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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 11/07/2012

Romney’s poor image? Don’t blame that on Obama.


This is a time for magnanimity, a moment to lift our spirits and join with our foes in unity of purpose, to create a brighter and greater tomorrow.

But not so fast.

There’s a bit of housecleaning yet to do.

We need to set the record straight.

Within minutes of the networks calling the election for President Obama, conservative pundits, in order to explain Mitt Romney’s loss, began espousing a revisionist narrative that was as absurd as it was wrong.

Instead of fighting back, the revisionists charge, Romney allowed the Obama campaign to define him as an insensitive, out-of-touch oligarch who was interested only in rich people like himself who get enriched at the expense of the middle class. That negative image helped cost Romney the election, they said.

That’s way off-base.

Mitt Romney was defined by none other than Mitt Romney and by his Republican opponents in the GOP presidential primary.

Who said last January that Romney was trying to “paper over” the details of his role as chief of Bain Capital?

Naming companies in South Carolina that had lost jobs while Bain Capital earned millions of dollars, the critic accused Romney and Bain of “picking their bones clean” and went on to explain: “There’s a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism. Venture capitalism we like. Vulture capitalism, no.”

Was it Barack Obama? No, Texas Gov.Rick Perry said it in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Who attacked Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, claiming that the company had a business model that was “ indefensible” because it “undermined capitalism.” Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod?

No, according to the Hill, the critic was former House speaker Newt Gingrichin interviews on “Fox and Friends” and Bloomberg before the New Hampshire primary.

Romney was a “corporate raider” at Bain Capital, charged an ad by a pro-Gingrich super PAC, according to the Hill. “Nothing was spared, nothing mattered but greed. … Mitt Romney became CEO of Bain Capital the day after the company was formed. His mission: to reap massive rewards for himself and his investors. For tens of thousands of Americans,” the super PAC alleged, “the suffering began when Mitt Romney came to town.”

The Obama campaign could hardly top that.

Defining Mitt Romney?

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, a rival in the GOP primary, described Mitt Romney as “a perfectly lubricated weather vane.

And so it went, month after month during the Republican primary.

Any wonder the country had a poor impression of the former Massachusetts governor?

That pain was inflicted by Republicans well before the Obama campaign kicked in.

Perhaps the Obama campaign had the money to purchase a larger megaphone so its voice could be heard by more voters. But, make no mistake, the Obama ad writers were working from a Republican-supplied script.

And this isn’t to mention Romney’s own contribution to the harsh definition. No Democrat told him to go behind closed doors and express contempt for “47 percent” of Americans who don’t have what he and his wealthy crowd possess.

No, it wasn’t the Obama ad “war” that defined and helped defeat Mitt Romney. It was Romney and his Republican comrades.

Now let’s all join hands and march into the sunset . . . or somewhere warm.

By  |  03:02 PM ET, 11/07/2012

 
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