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Kevin Buck: The Bain of Romney’s campaign

Democratic Voices

Posted: July 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Republicans could not have been pleased with their presidential candidate last week.

The same people who complained that Sen. John McCain did not attack President Obama ruthlessly enough in 2008 were forced to watch Mitt Romney first go to the Washington Post and plead with them to retract a story about Bain Capital outsourcing American jobs to China, India and Mexico. Mitt’s only defense was that he had left Bain in February of 1999 and was not responsible for anything that happened after that date.

The Post declined to retract the story because newspapers, unlike political campaigns, must verify their stories with extensive research and sources. Mitt Romney’s presidential ambitions are apparently not an editorial factor.

Next, the Boston Globe printed a story that blew up Mitt’s leaving-Bain-in-1999 excuse.

Papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and signed by Willard M. Romney listed him as chairman of the board, CEO, president and sole shareholder of Bain Capital from 1999 to 2001. As Rick Perry would say, ‘Oops.”

This is important because Bain was an innovator in sending American jobs overseas during those years.

Equally as toxic, Bain controlled a company that removed the discarded fetuses from abortion clinics — very profitable for investors but a big problem for a Republican politician.

It’s easy to see why the governor wants to shake the Etch-a-Sketch on those years.

The Obama campaign produced a devastating campaign ad using Mitt’s woeful rendition of “America the Beautiful” as the sound bed under questions about Bain outsourcing jobs, Mitt’s tax havens in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands and his Swiss bank accounts.

It clearly rattled the Romney campaign. Republicans expecting a vicious Romney counterattack were greeted instead with Mitt’s appearance on six national news programs pleading with the president to stop being so mean to him.

He also demanded that the president apologize. Obama simply replied “No” to both requests.

During the primaries, as each of the Not-Romneys took their turn at the top of the polls, the Romney campaign and its unlimited funding blasted them out of the race with a barrage of negative advertising.

I wonder if Bachmann, Santorum, Cain, Perry and Gingrich and their supporters feel that they are owed an apology.

It looks very much like Mitt can dish it out, but he cannot stand up to heat himself. Good luck with that in the fall, when the presidential campaign is going full throttle.

Willard Mitt Romney has based his presidential campaign on his job creating, economic prowess, success as a vulture capitalist and business experience gained at Bain Capital.

In one masterful week, the Obama campaign has made each of those a political negative for him. Making money for yourself and running the country for all of us are very different things.

All of which brings us to Mitt’s next big problem: The tax returns he refuses to make public. The Romney campaign has released his partial tax return for 2010 and has promised the return for 2011, when he gets around to filing it.

We did find out that in 2010, Mitt paid only 13.9 percent in taxes on over $20 million dollars in income from Bain Capital. And that taxpayers can take extra pride in watching Rafalca, the Romney’s dressage horse, compete in the London Olympics because the $77,000 tax credit they took for his care and training comes out of the pocket of every American taxpayer.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald noted, “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.”

During Mitt’s “I want an apology” tour, he steadfastly refused to release any additional tax returns, even though his father, George Romney, had set the modern standard in his 1968 run for the presidency by releasing 12 years of tax returns.

Every presidential candidate since, Republican and Democrat, has met that standard.

There must be something in the hidden returns that American voters would find appalling; clearly the Romney campaign has decided that the damage from not releasing anymore tax returns is less than the political fallout from releasing them.

In 2008, Mitt Romney was on McCain’s VP short list. He provided the campaign with 23 years, of tax returns, and soon after that John McCain chose former half-term governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, to be his running mate “because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate.”

Ouch. And it’s only July.

Kevin Buck is a Santa Clarita resident. “Democratic Voices” runs Tuesday and rotates among several SCV Democrats.


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