Axelrod-Style 'October Surprise' Comes Early: Newt's SuperPAC Attacks Romney From Left

With the New Hampshire Primary just three days away, a Super PAC affiliated with Newt Gingrich has released a devastating film attacking Mitt Romney’s days at Bain Capital labeling him “more ruthless than Wall Street.” The film, called “When Mitt Romney Came To Town,” features multiple men and women who had lost their jobs and in some cases their homes, due to the corporate decisions of Romney’s investment firm.

What is striking about the film and its style is that this attack could easily have been made by David Axelrod and the Obama re-election campaign next October. Considering Gingrich received heavy criticism last month for sharply criticizing Romney over “the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain,” this latest attack on Romney’s successful capital ventures is a risky and audacious gambit.

The film focuses on four companies Bain acquired during Romney’s tenure: UniMac, KayBee Toys, DDI; and AmPad. According to the film, each acquisition resulted in heart-ache and despair for the employees at the companies, and riches for Bain and Romney. Relying on tried and true class warfare themes like ordinary Americans losing their homes while Romney purchased large mansions and beach-front properties, one gets the feeling that Michael Moore and Van Jones could have directed and released this film.

Will Gingrich’s gambit work with the independent minded primary voters in New Hampshire, or will this strategy backfire and remind voters that this same Newt Gingrich very recently toured the country with Al Sharpton on behalf of President Obama’s education department and famously sat next to Nancy Pelosi on a green-friendly sofa?

Clearly stung by negative ads in Iowa directed at him by Romney-friendly Super PACs, Gingrich appears to be prepared to withstand the appearance of attacking the GOP front runner in the same manner that left-wing groups like MoveOn.org would likely adopt.

Meanwhile, the film may provide Romney with an opportunity to neutralize these inevitable attacks in a safe state like New Hampshire where he holds a double-digit lead over his closest rival, Rep. Ron Paul. The DNC and the Obama Campaign have already hinted that Bain Capital’s history will be an integral part of their strategy in running against Romney in 2012. This early preview is a good chance for Republican voters to see if Romney is capable of pushing back against a populist attack from the left.

Ironically, the leftist attack in this case is coming from Newt Gingrich

If there was any doubt that this film was designed to paint Romney in the worse possible light, one only need to watch the final sequence where a polished and impeccably dressed Mitt Romney speaks fluent French. Considering many pundits have unfavorably likened this Massachusetts politician to Senator John Kerry, this final sequence may be the deepest cut of all.


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