Mitt Romney might have lost a little ground on the campaign trail.
But don’t blame Bain Capital.
New Washington Post-ABC News pollingshows that, whatever price the Republican presidential nominee might have paid for his work in venture capital, the issue now cuts pretty evenly in swing states.
In July, twice as many voters (32 percent) said Romney’s position at Bain was a major reason to oppose him as said it was a major reason to support him (16 percent). Those numbers are now basically a wash, with 28 percent viewing Bain as a major negative and 27 percent viewing it as a major positive.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to be steadfast in his refusal to release any more than his last two years of tax returns, a position that has already become a distraction to his presidential campaign and could cause considerably more trouble if he doesn’t figure out a better answer — and soon.
“Perception is becoming Romney’s reality and these issues have now risen above mere distractions,” said John Weaver, a Republican consultant and former senior adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R) 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns. “The President has had the worst three months of any incumbent, due to the economy, since George H.W. Bush in 1992, and yet Romney has lost traction among key demographic groups in the vital swing states. He has got to get this behind him or he’s going to face summer definition ala [Bob] Dole and [John] Kerry. ”
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to struggle to get out from under questions regarding just when he departed from his job at Bain Capital. And there’s reason to believe that he won’t be able to solve his Bain problem anytime soon.
Politics 101 says that when your campaign is bleeding — and Romney’s camp is bleeding right now — the best way to stop it is to get as many facts out as quickly as possible and then insist that it’s a dead issue and refuse to answer questions on it moving forward.
That won’t likely work for Romney because of the seeming contradictions about when he left the company — and the exotic nature of his financial life.
The last week of the presidential campaign has been the nastiest to date, with outrage stoked, allegations leveled and apologies demanded.
Nothing new there. Campaigns are — in the modern era — races to the bottom, a lowest common denominator battle to slime the other guy before he slimes you. (USA! USA!)
What has changed is that it’s Democrats pushing the political envelope and Republicans insisting that a line has been crossed.
First, he was charged with vampire capitalism. Now, Mitt Romney stands accused of forcing a laid-off employee to build what the employee calls “my own coffin.”
That’s the powerful closing line of a bold new ad from the top super PAC supporting President Obama, Priorities USA Action. The ad is the fourth in a series hitting Romney for job losses that occurred in companies taken over by the venture capital firm he founded, Bain Capital.
Bill Clinton sticks another fork in Obama’s Bain strategy, says Romney had ‘sterling’ business career
The shelf life of President Obama’s Bain Capital strategy appears to be rapidly shrinking.
Less than two weeks after Newark Mayor Cory Booker caused the Obama campaign plenty of heartburn by calling on it to “stop attacking private equity,” the biggest name in Democratic politics (outside of Obama) has lodged his own torpedo.
Bill Clinton, in an appearance on CNN last night, said that Mitt Romney has a “sterling business career” and that the campaign shouldn’t be about what kind of work Romney did.
“I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work; this is good work,” Clinton said, adding: “There’s no question that, in terms of getting up, going to the office, and basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who’s been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”
Top Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod said Thursday that Mitt Romney’s stewardship of the Massachusetts economy shows how his career in private equity doesn’t prepare him to govern. But his message was drowned out by pro-Romney protesters.
“It wasn’t happenstance that Massachusetts struggled under Romney,” Axelrod said at a press conference in Boston, noting several negative statistics on the state’s performance during Romney’s four years as governor (more on that here). “He brought the orientation of a financial engineer” whose goal was to make money, added Axelrod.
“This may work in the world of leveraged buyouts and quick scores, but it’s not how you build for the future,” Axelrod said. “Romney economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.”
President Obama’s campaign is in the midst of an extended attack on Mitt Romney’s time spent at Bain Capital, an effort to define the former Massachusetts governor as out of touch with average Americans.
Ads have been run, conference calls have been held, press releases (and then some more press releases) have been sent — an all-out effort that speaks to how important it is for the Obama campaign to win this fight over who Mitt Romney really is.
Updated at 5:51 p.m.
President Obama on Monday declined to back down from his campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital despite criticism from some Democrats.
Asked at a press conference in Chicago about criticism from Newark Mayor Cory Booker regarding his campaign’s attacks on Romney’s work in private equity, Obama defended the tactic and said it’s fair game in a race where Romney has played up his business credentials.
“This is not a distraction,” Obama said. “This is what this campaign is going to be about.”
If there’s one lasting lesson of the Cory Booker saga over the weekend, it’s that nothing in politics is as clear cut as it seems.
Democrats have been trying all election cycle to make the coming race about the rich paying their fair share, reining in fat cat bankers and helping the 99 percent, with Mitt Romney serving as the foil.
That’s a great strategy — except for when you and/or your Democratic friends need the financial support of the 1 percent to win elections and make money.
Mitt Romney’s campaign is already up with a response to an attack from President Obama’s campaign on Romney’s time at Bain Capital.
While the two-minute Obama ad, released this morning, focused on Bain Capital’s acquisition and handling off GS Technologies steel mill, the Romney campaign’s new ad, titled “American Dream,” focuses on another steel company Bain guided — Steel Dynamics.
“Steel Dynamics started with an empty field and a big dream,” the ad begins, before one employee labels the company “a perfect entrepreneurial story.”