UPDATE: Never doubt the power of the PolitiJim. Gingrich has taken my advice and asked the SuperPAC to pull or correct the ads. My full comment on how this impacts the development at the bottom.
You must watch the documentary on Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital that was purchased and pushed by the Gingrich-supporting SuperPac. Sorry. It is your civic duty. You might want a 5th of your favorite scotch to get through it, followed by a quart of wood grain alcohol as you attempt to fact check and process what all this means. it helped me a lot. (But there may be more garmaticale and spelingg erors than uushual.)
I have three observations:
- The business media is obviously desperate to cover for Romney in their “fact check” pieces.
- The documentary is manipulative and dishonest in much of it’s handling of the subject and in it’s presentation.
- Both Romney and Gingrich will be hurt by this, but it almost ensures that Romney is now the most vulnerable to be beaten by Obama. Gingrich will be done if he doesn’t condemn this immediately.
ARE THE CHARGES TRUE?
Yes. And No. This CNN/Fortune Magazine piece is very typical of the business media fact check articles:
To be clear, none of this is to suggest that Romney and Bain didn't make some very real mistakes, or that they shouldn't be criticized for situations in which they profited from financial engineering rather than from company growth. But the Winning Our Future PAC goes beyond that, intentionally obscuring the record in a way that makes such honest discussions more difficult.
Every one of the “fact check” articles from BusinessWeek, BusinessInsider and the others ONLY cite the errors (of which there are many) but don’t do mention the truths! It is crazy! The piece above ADMITS “very real mistakes” but refuses to give the same attention to those. Worse, there is the continued mantra that many of the layoff’s occurred after Romney left despite still retaining ownership in the company. He can no more escape this than Barney Frank can if ObamaCare kicks into full gear after he’s left Congress. He may not deserve the blame for the implementation – but he will be responsible for the blueprint.
There ARE clearly many direct hits on the “Greedy Corporate Raider” charges that have been leveled against Bain. Oddly, the worst (to me) are not the ones in the documentary, but the charges I outlined from the National Review article in Limbaugh Is the Liberal, Not Newt Rick or Rick. As the NY Times covered regarding the 100,000 jobs created claim, many of these charges aren’t verifiable since Bain is private and Romney refuses to make his financial information public.
Newt today began to try and draw less from the documentary and more from the Wall Street bailout vibe. There seems to be MUCH more credible guilt by Bain in at least 4 areas. It seems they had no qualms about using taxpayer money while they took cash out of companies.
The worst charge to me seems to be the selling of shares for profit not while the company is loosing money and while Bain is selling new investors on how glorious of a future a company like DDI is. It is NOT illegal, nor should it be. The charge of ONLY making money while destroying jobs and allowing a deteriorating quality control is hard to defend.
Which brings us to the second point.
IS THE DOCUMENTARY DECEPTIVE?
The film uses corny horror-film graphics, ominous music and misleading sequences to condemn Romney purely on emotion. As many of the fact check articles I referenced report, it often takes timelines out of sequence to suggest a layoff or loss happened when Romney was no longer CEO.
The worst sins are how they tell the story from the point of view of workers who were laid off with no reference to the actual facts or motivations of management at the time. Again I reference the Scott Walker issue on the Wisconsin School Union battle. If you ONLY listened to the school teacher whose husband just got laid off and her daughter was in chemotherapy while the evil Scott Walker was going to take another $100 a month out of her paycheck, you might think that Walker should not only be recalled but also stuffed into one of those Hickory Farm Holiday Sausage Samplers. However, your opinion changes radically when you realize that her unwillingness to pay ANY health benefits (like private workers do) will lay off 25% of ALL school teachers or bankrupt the state where they can’t pay existing pensions.
This film shows hard working, blue collar people who are upset about their layoff and cite the deterioration of product quality without any reference to whether they were good workers, whether the company would otherwise go completely out of business or if the market dried up which might have been more of a factor on the KB Toys segment. It uses newspaper headlines that cite accusations without no corresponding legal or objective fact in many cases.
Frankly it is disgusting.
As a business owner I am certain about some principles that many of my employees do not understand:
- I will go out of business if I worry more about the quality of life of my existing employees than whether my company is making a profit.
- Even if I close a division or fire a person that allows me to build a new 20,000 square foot home, I am also employing new construction workers, appliance manufacturers, painters and home loan employees that creates OTHER economic value that they do not see.
- I make mistakes just like the employee I gave a second chance to who made a mistake that caused me to loose a major customer and layoff 20 other employees.
- The more money I make, the bigger companies I can invest in that will employee others, the bigger “toys” I can buy that create new jobs there and the more money I can give to charity.
People who are NOT in business, or frankly, are of lesser education will NEVER understand this. And it makes up a good part of BOTH Independents and Republicans. You will CAN NOT ARGUE (as Rush Limbaugh tries to do) that THEY are better off if the uber-wealthy do anything they want to. It didn’t work with Reagan, Palin or any other successful conservative.
