Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Wants to Talk About The Economy...Or Not

by Sunnyjane

Um...let's see.  There', no, can't talk about THAT...

Mitt Romney (R-Three Lavish Homes) is having a very hard time trying to find an issue -- any issue -- on which to attack Barack Obama (D-White House) and woo voters out on the campaign trail.  This should be easy, right?   Let's check out his list of options.

1.  He could always appeal to pet owners, referencing his nurturing and special care for the family dog, Seamus.    (Oh rats, perhaps that is not a good topic to bring up.)

2.  OK, there's always gay marriage.   Romney said in October 2011 that he's certainly against such a thing because, That’s why as a society we say we’re going to call marriage what it has been called for 6,000 years or longer — a relationship between one man and one woman.   (Wellllll, maybe that's not too smart an issue to get into since great-great-grandpappy took unto himself  not one, but twelve wives.  In addition, a gay staffer quit the Romney campaign, and a wealthy gay donor asked that his campaign contribution be returned because Romney would try to force a constitutional amendment which would attempt to make my own legal and blessed marriage null and void.)

3.  Healthcare!   There you go!   That's a fine subject, since Mitt has already made it clear that, as president, of course, you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one.   (He's tried hard to divorce the Massachusetts Romneycare from the hateful Obamacare, but folks just aren't buying it.  Added to that is the fact that Americans like the Affordable Care Act, and well, SHOOT!)

4.  An attack on women's issues!  (  He already tried that when he mocked the President's cartoon character depicting how government policies could benefit middle-and-lower-class women.  This ridicule didn't even get him a twenty-four-hour news cycle.  Before that, of course, was the little issue of the Lily Ledbetter Act that was the first law President Obama signed after becoming President.  But Romney's campaign policy director couldn't verify that their guy actually supported the wage fairness act, telling a reporter, We’ll get back to you on that.)

5.  All right, then!  He could always attack President Obama on his human rights and civil rights records, and...oh, never mind.   That wouldn't work out very well, either.

6.  Ah ha!  Surely he could chide President Obama on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright issue.  (OK, maybe not.  That just might elicit questions about his own religion, which Romney refuses to discuss.  As he told Piers Morgan back in June 2011 concerning the tenets of Mormonism on certain issues, I'm not a spokesman for my church. And one thing I'm not going to do in running for president is become a spokesman for my church or apply a religious test that is simply forbidden by the constitution, I'm not going there. If you want to learn about my church, talk to my church.  In addition, Romney rarely remembers what he believes, much less what he's said.  Just recently, during the Joe Ricketts brouhaha concerning a $10 million attack ad on President Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright, from which Romney is trying hard to distance himself, he couldn't remember that back in February he said to Sean HannityI’m not sure which is worse: him listening to Rev. Wright or him saying we must be a less-Christian nation.  When reminded of this statement, Romney compounded that little problem, stating,   I’m not familiar with precisely what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.  I'll go back and take a look at what was said there.)

7.  Surely he can talk about being the governor of Massachusetts, right?  Well, no.  Because he's been trying throughout the entire 2012 campaign to convince Republicans that he was severely conservative, while selling himself in 2002 like thisI think the old standby definitions of who votes for which party have been blown away in this campaign. I think people recognize that I'm not a partisan Republican—that I'm someone who is moderate, and that my views are progressive. 

So Mitt has settled on The Economy  as The Issue that will make Barack Obama a four-year resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Yes, indeedy, as he bleated to a reporter in Colorado who recently dared  to ask him about his stand on medical marijuana (a very significant issue in that state), Aren't there issues of significance that you want to talk about…the economy, uh, the economy, the growth of jobs, the need to put people back to work, the challenges of Iran, the enormous issues that we face…

By God, Mitt wants to talk about his extensive business experiences and expertise and the President's failed economic policies; and even if he has to stomp his foot, gosh darn it all, he's going to talk about it!  Or... is he?

There is No Balm in Bain

After earning two degrees from Harvard in the early 1970s (the snob!), Romney went into the Management Consulting business.  In 1977, he was lured away from Boston Consulting Group by Bain & Company, another consulting management firm.  Though by all accounts it seems that Romney was very successful in this position, after a few years he grew tired of telling other companies how to operate their businesses; he wanted to be in charge of his own business.

