Obama Hits Mitt Where It Hurts

The latest advertisement from the Obama campaign—which will air in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Virginia—is, so far, the most important one of the president’s re-election effort. Take a look:

This is a brutal attack on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, and far more effective than anything launched by the former Massachusetts governor’s Republican opponents in the GOP primary. The workers are given space to speak for themselves, and the result is a focus on the human toll of Romney’s career. The ad insinuates that this is what a Romney presidency has in store for America. When coupled with continued emphasis on Romney’s opposition to the auto bailouts, it presents Romney as a cold, cruel plutocrat.

Here’s why this is crucial. If President Obama has built his“ brand” around honesty and likeability, then Mitt Romney is trying to center his on competence; you may not like the former Massachusetts governor—you may not even trust him—but you know that he can fix the United States, and turn around the ship. It’s why he focuses so heavily on his career in venture capitalism, and why—as Politico describes—this morning, the Romney campaign is devoted to “steadily building up Romney as a safe and competent alternative to President Barack Obama.”

Indeed, the idea that Romney is competent is key to building a perception of moderation for the GOP nominee. In American politics—or at least, the coverage thereof—“moderation” is tied to affect. In truth, Howard Dean was a left-leaning centrist, but his loud opposition to George W. Bush made him an “extremist.” On the other end, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan wants to drastically reshape government with low taxes on the wealthy, and deep cuts to programs for the poor, sick, and infirm. But because of his affable, wonkish persona, he’s perceived as a mainstream figure, despite how radical his agenda is. Romney is on the Paul Ryan side of the ledger, with a budget plan that would shred the social safety net. He needs voters to see him as a reasonable and competent steward of their affairs, and not as a stalking horse for the right-wing.

The Obama ad (and its corresponding website, Romneyeconomics.com) is a direct attack on Romney’s competence. In much the same way as Karl Rove, the campaign is trying to turn Romney’s strength—his private-sector experience—into a weakness. “Yes, Governor Romney was a skilled generator of wealth, but he did so at the cost of families like yours. Just imagine what he’ll do in the White House.” The Romney campaign has been trying to do the same to the president—and may well succeed—but for now, it’s a half-step when compared to this effort.

The good news for Romney is that voters are willing to accept his claim to competence. In the most recent survey from Pew, Romney wins 48 percent of those who say that jobs are the most important issue in this election. Likewise, according to Gallup, 61 percent say that Romney would do a “good or very good job” of handling the economy if elected president.

The bad news, however, is that Obama has space for his message; according to NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, 71 percent say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who says “America is better off when everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules,” and 76 percent say that they are more likely to vote for someone who promises to “fight for balance and fairness and encourage the investments needed to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.” This is the core of Obama’s message, and one of the themes highlighted in his attack on Bain Capital.

The last time Romney was in a close election with a formidable opponent, Bain Capital proved to be the decisive factor in his defeat. I doubt will see a repeat of that, but even still, the Romney campaign can’t be happy about Obama’s compelling attack on the governor’s most vital asset.

Comments

That is an incredibly impactful political ad and it sums up what this presidential race is all about economically. The question is whether or not working and middle class Americans will hear this message or continue to vote against their own interests. President Obama needs to hit Mitt Romney and hit him hard with his so-called "business experience." This ad is a good start.

Sorry to have to wake you up from your nap, Mitt Romney's "so-called business experience", Ha - as opposed to what that O has to offer? The problem with your fearless leader is that he is so full of himself, that he even ignores sound advise from his apostles - do you realize that 800 000 democrats, including me, have defected? The O led progressive socialists are not out to benefit anyone but themselves. There will be no middle class - just masters and servants. Internal polling has already shown team O they are going to loose, they are just raking in cash while the going is good, and will leave well-meaning, ordinary people (like you) holding the bag. Ask yourself why any person running for office would run off at the mouth about an issue near and dear to the hearts of a bunch of rich fatcats who are about to be fleeced, when it is absolutely obvious that it will allianate a large group of voters. 67% of Americans understand that O's "transformation" was a cash deal, at the expense of political support in NC.

