Obama vs. Romney: The Battle of Bain


The ad above premiered in May, but Bain Capital as an election issue hasn’t become red-hot until now, in July. This is when the GOP candidate for president, Mitt Romney, appears on television demanding an apology from President Barack Obama for lying about his association with Bain in several ads. Apparently, the Republican camp has started to really feel the heat generated by those ads. This has become the primary election issue, one that is closely connected with jobs and the dire state of the economy. These are the ads that everyone is talking about. If you’re a fan of the Governor’s, the ads are another example of Chicago-style politics, attacks of the dirtiest kind. If you’re a fan of the President’s, the ads tell the truth about a wealthy opponent who’d stop at nothing to earn a buck.

First of all, the real loser of the ad blitz is obviously Bain Capital, that sounds like something sinister out of The Dark Knight Rises. The Boston-based private-equity company has become the very symbol of evil capitalism, the kind of enterprise that swoops in on a prey, guts it and leaves it for dead. You can blame Obama for that… but Romney is no victim here. As FactCheck.org shows, the Obama campaign is disingenuous in its depiction of Bain Capital being managed by Romney between 1999 to 2002; there is in fact no real evidence of the former Governor having an operational role in the firm at the time. Romney is upset because the elimination of American jobs is attached to his name even though he claims to have had no influence on the company at the time. President Obama needs to remember that it was his opponent in 2008, Senator John McCain, who led the most dishonest campaign of that year, and not try to emulate his achievement. Negative campaigns work surprisingly well… but the President needs to tread carefully here. 

As for Romney, here’s a word of advice. Bain Capital is an independent company that cannot be used as a tool whenever a political campaign finds it expedient. The Governor has previously claimed that under his leadership Bain had created 100,000 new jobs. That’s a problematic statement at best… and it is simply not acceptable to bear-hug a firm when the numbers look good and distance oneself from it when they don’t look so good. 

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