Skip to comments.Week In News: The 'Swiftboating' Of Mitt Romney
Posted on 07/15/2012 5:04:25 AM PDT by xzins
The Mitt Romney campaign has been busy this week fending off attacks about Romney's involvement with Bain Capital after he claims to have ceased dealing with the company's day-to-day operations. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about how this episode reminds him of the "Swiftboat" attacks against Democratic candidate John Kerry in 2004.
GUY RAZ, HOST:
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
MITT ROMNEY: I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think most Americans figure if you're the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.
ROMNEY: That's ridiculous and disturbing to come from their campaign and beneath the dignity of the president.
RAZ: That's President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in dueling interviews with ABC News and WJLA yesterday. At issue, the question of when Romney left Bain Capital and why he was still listed as CEO on federal filings after he says he left the company.
RAZ: So, Jim, Mitt Romney has all along said, you know, he left Bain in 1999. But as late as 2001, he's still - his name still appears on SEC documents as the chairman. Of course, the Obama campaign has jumped on this. They're trying to rewrite the narrative of Romney's time as a businessman, and it seems to have thrown Romney off-kilter a bit.
FALLOWS: It has. And I think it's worth focusing on why this is such a potential problem for the Romney campaign. The entire reason behind his campaign through the last year in the Republican primaries and now in the next four months in the general election is that America has business problems. He is a businessman, therefore, he's the right person for the job.
And what the Obama campaign is doing on the basis of this Bain imbroglio is something similar to what George W. Bush was doing to John Kerry back in 2004 in the episode known as swiftboating. And by that, I mean making something that a candidate has assumed to be his strength, which, in John Kerry's case was his military background, into a weakness.
RAZ: And so if the Obama campaign can make Mitt Romney's business background not the presumed basis of his campaign, but instead a source of controversy, a source of potential weakness for him, that really does make problems in the campaign for the Romney team.
So if the Obama campaign is swiftboating, as you say, Mitt Romney - I mean, one of the criticisms of John Kerry was that he didn't respond to this back in 2004, and Romney is only started to respond to it.
FALLOWS: Exactly. And I should make clear, in saying swiftboating, I'm not asserting that these are false accusations. I'm just saying they have this jujitsu effect. And it's actually surprising the Romney team is not better prepared for them than it is. Number one, because they've had the last eight years since the John Kerry episode. Number two, over the last year, this is what Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and others were using as their angle of attack on Mitt Romney's business background too.
RAZ: But some of the truth squadding on this, Jim, from factcheck.org and Fortune magazine, The Washington Post, they've essentially said this whole attack on Romney is much ado about nothing.
FALLOWS: I saw those accounts and read them a little but differently. And they're saying that even though Romney, on form - submitted in 2001 or 2002 - was listed as the CEO, the president, the - sole shareholder, et cetera of these businesses, it wasn't reasonable to infer that he had any connection with them. I think that does place the argument on the Obama team's court. And they can say to most people: Look, if you're the president, the CEO and the sole shareholder, it's reasonable to assume that you would have some responsibility for an enterprise.
RAZ: What is the big deal, though? He was ostensibly the figurehead until 2001.
FALLOWS: There is a technical argument about exactly which years the Bain company was doing most of its outsourcing. To me, that's the lesser point. I think most voters are not going to focus on that. I think the larger point is that does again strangely make the part of Mitt Romney's background that was to have been his burnished source of pride and his main job recommendation for the task of being president something he's having to defend, explain and make apologies for, which is not what he wants to be doing four months before the election.
RAZ: That's James Fallows, the national correspondent for The Atlantic. You can find his blog at jamesfallows.theatlantic.com. Jim, thanks so much.
FALLOWS: My pleasure, Guy.
That does make sense, and, it is something that Freepers have been pointing out for months.
This is not new. It was all over Free Republic during the Gingrich/Romney/Perry wars.
Mr. RomneyCARE also owned 100% of the company,
and received a reported 100,000$ per year.
But he had no control.
Poor Mr. RomneyCARE. Had no control. None.
Since they couldn't challenge the facts, they pretended that these former US Navy officers and enlisted men were universally partisan, spewing hatred and lies while being paid a fortune to do so by shadowy businessmen.
The the left and their MSM accomplices decided to create a verb of derision, "swiftboating", as an abbreviation of all their libels of these former officers and enlisted men; figuring that the public would forget the truth and only remember their lies. And then they would popularize this nonsense verb by applying it to totally unrelated situations.
So the proper response is that, when they use the term, they should be confronted with pretend confusion. For example:
"Are you suggesting that honorable, US Navy veteran Officers and enlisted men are calling Mitt Romney a lying, deceitful traitor to the United States, who faked military commendations, and traitorously slandered his former comrades before congress, calling them war criminals, in an effort to undermine the war effort, for his own political ambitions?"
"That's what 'Swiftboating' means, don't you know?"