Obama's experience is in destroying jobs. From the start -- the economy is floundering and he dumps mandates on employers. He is regulating them out of business, Yeah, Obama is great.

Obama is not "dumping" mandates on businesses. Other than healthcare, what mandates are you talking about? I know the answer - you don't know but you are repeating a talking point handed to you by the GOP.
It appears that you and a lot of republicans have forgotten what it was like under George W Bush - you have amnesia. But I will remind you that in the year prior to George leaving office in January 2009, over 750,000 per month were losing their jobs. And if the republicans had been willing to work with the democrats in congress to bring jobs in fixing and building roads and bridges, we would have more jobs. But, their #1 priority was getting rid of Obama because he's not a republican and doesn't promise to keep cutting taxes and cutting everything that helps poor people. I wouldn't want to be a republican because they are all so hateful and greedy..

Do you have any idea what Obamacare has done to healthcare costs for business? I'll explain. Our company healthcare costs have gone up by nearly 50%. We also can no longer provide the plan that we had and our employees liked. But the cost of doing business has gone way up. I could also mention other stupid regulations that Obama has put in place (like the fact that we have to pay for posters that tell our employees they have the right to form a union).

Yeah fixing roads and bridges creates jobs. Are you crazy? Do you know where the money comes from to fix the roads and bridges? From taxpayers.
Last time I looked we are out of money to feed Obamas political trough. How about letting business expand, creating jobs by the private sector, expanding the economy and providing the government with more revenue to fix the bridges/.

Wrong, stupid. Under Obama, we have created NET almost 4.5 MILLION new private-sector jobs, But you knew that, right?

You need a new brain. Try and get one that actually thinks next time.
Debt by 43 Presidents combined from 1789 – 2009 = $6.3 Trillion. All by himself Obama first 3.5 years he ran up debts of $6.477 Trillion. Don't forget the DEBT down grade under Obama and rumor of another one coming.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...
"Under Obama, we have created NET almost 4.5 MILLION new private-sector jobs..."
Um, right.

Check the BLS stats, stupid. So far, under Obama, we have LOST a net of over 7 MILLION private, non-farm jobs since 2008.
Avg. Goods Producing Employment for 2008: 136,790,000.
Avg. Goods Producing Employment for 2011: 131,359,000.
Difference (Goods Producing Employment): -5,431,000
Avg. Service Providing Employment (not including Govt employment) for 2008: 92,947,000.
Avg. Service Providing Employment (not including Govt employment) for 2011: 91,234,000.
Difference (Service Providing Employment): - 1,713,000
Total Private Employment Difference from since the end of 2008: -7,144,000.
(per the BLS: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.ceseeb1.txt)
Read it and weep. Gee, looks like a NET negative number to me! Your Obamanomics in action!
But then "stats" to liberals have always been whatever random number they can pull out of their @ss to justify their point!

Next time, do some research & post your sources, junior.

I would caution people to recall those presidents who had the so-called "business experience" who have made their own place in history. The most memorable one of course is "Herbert Hoover" - father of the Great Depression. Then, there was "George W Bush", the father of the Great Recession.

Need I say more? The government is NOT a business. And Corporations are NOT people.

And then there is Barack Obama, who has single handedly created more US debt (in less time) than any President in history. He has also ruined our credit rating. In addition, he is presiding over the slowest economic recovery in history.

Need I say more?

No you do not need to say more, that tired old right wing nonsense talking point is enough.

And in this corner we have Steel Dynamics . . . 6,500 full time workers and $8 billion in revenue. As usual, the entire Obama crew is in over their heads.

Took team Romney about a day to respond: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2w7iXazNso

Jamelle --

You are dumber than a fence post. This steel company was near bankruptcy when Bain acquired it, when no one else would provide ANY kind of financing. Bain invested in this company for 10 years, giving these employees work for 10 years longer than they would have had, if Bain hadn't stepped in. Over the years, Bain has rescued over 75% of the near bankrupty companies they have invested in, and lost on the other 25%. It is only in a socialist state that no company fails, but then the whole economy fails. My good friend Aleks, from Moscow Russia, told me that in the USSR one of their favorite jokes was that the USSR pretended that it had no unemployment (as it propped up one failing enterprise after another, a Solyndra loser on every corner), and that the workers pretended to work. In capitalism, it is Darwinism and you have to bust your butt to stay alive. Over 50% of all steel companies failed during that 10 years, but Bain kept this company going for 10 years long, and kept those jobs going 10 years longer, than without Bain's investment. Why not examine all sides of a question, before producing tripe like your article. Nobody in the Obama administration has a clue about how the private sector works. Their ads reflect either stupidity or dishonesty, and the polls show that Obama's amateur throw-good-money-after-his-pet-projects-that-fail are not fooling everyone -- but I can see that it has fooled you.

