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September 3, 2014

GOP Strategists: Mitt Romney Should Embrace Bain

GOP Strategists: Mitt Romney Should Embrace Bain

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney might or might not cave and release more than the two years of tax returns he’s promised; and whatever his decision, it might or might not damage his White House prospects.

The more than half-dozen Republican strategists I spoke with in the days since President Barack Obama accelerated his attacks on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s business career were split on how much influence this issue would have outside the Beltway among the voters who will decide the presidential election. Voters are notorious for ignoring “game-changing” campaign attacks that Acela Corridor experts are convinced will have a major effect.

But on one element of Obama’s criticism of Romney, and the former Massachusetts governor’s response, there was virtual unanimity: He must talk more about his tenure at Bain Capital — and he has to do so willingly, proudly and enthusiastically. Either that, or he allows Obama to define a major portion of his life negatively and he cedes his business experience as reason to elect him in a contest that is about who can best create jobs.

“Romney needs to turn his time in the private sector into a positive on job creation and having exactly the skills needed right now to get this economy firing,” said one unaffiliated Republican consultant who lives and works in a presidential battleground.

Unlike many Republican operatives based in Washington, D.C., this consultant was not hyperventilating about Romney’s defensive and seemingly unprepared response to Obama’s attacks on his tax returns, when he departed Bain Capital and whether, as leader of that firm, he was responsible for the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

But this GOP adviser suggested that withstanding Obama’s attacks, as Romney appears to have done for now, according to recent polls, and simply riding a bad economy to victory by running out the clock is insufficient. Romney has to give voters a reason to both fire Obama and hire the challenger — and talking about how Bain informs his ability to turn things around should be an integral part of his sales pitch.

“Hits like this raise some doubts with blue-collar folks and independents and keeps them from jumping ship [from Obama],” said the Republican consultant, whose roster of clients includes Congressional candidates. “The next push should be Romney’s. If he can start a march, he might just move ahead in key states.”

For more than a year, Romney has touted his business background as among the top reasons to trust him with the Oval Office. His central attack on Obama is that when it comes to leading an economic recovery, he’s out of his depth, while the former Massachusetts governor has the right mix of government and business experience to turn things around.

That is why some Republicans are mystified at what appeared to be a tactical failure to respond strongly to Obama’s recent attacks, not to mention the tax returns issue, which Romney endured in the GOP primary. And although even Republican operatives critical of how Romney has handled this episode believe these attacks are unlikely to leave a mark, they worry about the next barrage and the possibility that the accumulation could distract voters from the economy.

But amid the complaints about tactical failures — “This was a direct result of not planning properly,” one D.C.-based Romney supporter told me — the overriding concern in terms of Romney’s chances for success revolve around his treatment of his business career going forward. With Romney still an unknown quantity to many voters, the Republicans I spoke with said it would be a big gamble to dismiss Obama’s attacks as a failed, midsummer waste of time and money.

Bain can and should be a positive aspect of the campaign for Romney, said one Republican operative based on the West Coast. The issue, this individual said, “isn’t just about something Romney did, but who he is and the core of his life experience. They have to argue it back to a draw, that this is what Romney did, he’s not a bad, shady person and he knows how to create jobs.”

Added the operative: “Part of the problem is the character assault and him appearing as though he doesn’t want to explain it.”

  • jhn.fontenot@gmail.com

    Both the President and Mitt Romney should release ALL information on their backgrounds including school records, associations, work background, all pertinent to chosing our next President, after all who is our employee.

  • Pingback: GOP Strategists: Mitt Romney Should Embrace Bain — California Political Review

  • ajain31@gmail.com

    On Friday the 13th (7/13/2012) the very illusive Mitt Romney gave very defensive interviews to all FIVE networks on a single day at once!! Just a few days ago Mitt Romney said to FOX News that explaining means that you are WEAK. So his five interviews “explaining” his time at Bain were signs of his weakness!!

    Presidential Candidate Mr. Mitt Romney maybe feeling the heat on his role in BAIN Capital, his business experience which was supposed to be his sole criteria for creating jobs and his greatest qualification for running for the American Presidency in the current economy in 2012!

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital.

    Mitt Romney can not just share the good like job creation from 1999 to 2002 and leave the ugly like Bankruptcies and layoffs behind as if he had nothing to do about them from 1999 to 2002.

    If he really wanted to disassociate himself from Bain Capital he could have resigned and sold all his shares in Bain Capital in February 1999 then it would have been a different matter but to share in the glory of Bain’s job creation accept a salary of $100,000 or MORE (where are the Tax Returns?) for three years and only to refuse to take the responsibility of Bankruptcies and layoffs on his WATCH (1999-2002) is trying to have it both ways and then complaining of playing politics having been caught with his hand in the proverbial Cookie Jar that is the very essence of an ACTIVE LEGAL ROLE in Bain Capital till 2002!! Was Romney getting $100,000.00 or more to do NOTHING for BAIN Capital???

    Mitt Romney will have to face the consequences of this leaving Bain “lie” that Mitt Romney has brought on upon himself. If we keep reminding the Romney campaign of the Bain exit lie and Romney’s ill effects on workers robbing them of their hard earned salaries and life long benefits all the way to November then 7/13/2012 (FRIDAY the 13th) will go down as the turning point of the 2012 Presidential election!

