, for over 40 years, and together, they have five children. He has devoutly and actively served his church, performing missionary work abroad in 1966 and later filling leadership positions in his religious community. Romney receives criticism for hisStepford-esque family and misunderstood religion. But since when have cultivating a successful family life and being devoted to one’s faith been a violation of American values? Liberals, and really all Americans, have an infatuation with the current first family that indicates how those values are still held in esteem. To critique Romney on those same grounds is agenda-serving hypocrisy.

Romney offers an alternative approach to the goal that everyone — Democrats and Republicans alike — can work toward: fixing the American economy. Throughout Obama’s presidency, the unemployment rate for women has risen by over 3 percentage points. As a female college student who will be entering the work force in just a couple of years, I find that to be downright unacceptable. Romney promises to reduce the size of the government by transferring service positions to the private sector, which, in turn, creates more jobs. More jobs mean more opportunities for every American to work and flourish. That’s some hope and change I can get behind.

Romney is perpetually criticized for being out of touch with the average American; Paul Ryan, personable though he may be, is often labeled an ideologue. However, the oft-ignored fact is that Romney, as a former governor, and Ryan, as a current House representative, offer far more experience directly serving and responding to constituents than the opposing ticket, making the Republican duo pretty darn in touch with the American people.

Easily written off as scripted and rehearsed, the presidential debates nevertheless will be the forum in which policies will be laid out for fair comparison. Romney is a skilled and articulate debater with substantive policies and proposals to back it up, and he will prove himself to be the most qualified candidate for the presidency. In the end, that’s what matters most.

Hannah Miller is a junior in the College.

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