If you want to continue believing in that malarkey - fine. But how does a guy get as rich as Romney is if the company was near bankruptcy? He screwed them out of their pensions.

Are you a total moron? He got rich by taking failing companies and turning them into very successful companies.

Oh I think we know who the moron is, it is anyone who believes that Romney has built anything but his own pocketbook always off the misery of others.

If you do not know the answer to that question you need to study economics and figure out what exactly a company like Bain does.

The only people that are buying into this cherrypicked negative story are those already in the tank for Obama. Obama wishes he had the 78% success rate that Mitt had at Bain - Romney is the turn around king - of businesses,of a state $3B in the hole and of the Olympics. He was the cream of the crop at Bain, the cream of the crop of private equity - an industry that Obama claims he has no problem with and certainly has no problem taking money from. And to be accurate - Romney left the day to day of Bain TWO YEARS before this steel company went under - and the person running things at Bain at the time... an OBama supporter. And for a moment lets consider that the entire steel industry was collapsing b/c they couldnt compete with Chinese product b/c of expense (read union) labor costs. Lame stories like this do the heart of this Romney supporter good as it shows how desperate the Obama campaign is, and how sad the straws are that they have to grasp onto to try to deflect the story from the horrid Obama economy.

Of course, you aren't going to mention that YOU , the taxpayer helped Romney "bail out the Olympics" to the tune of $3 Billion.

How much tax payer money did GM and Chrysler and the UNIONS got from Obama. I think GM alone got $5 BILLION. "O" man the candy man sure likes loves handing out "other peoples $" and doing special things for his special people.

It totally sucks that this ad is about a deal that happened when Romney was up to his eyeballs in the Olympics, and anyone who pays attention to anything will soon know that, and yet we have THIS ad. Why didn't they pick a deal that was done when he was there, this was a swing and a miss, unfortunately easily discredited, and now any ad that follows, though will be tainted by this crap. To whoever ultimately decided to go with this ad.....C'mon Man!!!!!! (or woman)

Nice try Jamelle, but no cigar. The ad is misleading - voters rejected Newt Gingrich in the primaries when he started playing this card, and there is no reason to believe it will have a different effect, except maybe in the black community, which is also not guaranteed, based on the speed at which Obama is making himself unpopular, even with his staunchest supporters. Writing this kind of biased - party political drivel - do you fully comprehend the extent of damage this administration has inflicted upon the average American, as a result of its reckless spending and a dispassionate approach to the problems facing everyday Americans? No, Barrack Obama is not the Messiah just now returned to earth, he is just another Chicago politician, shaking down the donors before he goes down in the election. Rather than worrying about Romney, who obviously has this election clinched, i'd keep my eye on the money team O is raking in.

Romney and Bain Capital steel jobs (net jobs) => GST lost 750 jobs. Steel Dynamics created > 6000. That is a net job creation of over 5000 jobs in the steel industry.

Not only did Bain keep GST steel alive for 10 more years (as indicated by rxmcb), but Bain Capital also invested in Steel Dynamics, which was vital to getting Steel Dynamics operating. Now they are operating successfully and profitably . . . with over 6000 employees who have jobs.

You do know that Romney was gone from Bain 2 years when this happened. He had nothing to do with it.

