Picking up from where I left off in the Bill Clinton post, Obama’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital were supposed to put Romney on the defensive. For that to work, at least two things have to be true: Romney has to have done something wrong or failed in a big way at Bain; and the American people’s distrust of business has to be so high that just mentioning Romney in connection with business will hurt him. There’s no evidence that the former is true, and if there’s no evidence at this point then it’s fair to assume that there’s nothing bad lurking behind Bain’s gaudy 78% success rate. As to the latter, the president only had one private sector job in his life and most of his inner circle are lifetime leftist politicians. Community organizers, such as the young Barack Obama, don’t build businesses, they shake them down through threats and intimidation. They hate business a whole lot more than the average American does; most Americans understand that without businesses and investors like Bain, there would be no jobs. The Bain attack is one of the most out-of-touch attacks any sitting president has launched in decades. I honestly cannot recall an attack that was as out of step with mainstream America as this one, especially in a time of high unemployment. Attacking business right now is just a generally dumb thing to do when millions of Americans are out of work.
The Bain attack has to be judged an abject failure. It has not put Romney on the defensive at all, and has caused more than a dozen high-profile Democrats to distance themselves from it. Romney’s best surrogates over the past week have been Democrats scurrying away from the harebrained Bain attacks. Romney seems perfectly happy to talk about Bain and contrast his private equity record with Obama’s public equity efforts in the presidency. Meanwhile, the jobs report is out and it’s awful for Obama. Mitt Romney is knocking Obama back on his heels over Solyndra, Obama’s high-profile failure to invest public money in a green enterprise that went belly up. Thursday’s shock visit to the “Taj Mahal”of factories was both a press event and location shoot for Romney’s newest web video, which the campaign rolled out today. Take a look.
Romney’s message here: Your move, Axelrod. Go ahead and talk about Bain. Talk about it all you want.