It just so happened that Bill Bain had decided to start a new venture business that would buy into companies, have them benefit from Bain techniques, and then reap higher rewards than consulting fees.  And would Mitt like to run this new business?   You bet bippy!  (Perhaps it was that reap higher rewards thingy that did it, eh?)  

In 1984, Mitt, T. Coleman Andrews III, and Eric Kriss became the co-founders of Bain Capital, setting itself up as an alternative asset management and financial services company that specializes in private equity, venture capital, credit, and public market investments.  There has been no argument that the company founded by these three businessmen has been very successful.  During the Republican primaries, that is all Romney talked about, never letting his fellow hopefuls -- and American voters -- forget that he was the only GOP wannabe-the-nominee with real business experience.   As late as April, when Romney decided that he had clinched the nomination, his victory speech never mentioned his years as governor nor his time with the Olympics, but touted only his business experience: I’d say that you might have heard that I was successful in business.  And that rumor is true.  But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people.  You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson.  And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

So why doesn't the Romney team want to "go there" any more?  It could be because of issues such as... 

As the Daily Kos reported a few days ago (after the less-than-brilliant Bobby Jindal remarked that President Obama had't even run a lemonade stand)Mitt Romney's experience at Bain was nothing like most businesses and it certainly wasn't anything like running a lemonade stand. When Mitt Romney invested in companies that failed, he still made money. When he raided pension funds, taxpayers had to pick up the bill. Have you ever heard of a lemonade stand making money even though it didn't sell any lemonade?

Opinion writer Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post said about Romney's GST Steel involvement,  The company, which was more than 100 years old, failed after a decade under Bain’s ownership; GST’s 750 employees lost their jobs, pensions and health benefits. Bain, however, made money, investing $8 million in the company and taking out $4 million in profits and $4.5 million in management fees. The Romney campaign contends that GST, with its unionized workforce, could not compete with cheap foreign steel being dumped on the market. The Obama campaign alleges that Bain burdened GST with crushing debt while sucking the company’s coffers dry.

Mitt's message to the GST workers?
Romney's push-back on his critics went like this:  "They said, 'Oh, gosh, Governor Romney at Bain Capital closed down a steel factory.' But their problem, of course, is that the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there, so that's hardly something which is on my watch."   No, Mitt, it's your problem, because you lied; you still retained full, sole ownership of GST.

Another absolutely horrifying story regarding the devastating effect Bain Capital's involvement had on one business, Ampad, in Marion, Indiana in 1994, can be read here.  There is also a video featuring several of the Ampad workers.  

ABC News summed up Romney's Bain-identity-problem like thisOne reason you won't hear Romney talk about Bain a lot is because it separates himself from real workers in real jobs, not financial speculators and high-powered investors who buy and sell companies. Even if Romney had impeccable success at Bain, few independent voters are able to connect with the idea of running a private-equity firm. 

Robert Reich demonstrates in this video, The Magic of Bain Capital's Profits Explained in 8 Easy Steps, how Mitt Romney became so obscenely rich and how American tax payers sometimes get stuck with the bill.

But the GOP's Great White Hope Has a Bold Economic Plan!

If you liked how George W. Bush handled the economy during his eight wretched years in the White House, you're gonna love Romney's strategy.  It would overhaul federal tax, regulatory, trade, and energy policies. His bold plan is a collection of business-friendly ideas that fit neatly in the mainstream of the Republican Party, with a few innovative proposals sprinkled throughout, namely tougher stances on China and labor unions.  [Pardon my yawn.]


The Romney campaign is hardly ready for prime time.  They asserted recently that  it's "clear" that the Obama campaign "is running a campaign of character assassination."   Only problem there is, they have not been able to give an example on this charge.  Just another instance of We'll have to get back to you on that?

Even Fox News is becoming dubious of Romney.  Brit Hume has saidYou're only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character.

Character assassination, Mitt? In truth, Romney commits character suicide on a daily basis.  And it appears that conservative voters are starting to realize it.


Note by Patrick:

Thank you, Sunnyjane, for your excellent post! I thought that it would be a good idea to add the following photo comparison to this post, which Sunnyjane posted earlier today in the comments - it speaks for itself:

No comments:

Post a Comment