Rick Tyler: Attacking Mitt Romney From David Axelrod's Playbook?

Joel Pollak, our editor-in-chief, asked Rick Tyler of Winning Our Future– Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC–about why Newt Gingrich and he are attacking Mitt Romney from the Left on his Bain Capital record. Tyler encouraged Romney to hold a press conference and explain some of the lingering questions surrounding his involvement at Bain Capital. Pollak then asked Tyler if Gingrich’s Super PAC would be returning the monies that Bain and its associates had contributed to Gingrich and the PAC.

The anti-Romney film they are discussing was made by Jason Killian Meath, a former associate of Romney’s top strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer and former contributor to Big Government. Adding a twist tot the project, Meath once worked for Mitt Romney during his 2008 bid for the presidency. Jon Hunstman and Rick Perry piled on, while Rick Santorum declined on Sean Hannity.

The New York Times quickly noted Newt Gingrich’s own ties to the leveraged buy out industry whose model Gingrich has attacked. Gingrich once served on the advisory board of Forstmann Little, whose business model was effectively identical to Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital.

Gingrich might want to be wary about casting stones. In his 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate, Romney refused to make an issue of Ted Kennedy’s personal life. His Super PAC, which is officially unaffiliated with his campaign, might feel no such compulsion.

Romney has weathered a campaign that went after his personal life quite easily. In 1994, Ted Kennedy hired a sleazy opposition research firm to look into Mitt Romney’s personal life and found nothing scandalous. Could Newt Gingrich run a similar gauntlet if he were the nominee?

As for political positions that will prove a liability, perhaps Rick Tyler ought to consider his own campaign to increase domestic drilling, “Drill Here, Drill Now, and Pay Less,” which he launched in 2008. “With any energy there’s risk,” Tyler told the St. Petersburg Times in 2008. “We haven’t had a major spill since 1980.”

We did have a major spill in 2010. The cleanup costs for the Gulf oil spill was over $3 billion and it decimated tourism in the Gulf and would certainly be a political issue in Florida, which is a swing state.

These sorts of games–predicting what the left will or will not attack us on–can be played all day. Why not hit Romney from the right? After, all Bain Capital once received a government bail out. Have a look at this, from the October 25, 1994 edition of The Boston Globe.

Republican Senate nominee Mitt Romney’s rescue of a business consulting firm was achieved in part by convincing the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to forgive roughly $ 10 million of the company’s debts, according to sources close to the deal and federal records obtained by The Boston Globe.

Romney, whose business acumen has been the cornerstone of his campaign, has said saving the Bain & Co. consulting firm from the brink of bankruptcy in 1991 was the accomplishment that most convinced him he had the mettle to be a US senator.

Bain & Co. and the FDIC agreed to the deal after months of intense negotiations. Moreover, bankers say debt forgiveness is relatively routine when a company is at risk of collapse.

But the $ 10 million cost to the FDIC raises the question of whether Romney’s success, as well as the resurrection of Bain & Co., came partially at the expense of the federal agency that protects US bank deposits.


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