(CBS News) Mitt Romney has a unique opportunity to address the American public Thursday night when he formally accepts the Republican presidential nomination, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said he expects Romney to be completely straightforward about the nation's challenges.
"He trusts the American people enough to tell the truth," Barbour said on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "The American people know things are not good... As this campaign goes forward, the American people will see that the choice is, here's a guy that admits what the problems are and offers you, here's what we're going to do about it, here's why."
Voters at this point may know more about the budget plan proposed by Romney's running mate, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, they do about Romney's plan. But that will change as the election proceeds, Barbour said. Furthermore, he said voters need to hear about more than just plans to cut government spending.
"We can't solve our budget problems unless we have economic growth," he said. "Economic growth alone will not solve our budget problems. You cannot just cut, cut, cut. You have got to have a growing economy."
While Democrats are often more likely to emphasize the need for economic growth over cuts, Barbour said, "Their idea of growing an economy is bigger government."