Friday, July 13, 2012
So what's the deal with Romney and Bain?
Romney and Bain say that Romney "left" Bain in 1999 so that Romney could run the 2002 Olympics. That he was too busy to be involved with Bain. Which would mean that Romney wasn't there when Bain was gutting companies and outsourcing jobs, thus undercutting an effective Obama campaign point.
Except that Romney signed SEC filings listing himself as Bain CEO in 2001, which doesn't suggest he was too busy. But wait, they say, he was really just the owner, not the CEO. That would be a lie, wouldn't it?
And Politico reports that the Romney campaign refused to deny Romney involvement in Bain after 1999.
The problem for Romney is that he was doing the right thing for Bain when he led Bain, and now from a distance he's embarrassed by it. It's politically inconvenient, like discovering that your lawn company uses undocumented workers. Hey, Romney is running for President, you know?
I can believe that Romney was an absentee owner. I really can. But the problem is that I can also see Romney and Bain lying about it as if it's a mere shaking of the Etch-A-Sketch. Something is a problem? No problem: shakey shakey shakey, voila, gone. Like all his prior positions.
The Bain discussions have cropped up against the context that Romney is a serial liar who will say anything to get elected. He's been lying about big things, he's been lying about little things; he panders to every audience he greets, whether it cheesey grits or once considering living in Florida. He's lied from the first day of the campaign (when he claimed that Obama had made the campaign worse), he's lied since, and he will continue to lie. He's lied about so-called Obama apology tours, he's lied about the number of jobs he created at Bain, and he's abused statistics to suggest that Obama somehow made unemployment worse for women.
He just can't be trusted. And I regret this: because a better Republican opponent would present a bigger challenge to Obama, and Obama would have to work harder. So because the Republicans spent the first decade of this century grooming a lot of extremists and shunting aside better candidates, Romney was the best that they could do, the compromise candidate they chose because they thought he could beat Obama. There were probably many who could be stronger against Obama, but the GOP wasn't interested.
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(DISCLOSURE: I work for Abt SRBI. My company does polling. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.)