In an appearance on Fox News this morning, Mitt Romney was asked ifhe agreed with Rush Limbaugh that Obama seemed ready to run a campaignagainst capitalism. Romney responded that it “certainly sounds likethat’s what he’s doing.”
Romney has spent the past week responding to White House attacks onhis work at Bain Capital. Bain was a private equity company that boughtup troubled businesses and refurbished them. As Romney pointed outtoday, Bain was successful about 80% of the time. The White House’sfocus on the minority of occasions when Bain was not successful seems tocross a line between attacking Romney and attacking the system itself.
It’s not just conservative bloggers who’ve taken a dim view of the President’s attacks. A number of Democrats, including Mayor Cory Booker, Former Rep. Harold Ford, Lanny Davis, ex-Car Czar Steve Rattner, Former Gov. Ed Rendell, and Gov. Deval Patrick have all taken issue with the tone of the ads. Even Senator Dianne Feinstein of California seems eager for the White House to move on.
The media has been somewhat confused by the Bain attacks, too. Washington Post fact Checker Glenn Kessler pointed out, “The big question, for us at least, is whether the story of one company –or a few — in some of Bain’s bad deals should negate a largely positiverecord of building businesses, sometimes in challenging economicclimates.” In other words, what’s the alternative system from which we can judge Bain a failure?
The attacks on Bain are a critique of capitalism writ small. At some point, the White House needs to explain how it canjudge Bain a failure without that judgment applying, implicitly, toevery business which fires people when the bottom line isn’t adding up.