How a false narrative gets solidified

The Post story on outsourcing has been thoroughly and repeatedly challenged. In short, it was wrong: Bain companies didn’t take U.S. jobs and send them overseas.

I’m disappointed that my colleague Greg Sargent simply repeats the charges and recounts the Obama ads without ever so much as acknowledging the serious distortions.

For this, however, the Romney camp bears quite a bit of the blame. It has not succinctly and strenuously countered the charge. Sending out a Friday afternoon e-mail citing one of the stories debunking the outsourcing claim just doesn’t cut it. It has not spoken in plain English to explain that Bain companies bought companies with overseas operations or that used overseas call centers to service overseas operations or that expanded internationally. And I don’t fault Greg for not getting the Romney team’s comment on this; they’ve got their script and aren’t working with journalists as every campaign must to clarify, explain and respond to legitimate questions.

Is the Romney team under the belief that stories like this will simply die because they are inaccurate and truth will rule the day? If so, Romney is not being well served.

The campaign makes a grave error, showing perhaps some hubris, in concluding it need not engage on erroneous stories. Unless it is confident of its version of events and articulates its side, the voters are going to accept the other side’s characterization. This is Politics 101. and it’s a way to lose an election.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.

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