The Curious Campaign of Willard “Mitt” RomneySubmitted by Marc Clair on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 16:41
“I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” – Willard Mitt Romney
The entire ascension of Mitt Romney as the “presumptive nominee” for the Republican Party has always been a bit perplexing. There is no logical reason that he should be the standard bearer of the supposed “small government” Party. He has long supported health care mandates, bailouts of the financial industry, government economic “stimulus” spending, and all sorts of government solutions to just about anything. It’s clear that the powers that be in the Republican Party long ago committed to Mitt Romney as their man. This may tell us more about how far the Republican Party has fallen from anything resembling small government principles than it does about Romney.
Now that the media and the Obama campaign are accepting the presumption that Romney will likely be the Republican nominee, the predictable attacks on Romney’s time as CEO of the venture capital company Bain have begun in full force. It’s hilarious to me that with as atrocious of a record that Romney has as Governor, the main focus seems to be on his successes in the private sector. The most baffling part of this is the response, or lack thereof, by the Romney campaign.
Why Won’t Romney Defend Capitalism?
The main premise behind the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain are that under Romney, Bain Capital companies were involved in outsourcing jobs offshore, and the implication that Romney is somehow cheating on his taxes through offshore investments.
Instead of defending himself and defending capitalism, Romney seems to be ducking away from the issues all together. His main defense of the outsourcing charges is that he effectively left Bain Capital in 1999 in order to run the U.S. Olympics despite the fact that his name was still on filings with the company through 2002. Romney claims that despite this, he “retroactively retired” and was not involved in the day to day operations at the time when much of the outsourcing was taking place. This may or may not be true, but it misses the point.
This would be a perfect opportunity for Romney to defend capitalism and decry the onerous tax policies that often push U.S. companies to outsource work outside the country. Venture capitalist firms serve a very important role in a free economy. They are willing to take on big financial risks when banks are unwilling to do so. The result is troubled companies receiving financing they need to try to rebuild. Often these companies fail anyway. Other times they are able to restructure and turn it around.