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Attacks by the opposition and media investigations on the career of Governor Mitt Romney (in photo) at Bain Capital, a private equity firm he co-founded and headed, is marring his credibility as he hopes to unseat President Obama in the coming election as the GOP flag bearer.
Election news have stayed around the issue of Bain since the Obama campaign decided to go headlong on how he ran the firm and its activities while at the helm and even after he stepped down as CEO in 1999, to become the CEO of Winter Olympics Organizing Committee up to 2002, and then Governor of Mass. in 2003. There have been issues of investing in organizations that shipped US jobs abroad, or offshoring.
There are also issues of outsourcing and other activities that portray him – then – as a reckless capitalist. This strategy by the Obama campaign was meet with criticism in its first weeks by prominent Democrats like the Mayor of Newark in New Jersey, Cory Booker, and former President Bill Clinton, but the campaign saw the usefulness as everyone now knows the extents of the Wall Street players, after the recession.
There have been counter reports to some of the ‘facts’ presented by the Obama campaign on the issue of Bain, and the Romney side have disputed some of these in ads, op-eds, interviews and stump speeches. Somehow and unpleasant for Gov. Romney, these attacks seem to be working.
He continues to trail the President in the polls, even while economic growth remains modest and there is a little common ground between Congress and the White House on major issues. Gov. Romney is in a position for a historic opportunity, and seems more likely with recent job numbers, but stuffs unclear like Bain will remain a smudge that could cost it.
There are a number of steps that can get the economy back, but dependence of one arm of government on the other probably contributes to foot-dragging on necessary action. The White House tells Congress to act, the Fed too does, Congress sees a different picture and sends a similar message to the White House, and like that.
President Obama and his administration team cannot be happy about the flagging economy, either in a campaign or as their duty in charge; but as things have taken another turn, after coming strong into the year with improving job numbers through to March, the President will need to prove through the economy afresh why he should be reelected.
This election as many have said will be a referendum on the economy, since Americans pay more attention to this than to foreign policy, immigration, sexuality and other stuffs. The President has had his issues in some of these in the past, but seems to be on track of recent with some, automatically courting some voters.
Gov. Romney has been criticized as been an anti-Obama, being against anything Obama is for. He has also been criticized for offering no clear solutions on how to resolve some of the issues he points as Obama’s errors. He is known to be successful in business, but writers have said that the United States is not a corporation.
These issues for Romney’s leadership-alternative are biting, and then persistent attack on Bain Capital are wrecking. The Washington Post gave an investigative report on some of the activities of the organization while Mitt Romney was in charge as CEO & after. The Romney campaign faulted the report and went after the Post to retract the story.
Portrayal of Romney to voters in this light is damaging, and redolent to several Americans, who may have been victims of unidirectional capitalists. The stories may possibly be blown out of proportion, but we don’t – exactly – know the truth except ‘the accused’ clears the air himself.
It is possible that a former inner-circle staffer of Romney at Bain Capital will surface before the October debates or the general election, and may speak for or against his former Boss, depending on his interest or objective, but no one still has the ‘authenticity’ to make Americans know – not even present campaign staffers – except Governor Romney.
Governor Romney and his campaign showed this week of a little discordancy on the health care matter, with a senior staffer and himself offering contrasting response on the Affordable Care Act. This and several other flaps that will be evoked leading up to November require Romney himself to stay in charge, the more.
Giving an hour long interview to his friends at Fox News, or a sit-down with journalists – including those from FactCheck.Org, the Post and others who have ran fact check reports on the Bain issue – will help him increase his ratings. Leaving the Obama campaign to take advantage of what his campaign has labeled as ‘vicious lies’ without a firsthand response, is dumping a lifetime opportunity ashore. Sir, please clear the air on the Bain issue.
This article also appears on my blog www.trpns.com
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