My Case for Mitt Romney
Alecia T. Williams
President Obama and his campaign staff are painstakingly watching the polls…and it is only May. This week’s shift from gay marriage to the economy is a perfect reflection of it.
Yesterday the New York Times reported, “Most Americans suspect that the president was motivated by politics, not policy when he declared his support for same sex marriage.”
They revealed the results of a NYT / CBS News poll showing most Americans suspect that the president was motivated by politics rather than policy when he declared his support for same sex marriage. ”Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said that they thought that Mr. Obama had made the announcement mostly for political reasons.”
This is undoubtedly concerning for the White House. It shows that the president’s historic evolution to support gay marriage appeared “calculated rather than principled.”
Ouch. It is never a good thing for a politician to appear insincere.
So how did the White House react to this poll?
They changed the conversation…again. This time around they were forced to change the conversation to a topic that they have been desperately trying to avoid: the economy.
They did it with an attack on Mitt Romney’s business record.
The White House released a six-minute ad vilifying the role that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital played in GTS steel, a Kansas City, Missouri steel company. Bain Capital invested in the plant in 1993, but by 2001, the mill filed for bankruptcy and shut down.
The closure resulted in 700 workers losing their jobs.
The ad depicts Mitt Romney and his partners as heartless, business tycoons who aggressively pursued wealth over compassion for the livelihood of those working at the plant.
|Image from Bostonglobe.com|
Interviews from disgruntled employees who described Mitt Romney as a “vampire,” make the ad somewhat effective. But there is one detail that the Obama camp blatantly failed to mention: Mitt Romney was not even actively managing Bain Capital when the steel company filed for bankruptcy—he was working full-time as CEO to salvage the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games.
Is it fair to blame him?
Another blaring truth? In the 1990s, America’s steel industry as a whole was in real trouble—cheap imports were crushing the steel industry. Two dozen steel companies filed for bankruptcy around the same time as this Kansas City plant.
Can Mitt Romney be blamed for the failure of the entire steel industry in America?
Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post wrote a fascinating perspective today on this Obama ad. He acknowledged that GTS steel was in trouble long before the Bain investment. He referenced an article in the Kansas City Star in 2001 which showed that in 1970, the plant had 4,500 workers—but by 1983, that number had plummeted to 1,500 workers.
Poor market conditions, poor equipment, stiff competition, expensive labor costs and cheap imports had already forced layoffs years before Bain Capital showed up.
As Kessler mentioned, in the 1990′s, the steel industry in America was on the brink of collapse.
(Facts—they always offer the the most accurate perspective).
The Obama campaign chose their facts to use ”selective distortion” for their political gain.
Truth? The steel industry in America crumbled not from the evils of Bain Capital investments, but rather it crumbled from an unforeseen surge of cheap imports.
GTS steel—like the other two dozen plants—didn’t stand a chance.
So how did the Romney camp react?
Well, unlike his response to attacks on Bain Capital during the South Carolina primary, this time around Romney welcomed the change of conversation.
This time, Romney is ready.
Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said today, “We welcome the Obama campaign’s attempt to pivot back to jobs and a discussion of their failed policies. Mitt Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and more jobs as Governor than President Obama has for the entire nation.”
|Reuters Image / Rebecca Cook|
As Romney campaign strategist Ed Gillespie pointed out, the ad is simply a reflection of this Administration’s complete lack of understanding of the free market and private enterprise.
Better yet, the ad allows Romney to remind voters of Obama’s dismal record of job creation.
We will undoubtedly hear a lot about Obama “saving the auto industry,” but as Byron York of the Washington Examiner wrote, Obama doesn’t want anyone to remember that during his rescue of GM and Chrysler, 700+ dealerships were shut down and theNew York Times reported in 2010 that as a result of the closures, tens of thousands of jobs were lost.
Does President Obama really have a record to stand on as he attacks Mitt Romney?
The answer is no.
In the past two weeks, Obama has been desperately hopping from issue to issue with the hopes that something will stick.
It isn’t working.
Today’s polls show Romney leading Obama by 3 points. If attacking Bain doesn’t work, the message will probably change again on Monday, but it goes without saying, the Obama camp should be worried.
Furthermore, it is only May and they are already using their “big gun” attacks against Romney. Will voters be bored with the Bain attacks by November?
|Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson|
The Obama camp is surely on notice.
Romney is focused. Romney is not easily distracted. Romney’s message is resonating.
Mitt Romney has found his feet.
Please read more about why I believe that Mitt Romney is the right leader, with the right experience, who has emerged at the right time.
My blog: yesmittromney.blogspot.com