The point of my article about CHARACTER driven CAPITALISM, is not that it is evil to make a LOT of money or make decisions that are preferential to MY financial self interest. It is that if we don’t admit and self-regulate ABUSIVE uses of free enterprise capitalism, voters will vote for even MORE restriction and the guys who protect them against “us.” (Whom they assume are all Leman Brother executives spending stimulus money while they go without Christmas.) An example is when Exxon sat on oil leases in Alaska to PROHIBIT drilling and drive up the value of their OTHER oil holdings instead of making sure the state resources are used for the people of the state. You CAN NOT DEFEND THAT and win an election in America. Or anywhere.
Which leads us to:
How does this impact Romney and Gingrich?
My advice to Gingrich is to condemn the factual errors immediately and demand the film be appended with those corrections. If he does not do this, I believe his chances are over. I understand it is NOT his film. The sad irony is that he was the only candidate to originally call on ALL SuperPAC’s to not do ANY false negative advertising. It is the ultimate flip-flop which will make his arguments against Romney completely impotent if he doesn’t DEMAND honesty from this group immediately.
If he does, and pivots the argument to how weak Romney will be against Obama – he might save himself.
And make no mistake. Even with Gingrich gone, this will absolutely annihilate any chance Mitt has against the Obama/MSM argument.
Rush and the GOP should thank Gingrich’s SUPERPac now. Imagine these sob stories on every channel for 3 months while Occupy Wall Street is back in full gear and the Main Stream Media derides Wall Street abuses day and night while insulating Obama from the discussion. Have you ever asked why Romney is ONLY a point or two ahead of Obama in the polling right now despite Obama clearly obstructing justice, regulating industries out of business, paying off cronies and vacationing like King Louie all at the same time? It is because MOST of the voters AREN’T LIKE US! Their only source of news is USAToday, NBC or Jon Stewart.
Obama and the Democrat party have ZERO interest in telling the truth or doing 10X worse than what this documentary does. And they will.
An average, emotionally led person will easily buy that Romney personally foreclosed on their home and built a golf course in place of the hospital that would have cured their 5 year old daughter with leukemia. And the other 40 similar ads that will follow it.
Every advantage we should have as conservatives is nullified by Romney. He can’t argue ANYTHING without being a hypocrite if not having evidence that he is INEFFECTIVE in those areas.
|Lower Corporate Taxes that would revive business coming back to the US||Romney made billions while the average people struggled|
|Less Union Power and Help||Protection against greedy Romney’s who cut insurance and benefits while pocketing millions.|
|Less Government||Romney had taxpayers bail out pensions while he took out profits|
|Romney can create jobs||Massachusetts was the 47 out of 50 in job creation while he was governor and Bain laid off thousands. Besides his 100K number is unsupported.|
|Strengthen the Military||Obama killed Bin Laden, Romney wasn’t even in his office for over 200 days his last year as Governor while he campaigned for President|
|Reduce US Debt||Romney ran up debt of companies and took profits while doing it.|
|No Bailouts for private business||Took them at BAIN.|
Obviously, the guy who reformed government, balanced the budget for four years showing a surplus and helped stop communism has a bit better chance at drawing these differences. But if Gingrich doesn’t denounce the BAD parts of this documentary this weekend, Perry may have life again. And may be the only answer left.
Imagine a $100 Million advertising campaign by Obama simply using this ad that Ted Kennedy created multiplied times every main stream media outlet focus AGAINST Mitt Romney.
UPDATED ANALYSIS: I know the Gingrich campaign surely reads PolitiJim as Newt followed my advice immediately. Let me tell you what I think this means:
A) The path is now clear for Palin to endorse Gingrich. I have heard her frustration about Romney and the establishment GOP and Todd’s Newt endorsement DOES mean something. I suspect she truly wanted to see not just who had the right policies, but also would be strong enough to rise to the top. I also think she did NOT want to be the deciding factor picking between multiple candidates who still could win without her endorsement. We know she is a rabid competitor and most of all about seeing a successful conservative outcome in the election. Santorum doesn’t come close to the criteria she laid out in the spring, so unless Perry makes a very unexpected move – it has to be Gingrich.
B) Whether Palin endorses or not, Perry nearly dropped out after New Hampshire and he just doesn’t have that driving force to get this job. Especially if he stays under 10% in every primary. He could be shooting coyotes after all. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Perry supported Romney, but I doubt it would make much difference among his constituents. Santorum has so little campaign infrastructure anywhere else, there simply isn’t much an end game when we get to Colorado or Minnesota prior to Super Tuesday. Even if he places third in South Carolina (which is highly unlikely as he dropping already), he won’t have much money to compete against Newt in these other states. Newt only has to win about 60% of their voters (the rest going to Romney or Paul) for him to be the clear leader from here on out.
C) The anti-Wall Street message will have Obama backing off his Romney attacks. His entire strategy is to campaign against Wall Street and White People in 2012. Newt’s approach and rhetoric severely dilute that strategy. Meaning that Gingrich could cause such angst in the Obama camp, they are likely to do something even MORE ridiculous that what we originally thought he was capable of.