What this accomplishes is to snatch this new verb out of their hands and redefine it as the legitimate criticism of John Kerry for his crimes.
“Most Americans figure if you’re the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.”
Meanwhile, for all practical purposes, Barack Hussein Obama is the chairman, CEO and president of the United States of America. However, he, Obama, is NEVER held to account for the endless problems America has faced these past three and a half years.
It’s always the fault of someone or something else.....the Arab Spring, the Japanese tsunami, George W. Bush, ATM machines, the European financial crisis, the Koch brothers, the “Republican Congress” (gee....I thought the Senate was controlled by the dems).
Typical dem double standards.
Does this clown even know what he reads from this teleprompter?
Try this on for size, “0”. “I think most Americans figure if you are the president of a country that you are responsible for what that country does.
In order for this to be “swiftboating” most of the employees of Bain would need to come forward and call Mit a liar. This is just the crats using a word they fail to understand. Nothing new here, just move on.
Wow, what an economy of words. Two birds with one stone.
He's implying that "swiftboating" is normally associated with "false accusations".
And then saying that these are not necessarily false.
Believe me, Romney isn’t claiming that he didn’t know what his company was doing while he was CEO because of outsourcing. In fact, he’s lying because he wants to pretend he knew nothing about his company trafficking in the bodies of little boys and girls murdered in abortion mills.
In that case, there are others ready, willing and able to take up the mantle - if only the GOP establishment has the guts and brains to do it!
Unfortunately, it doesn't. After all, these are the same clueless, ideologically centerless schmucks who carried their last three heroes and big losers - Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, and John McCain - across the finish line to certain electoral disaster.
So, you are voting for the First Muslim. Are you doing so by voting for him directly or buy staying home?
“Doesn’t matter how battered and storm-swept it may be, it’s still a port, eh?”
The same could be said of a certain odious, culture of death candidate.
The trouble with you knee-jerk RomneyBOT attackers
is that you have no logic.
The issue is not the salary. or Capitalism (both good).
The issue is that Mr. RomneyCARE
lied and said he had no control, but owned
100% and got paid a salary.
TELL THE TRUTH, Mr. ROMNEYCARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do YOU remember Election 2008?
The McCain/Palin ticket was up ++4 to 10 pts
in some polls, days prior to Election 2008.
So rather than helping the GOP, Romney and
TeamROMNEY and the RNME (Republican National Media Establishment)
decided to attack Gov. Palin to throw Election2008.
Romney, and the Van der Sloot RNME RINOs for Obama in 2008
Late in October, The American Spectator's The Prowler revealed:
"Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers
have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
'Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,'
says one former Romney aide
'The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney.
"Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a 'diva' and was going off message intentionally."
The Palmetto Scoop reported: "One of the first stories to hit the national airwaves was
the claim of a major internal strife between close McCain aides and the folks handling his running mate Sarah Palin."
"Im told by very good sources that this was indeed the case and that a rift had developed, but it was between Palins people and the staffers brought on from the failed presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, not McCain aides."
"The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romneys former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin."
aides loyal to Romney inside the McCain campaign, said The Scoop, reportedly saw
that Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016, which made her a threat to another presidential quest by Romney.
"These staffers are now out trying to finish her off .hoping it would ingratiate themselves with Mitt Romney."
"Who's the Palin Leaker from the McCain Campaign?
National Review Online The publication of a Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin
appears to have opened old wounds in the McCain campaign.
... the source of the Diva leak was Nicolle Wallaces husband."
Now, about accusing Freepers ~ any Freepers ~ of being "haters' ~ that is the sort of thing that should probably get you disposed of like rubbish.
Just waiting on the ZOT fur shur!
He really needs to clear this issue up, although I doubt even he can deal with the truth in this one.
So, a fair question, how is it you end up owning a company that treats murdered babies like so much trash? Gotta' be one hard hearted sociopathic bad-a$$ to seek out that industry eh!
Romney says in 1999, he left Bain Capitol and all control of the company, to save the Olympics single handedly.
Yet, Romney received a salary and signed all the legal documents regarding the company until 2001-2.
So the simple seems to be this:
Romney may or may not have been in control of Bain, and he may or may not have been CEO or he may or may not have had knowledge of what was going on.
Romney could not have left control and still received a salary or signed documents if he were not still involved.
If he were still involved he knew what was going on, if he wasn't involved why was he still receiving a salary and signing documents.
Why doesn't Romney just tell the truth?
Yes, and the name Stericycle implies that Romney may have come up with some way of recycling fetuses.
Spot on. And I agree with your assessment. He really doesn't know what he is reading from his teleprompters. Obama is the skinniest puppet the world has ever seen. And his sycophants in the press won't even address the charges that this emperor has no clothes.
BTW, the Democrats, so far, see no problem in that aspect ~ after all, they've undoubtedly contributed to the fetus stocks.