Skip to comments.Romney and Bain: Outsourcing Hysteria (Why doesn't Romney defend the industry that made him rich?)
Posted on 07/18/2012 10:42:48 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
It was one of Barack Obamas best lines and best moments in the 2008 presidential campaign.
He had said we could save as much oil as we could get from domestic drilling if everybody properly maintained their cars and got their tires inflated. Now, that was hyperbole. But when conservatives, including his opponent, Senator John McCain, tried to turn tire gauges into a symbol of Obamas pointy-headed liberalism (remember Dukakis and the endive!) and the sum total of his energy plan (if only!), Obama stood his ground.
Its like these guys take pride in being ignorant.
The line struck a chord. It signaled that Obama was going to elevate the conversation even if he risked being demagogued or distorted. Of course, this was back when a lot of people thought Obama was an enlightened politician rather than an unknown pol being marketed as one. Still, it was smart. He punctured a bubble of faux hysteria.
We could use a little a lot, actually of that sort of thing from Mitt Romney.
The former CEO of investment bank Bain Capital, Romney has found himself ensnared in an idiotic controversy: Was he or wasnt he the head of the company when it made investments that led to outsourcing? He says he left Bain in 1999 to rescue the Salt Lake City Olympics. But Securities and Exchange Commission documents show that he was still the CEO on paper after 1999, when the company began outsourcing. Romney says he was in transition and not making day-to-day decisions at Bain. This defense absurdly boils down to saying his company was angelic up until the moment he left, when it turned diabolic. Meanwhile, the Obama campaign accuses Romney of either committing a felony by falsifying SEC documents or committing the even greater sin of gasp! misleading the American people.
Who can doubt their sincerity? Lord knows the president has been nothing but forthright and honest with the American people about his own past his own memoir notwithstanding.
Regardless, Romney has largely made this mess for himself. His tenure at Bain and his fat-cat status have been the subject of attacks throughout his political career. And yet he was caught off-guard.
Still, he needs to pop the hysteria bubble.
First, lets be clear: Outsourcing isnt evil. Building businesses overseas doesnt necessarily cost America a thing and often creates wealth and value both here and abroad. Consider the patriotic lamentations over our Olympic uniforms being made in China. Would it be better if we cut the training budget or cut athletes from the team to pay for more expensive uniforms?
But going by the flimsy standards being hurled at Romney, one might wonder why Obamas Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is infested with outsourcers. Jeffrey Immelt, the council chairman, has sent tens of thousands of jobs overseas while closing factories in America. Xerox, also represented on the council, not only helps other firms outsource, it paid India-based HCL Technologies $100 million in 2009 to consolidate its data centers.
Obamas preferred cap-and-trade policies would amount to a massive jobs, wealth, and pollution transfer to countries that dont tax fossil-fuel use, such as China. Even his green-energy program has given huge subsidies to firms that create jobs overseas. ABC Newss Jonathan Karl reported that of the $2 billion in stimulus dollars spent on wind power, nearly 80 percent went for windmills built in foreign countries. Heck, Obamas campaign has even used a Canadian telemarketing firm.
And yet its Obama whos benefitting from faintly xenophobic ads about how Romney wants to give foreigners your job.
Obamas mercenary hypocrisy is not the point. Whats significant is his and a lot of other peoples willful ignorance about outsourcing and investment banking.
Is it really so shocking that that the dying companies Bain tried to turn around shed jobs? Is it fair or intellectually honest to hang a global trend of the last 40 years around Romneys neck? Do all the liberal activists tweeting on their made-in-China smartphones actually believe what theyre saying about the evils of outsourcing?
Indeed, if what Bain Capital does is so evil, why are the public pension funds of California and Pennsylvania shareholders in Bain? If private equity is the enemy of the working man, why do unions including the Service Employees International Union park nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in dues in private-equity funds?
In a sense, Romney deserves more blame than Obama. He knows the truth, but wont defend the industry that made him rich and gave him the career he says qualifies him to be president.
Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author of The Tyranny of Clichés.
So you wonder what Jonah’s response to Mitt’s speech yesterday would be...as in, Mitt basically spoke in the terms Jonah recommends here and with fire in his belly.
Listening to that was the first time I actually felt good about wanting to vote for him.
He is Baines symbolically so he will never get away with trying to distance himself from it. Come-on Gloves, are you ashamed of your resume? (if NO) then explain why you think it's worthy of our (general voters) vote,.
I think Bain actually provides an excellent opportunity for Romney to show Obama up for the nine year old he is.
“What Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to be able to grasp is this. Bain actually kept people working here in the United States. Without intervention many of these businesses would have folded. Tell us Mr. President, would you prefer that businesses go under without intervention, or would you prefer to keep people working? In addition Mr. President, do you think it’s a good thing for businesses to remain open and pay off old debt, give investors a return on their investments, and a tax stream to support your idiotic socialist ideals? Tell us Mr. President, who pays for your socialist agenda, if these and other businesses don’t remain open? Actually Mr. President, you don’t grasp any of this do you. Bain actually did things that support your socialist wet dreams, and you’re too obtuse to realize it. So go ahead MR. PRESENT, go look the word obtuse up, and get a clue.”
I heard a few minutes of an Obama speech yesterday.
The part I heard started out like this.
Romney is desperate. You can tell when a man is desperate when he attacks you, and doesn’t provide any plans of his own.
Then he went into this.
Attacking Romney on idea after idea. He didn’t offer up any plans either.
You gotta love the chutzpa of a guy so stupid as to frame himself, for what he’s about to do. He’s desperate.
He’s also astonishingly ignorant.
Romney needs to point out why his experience at Bain is better than Obama’s as POTUS for this job. If he runs from Bain he loses. I think your other comment here on this thread made a similar point.
Ford is running an ad on cable, “Change your oil and air up your tires and save gas!!!”
You’re all animal!!!
I do agree. You don’t run. You laugh at the other guy because he’s too stupid to understand a relatively simple concept.
Then explain it in simple terms anyone could understand, so they’ll laugh with you.
Call Obama on being the Libtard he is.
He could turn this on Obama do quickly. He could just about destroy the guy if he handled it right, an then pointed out other new thing he was clueless about every few days.
Imagine a slide show...
He didn’t know better than to bow to foreign leaders. (show six to ten slides)
Next topic... And on it goes.