To look at things regarding just economics, Bush took about 8 yrs to put us $8 trillion in debt with half the Congress being Republican. Obama took 2 yrs to get us another $8 trillion in debt with a Democratic Party controlled Congress.
The unfortunate thing for the Republican Party is that the Religious Right has taken it over and is pushing their social agenda. Not all Republicans believe in what the Religious Right is doing, myself among them. I'm a Constitutionalist and more centrist in my views. What the Republicans have failed to realize, maybe they are in denial, is that the Religious Right is going to kill their party, especially after the way they treated Ron Paul at the convention (his name was not permitted to be spoken at a microphone on stage). Point in fact, following this election (regardless who wins) I'm changing parties to the Liberatarians who believe in fiscal conservatism and socially centrism.
The thing most people forget about Ron Paul is he predicted the housing bubble in 2001, shortly before 9/11 in fact, 6 YEARS before it happened. On April 24th, 2002, he recited a list of events that he said would most likely happen in the next 5 to 10 years and was 95% accurate about what would have happened in the US and the world.
For what its worth, both Obama and Romney have more similarities than differences. Both are supported by Goldman Sachs, are warmongers (Obama's promise on Oct 1st, 2007 to bring the troops home as his first action still rings in my ears), utilize abortion as a political weapon, flip flop on many issues, and expect America to blindly follow their lead.
As for the free speech thing, both parties are more than guilty.
Most people do not remember how Obama came to be a US Senator (of which he never served a full term before running for Congress). They had a special election in Illinois to replace the Senator who stepped down out of scandal. Obama and his team got all of his competition kicked off the ballot so he could win. Then, without having served a full term, he runs for President and wins, primarily because it was the right climate.