The Bain Wars

By James Antle, The American Spectator - May 14, 2012

In 1994, Mitt Romney ran a surprisingly competitive Senate raceagainst Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. Kennedy fought back with anad campaign targeting Romney's business record at Bain, paintingthe Republican as a heartless plutocrat who ruthlessly broke upcompanies and laid off workers. The ads helped Kennedy claw his wayback from an 8-point deficit to a 17-point reelection.

Bain was brought up in the Republican primaries, with mixedresults at best. But that was a Republican primary wherecriticisms of business struggle to gain traction. The Obamacampaign team is eager to try this line of attack again in thegeneral election. There are some complicating factors, however.

The first is that Romney will hit back using the federallysupervised layoffs that resulted from the Obama administration'sauto dealer closures. As Ed Morrisey points out at HotAir, the Obama czar who ran this is reluctantto join the Bain attacks. Here's Steve Rattner on MSNBC'sMorning Joe.

I think the ad is unfair. Mitt Romney made a mistake evertalking about the fact that he created 100,000 jobs. Bain Capital'sresponsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number.It was to create profits for his investors, most of whom werepension funds, endowments and foundations. It did it superbly,acting within the rules and acting very responsibly and was aleading firm.

So I do think to pick out an example of somebody who lost theirjob unfortunately, this is part of capitalism, this is part oflife. And I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that theyneed to be embarrassed about.

Then there are Obama's own Bain connections. Robert Costaconnects the dots:

[Jonathan] Lavine, accordingto the Los Angeles Times, is a top Obama bundlerand a managing director at Bain Capital. Lavine, who has raisedover $100,000 for the president, was at the firm when GST Steeldeclared bankruptcy. So according to the Obama team's logic,Romney, who had left Bain, is responsible for GST Steel's demise,but Lavine, who was there, is not? Expect to hear more about thisconnection.

Questions about Lavine won't go away.

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