This ad will only impact those too stupid to know it is
complete garbage (in other words, Obama's base.)
Bain invested in this company in 1993. It went
bankrupt in 2001 (2 years after Romney left Bain),
a year in which Bethlehem Steel and 19 other steel
companies went under. Obama is dependent on
stupidity, a 50 year old boyish prank, and absolute
lies and distortions of Romney's exceptional success.
Just put down the KoolAid for a minute and consider
the enormous contribution to the economy that resulted from Romney's 15 years at Bain. Why don't
you check the number of jobs and lost pensions from
Obama's auto "salvation"? The lies will not work no
matter how often Obama and his bots spew them.

Ooh, a boyish prank. Is that what you call it when an 18-year old bully assaults a defenseless kid? Because he hated his hair and he thought the kid was a homosexual?

There WAS no enormous anything under Romney, except enormous greed and selfish vulture capitalism. THAT has been Romney's pattern for years.

Apparently you don't do much investigation do you? You prefer to feed off of the main stream media and take everything they say as truth (without doing your own homework). Unfortunately for you, lots of people are actually doing their own fact checking and debunking your parroted media hit pieces.

Today we found out that Obama is worth $8 to 10 million. Wonder how it feels for him to be THE 1% er of all time.

Here is where we stand. We have a new product that we are developing. When finished, where will we produce it? We are willing to tolerate the US labor costs all by themselves but:
1) The mandates are killers - pretty much doubles the wage.
2) The repeated alphabet of government agencies that we will have to contend with who do not care if we exist or not are not friendly.
So should we produce in the US or outsource to somewhere where they are eager for us to exist?
Of Obama or Romney, which will (hopefully) create a friendly environment where we can produce (and create jobs?
"I'm from the government, I'm here to help (destroy) you.

You hate the Government? You hate regulation? You want to outsource? Fine. Beautiful. But we put in rules that make you also lose access to US consumers. That's how I hope Obama handles jerks like you.

When all of the companies are gone (driven out by ridiculous regulations), you can have fun implementing all of your silly, industry destructive regulations. But my guess is the US consumers will always want to buy the best quality products at the lowest prices.

The "jerk" that you are arguing with just wants to run a successful business. What's wrong with that? The problem with you and Obama is that you don't understand the competitive international market that we live in.

Be sure you don't forget all this angst when it comes to GE (50,000 + jobs to China alone) and Senator Kerry who married (the easy way) into Heinz who moved TONS of factories and JOBS OVERSEAS.

You need to educate yourself before you speak to intelligent people here, You are not only speaking to liberals here.

"This is a brutal attack on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital"

No it's not. Romney left Bain 2 years before GST filed for bankruptcy, so this really has nothing to do with Romney.

GST was already slated to file bankruptcy. Bain bought it with the hope it could be saved. For 5 years Bain poured millions of dollars into GST trying to make it viable. When Romeny left Bain they were still trying to make GST viable. Two years after Romeny left Bain it was determined that GST could not be saved and it filed for bankruptcy. Having practiced bankruptcy law for the last 30 years, I can tell you that it was the Court, not Bain Capital, that decided how the workers were treated after GST went under.

The idea that this video has anything to do with Romney's record at Bain Capital is obviously a lie. Only uninformed people will believe that lie.

If you want to know how Romney did at Bain Capital, why don't you do a story on SDI, another steel company that today employs over 6,000 people? You can start here http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/local/chair-sdi-owes-a-lot-to-romney-company

If you and other Obama supporters keep lying to the American people like this, Obama is really going to lose in November. Keep it up!!!

What you have practiced is lying. Bain Capital sucked the life out of what was left of GST for years, made money off it, and then left the bones out to dry. Romney was still at Bain Capital while this was going on.

I do know for a fact exactly what Romney said about the auto industry. And now he has been trying to walk backwards. He would have sent it into bankruptcy and all those auto industry jobs as well as all the suppliers would have been lost. The guy should run businesses and not the government. He apparently took a lot from those companies he ran in and that is clearly indicated by the amount he gets annually from his "Swiss and Cayman Islands" funds.

You do realize that GM went through bankruptcy, don't you? No . . . oh my, another Obama supporter without a clue.