  • ajain31@gmail.com

    Republicans betrayed their own conscience when they went against established Republican principles like the MANDATE over healthcare which was a Heritage foundation issue popularized by Gingrich.

    Obama did more than his share to UNITE but the Republicans were out to oppose for opposing sake and not following any policy or principles. In the famous words of Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell the Republicans were out to defeat the Obama agenda even if it went against established Republican policies set by past precedent.

    Mitch McConnell was out to make sure that President Obama remains a one term President and see where it has brought the Congress and its public esteem.

    Gingrich out of his own admission was out to defeat Obama from the day he was sworn in as President.

    You can not justify the Republicans as the “loyal” opposition as is the case in most mature democracies. They have been out to get President Obama by hook or by crook. A leader can meet the opposition half way but can not fold completely to their whims and fantasies like that of the current Tea Party affiliates.

    Republicans will loose in 2012 just like they did in 2008 but with a smaller margin because of the dark money of Billionaires due to Citizens United verdict of the right wing Supreme Court.

  • ajain31@gmail.com

    Two-Faced Willard

    “I was not responsible for what happened at Bain Capital” – Mitt Romney
    “I was the Sole shareholder, Sole director, Chief executive officer and President of Bain” – Mitt Romney

    “The Arizona immigration policy is a good model” – Mitt Romney
    “I didn’t really support the Arizona immigration policy” – Mitt Romney

    “The Massachusetts healthcare plan should be a model for the nation” – Mitt Romney
    “Healthcare reform should be left to the states” – Mitt Romney

    “Let Detroit go bankrupt” -Mitt Romney
    “I’ll take a lot of credit for saving the auto industry” -Mitt Romney

    “I believe Roe v Wade has gone too far.” – Mitt Romney
    “Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” – Mitt Romney

    “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” – Mitt Romney
    “I never really called myself pro-choice.” – Mitt Romney

    “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” – Mitt Romney
    “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and represent our country there.” – Mitt Romney

    “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” – Mitt Romney
    “Ronald Reagan is… my hero.” – Mitt Romney

    “I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation.” – Mitt Romney
    “There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.” – Mitt Romney

    “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” – Mitt Romney
    “I did not see it with my own eyes.” – Mitt Romney

    “I would like to have campaign spending limits.” – Mitt Romney
    “The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates without burdensome limitations.” – Mitt Romney

    “I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
    “I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney

    • prairieyaqui@yahoo.com

      Now give us the same treatment on Obama. Both are politicians. What do you expect? In this election Obama is the issue, whether to re-elect or not. Campaigns are won by emotion, not reason. If reason was the winning factor, Newt Gingrich would have won both the primary AND the general election. No, Obama has a lot to answer for. It is take down time. DUMP OBAMA.

  • ajain31@gmail.com

    Ed Gillespie on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday 7/16/2012

    ” … Mitt Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” the GOP candidate “retroactively” retired from Bain Capital after the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics began. … ”

    No body who has been drawing at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital “retroactively” retires from Bain Capital AFTER the 2002!!! Then why draw the salary of at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital if Romney retired from Bain “retroactively” !!!

    ” … Gillespie continued, “He took a leave of absence and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.” … ”

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is also shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital. Then to run for Governor of MA Romney sought residency of MA by lieu of his Bain positions. Now either Romney was at the Olympics OR he was at BAIN.

    Only one can be true not BOTH at the same time simultaneously!!! Will the true Willard Mitt Romney stand up and accept ONE thing? Does Romney want to accept untrue SEC filings and be called a Felon or agree that he represented Bain from 1999 to 2002?

  • ajain31@gmail.com

    “Given the precedent set by past five Presidents of releasing multi-year tax returns why is Romney making an exception?”

    Because he has a lot to hide, apparently.

    He’s the only one that knows what’s in there, and apparently he’s made the judgement that he’s better off having us suspect the worst, rather than us knowing whats in there, which apparently in his mind is worse than anything we’re likely to imagine.

    Possibilities include:

    (1) He ended up with 120 million in his 401K by the trick of agreeing with Bain to grossly undervalue the market value of his stock, then a few years later have the stock get unvalued to the stratosphere.

    (2) He participated in the tax avoidance amnesty program of a few years back, avoiding major tax penalties or prosecution.

    (3) Any one or more of the other borderline legal but very bad smelling tax dodges– “in-kind” trades, “no-risk” trades, no-risk write-offs, the list is almost endless.

    And BTW he HASNT even released all of his 2010 return, he very conveniently left off the foreign investments and deposits form. Very convenient.

    And his argument that it would be “bothersome” to collect the tax data is a crock too– he supposedly collected 23 years of the stuff to show to McCain in 2008.

    • prairieyaqui@yahoo.com

      Yes, sure. First, let us hear about the mystery never solved, Obama’s true birthplace. If Governor Romney’s
      releasing of income would have a value other than the gotcha strategy, then the voter’s need to know about the true identity of the despot in the White House is equally relevant and essential to this election. Let Obama go first. He is the incumbent. His job to defend.

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