The differences between 2008 and 2012 campaign rhetoric are striking. Considering the distinction between the nation's pre and post-recession woes, this is completely understandable.
While the 2012 campaign features speeches focused upon jobs, the economy and unemployment, the 2008 race was characterized by references to war, radical Islam and other related subject matter.
Take Mitt Romney, for example. The former Massachusetts governor spoke candidly throughout the 2008 campaign, as did his rivals, about the need to fight "violent, radical, Islamic fundamentalism." There were numerous times -- in both speeches, campaign ads and other appearances -- that Romney addressed this threat head-on.
Now, in a down economy and during a time during which Americans seem to be focused more intently on what's going on domestically, Romney's priorities -- like those of his fellow candidates -- have changed. BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski summarizes this evolution in campaign rhetoric and themes:
Mitt Romney has all but stopped talking about something that was once a central part of his stump speech: radical Islam. During the 2008 campaign cycle, a major cornerstone of Romney's campaign was the need to fight “radical jihad.” He warned of the threat of radical Muslims wanting to “united the world under a single Islamic caliphate.” That he's dropped the subject marks a recognition that we're no longer in the 9/11 era, politically speaking.
Below, watch a compilation of Romney's 2008 warnings about radical Islam, the caliphate and other related themes. Today, one rarely hears him utter these same cautions:
The economy has, for the moment, taken center stage. And Romney, among other candidates, has molded his campaign to reflect this priority shift.