Mitt Romney wasted no time responding to President Obama's attack on the presumptive GOP nominee's record as head of Bain Capital. Monday, the Obama campaign unveiled a new commercial in which a steelworker, who lost his job when Bain shut down his employer, likened the private-equity firm to a "vampire." (See the Obama video below). Within hours, the Romney campaign responded by releasing a web video touting the success of another Bain-backed steel company, saying that the firm's investment created jobs and helped workers realize the American Dream. (See the Romney clip below). Is Romney's defense convincing?
Yes. Romney destroyed Obama's ad: Romney schooled Obama on what our free market economy is about, says Mike Flynn at Big Government. Bain helped the company in Romney's ad, Steel Dynamics, expand from 1,000 employees to more than 6,000. That is a better example of Romney's Bain record than the bankruptcy of the long-ailing firm in Obama's video. The fact that Romney had such a "solid response ad ready to go within hours" proves he won't let Obama define him.
"Rapid response: Romney campaign fires back at Obama ad"
No. Mitt's defense withers under scrutiny: Romney's ad implies that Bain was Steel Dynamics' "lone white knight," says Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress. But in truth, there were eight financiers. Even more telling, the state and local government pumped in $37 million — twice as much as Bain did. Then, five years later, Bain sold its stake and walked off with an $85 million profit, courtesy of this "government largesse." If this is Romney's best defense, he's in trouble.
"New Romney video touts steel mill that benefited from government largesse"
To win, Romney will have to do better: "The Republican has yet to give a confident, detailed explanation of his Bain Capital tenure that silences questions about his biography as a businessman," say Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman at Politico. He "has rarely if ever managed to speak about Bain in any but the most defensive of terms." That's surprising, since Romney has faced anti-Bain attacks "in every race of his political career." But if he wants to fend off Obama's assault, Romney will surely have to do better than a mere web video. Make no mistake: "The war over Bain" isn't going away.
"Is Mitt Romney ready for Bain battle?"
Here's the Obama ad:
And here's Romney's response:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How I lost all my money
- 10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
- A brief history of the Christmas present
Subscribe to the Week