The problem here is that the average American knows nothing of what a company like Bain Capital does. They know nothing about investing or how a company operates. They know nothing about tax structure and why or how a company may not pay taxes in a certain year. They have no idea what Capital Gains is. They do not know the truth of why a company does business overseas. They know nothing more than who has won on "Dancing with the Stars" or what "Judge Judy" had to say today.
This gives Obama a great advantage as he knows he can continue to lie to 50% of the people who are not on the dole. He does not have to convince the other half to vote for him. they are already bought.
When the hardworking people of this country are fed up with the insults directed at them by this President those who can will leave and those who can't will just give up and take the free ride. Then you have socialism, Obama's dream.

This ad is precisely why Obama is in trouble. This steel mill was shut two years AFTER Romney left Bain. Imagine someone trying to hold you responsible for something that a company did two years after you left that company. Not only is it absurd but you would probably regard those trying to cast blame as quite dim, as well as those that would follow that lead.

This ad is precisely why Obama is in trouble. This steel mill was shut two years AFTER Romney left Bain. Imagine someone trying to hold you responsible for something that a company did two years after you left that company. Not only is it absurd but you would probably regard those trying to cast blame as quite dim, as well as those that would follow that lead.

Obama is not in trouble. Romney is in HUGE trouble.

Keep thinking those delusional thoughts.

..."hit Mitt where it hurts" - What?
Now lets talk how under Obama's leadership we have had 38 consecutive months of 8% unemployment, more people in poverty than in the last 53 years, more people on food stamps ever, the greatest budget deficit in history, and gas prices still around $4.
Ouch, that gotta hurt Obama.

Yes, let's talk about how Obama inherited 10% unemployment, and his policies brought it down by 20% to 8%. Let's talk about over 4 MILLION new, private-sector net jobs created, 26 straight months of positive job growth, renewed employment in US manufacturing for the first time in 20 years, small businesses hiring, big businesses making record profits and posting record gains to bring the DOW from 6800 to 12900 in less than 3 years. Let's DO talk about that, shall we? Liar.

Exactly what did he say that was a lie? All of his statements were factual.

Here are some more facts for you. In April the number of people not in the labor force rose by a whopping 522,000 from 87,897,000 to
88,419,000. This is the highest on record. The flip side, and the reason why the unemployment dropped to 8.1% is that the labor force participation rate just dipped to a new 30 year low of 64.3%. Thanks to Obama, people have just given up looking for work. So factor those into your misleading statistics.

Wellstone, you're dwelling in an alternate universe. Unemployment was 7.2% when Obama took office. There are now over 4 million less people working than when Obama took office. Obama owns the weakest recovery in the history of this country. This stuff is easy to look up, Wellstone! Try that new thing called Google. Look up labor participation rate. Heck, the debt clock http://www.usdebtclock.org/ will let you look at the numbers from four years ago, and eight years ago. Even an Obamanite should be able to figure this out. Simple stuff! Worst recovery in the history of this nation . . . Obamatar, the created one, should study Reagan.

Under Reagan inflation dropped from over 12% in 1980 to 3.2% in 1984. Real disposable income increased by 18% from 1982 to 1989. During these 7 years of recovery our economy grew by nearly a third. Unemployment fell from a peak of 10.2% to 5.2% in '89. The prime interest rate dropped from 21.5% in '80 to 7.5% in '86. Out of the gate, Reagan deregulated and cut taxes.

Taking a slightly different approach, Obama and crew determined that an 850 billion dollar stimulus package would pave the road to recovery. Hindsight . . . oh, if we had only gone with $2 trillion! :-) The result is that Obama and company now own the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Hey! Did you hear that Mitt Romney held some kid down and cut his hair! Obama 2012! Yeah, right! LOL

And Obama sued Arizona and Alabama . . . killed the Keystone pipeline and the million barrels of Canadian oil it would have brought to the Gulf almost daily. Obama mandated "no drilling" in the Gulf and lost in court twice. Obama is a detriment to this nation, and more and more Americans are figuring it out. In 2008, we chose an American Idol champion, Barack Obama. In November, America will choose Competence over the flashy smile in the empty suit.

The genius of the ad is that Romney can have nothing critical to say about Obama's experiences in the private sector. Oh, wait.

As usual, Obama has an edge because the majority will favor dumb ideas that pander to its sense of just deserts. A group of humans is by definitition immoral and should not be allowed to decide anything important.

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