The attack against Romney’s “I’m a successful businessman” mantra is that he was successful at buying up failing businesses, breaking them apart and selling the pieces off (aka “vulture capitalism” ). This resulted in jobs lost and sent overseas…and sometimes bankruptcy for the companies that were taken over. Romney’s defense (because he has to defend it – he’s trying to get the folks that lost their jobs to vote for him) has been that all that happened after he left Bain Capital in 1999.
Well…according to this article from The Boston Globe (Government documents indicate Mitt Romney continued at Bain after date when he says he left – Politics – The Boston Globe) …he didn’t leave in 1999 and all that vulture capitalism stuff happened while he was CEO and Bain’s sole shareholder (it was all his, baby!). This may also explain why he hasn’t released his tax returns prior to 2010. They may show that he was still receiving a salary from Bain possibly as late as 2002 – the year he became governor of Massachusetts.
It does give good political fodder for the Obama camp because Romney can answer this only two ways:
- “I lied to the voters and I was still at Bain and oversaw the destruction of companies and the lives of its workers” or
- “I may have committed a felony for claiming I was a CEO and sole shareholder of Bain on SEC filings with my signature when I wasn’t. This could also leave me open to lawsuits from investors if they invested with the company because they thought I was in charge.”
As a political junkie who finds such a scenario so very exciting…it makes me think that, in the end, this is not a big deal.
It depends on whether a voter is for Romney or against Obama. In either case, I can’t see why this information will make a voter change their mind. A person voting for Romney (as in, “this is what I want, what I really, really want”)…this information won’t make them suddenly vote for Obama. If Romney in any way represents their vision of a president and this information makes them sour on him…they will more than likely stay home. I find that scenario unlikely, however. A true supporter loves that he is the representative of capitalism and wants America to be the Romney Economy and this story just makes him look like he was a great CEO…for longer. It should also be noted that the percentage of Romney supporters voting for him because they like him, really really like him….isn’t that large.
The ABO (Anyone But Obama) crowd really, really hates Obama. In fact, the majority (91%) of Romney supporters really, really hate Obama. When taking into account the level of enthusiasm for Romney among his own supporters (38% have a very favorable view of him) versus the level of hatred they have for the other guy – it’s quite obvious that even if he is proven to be a lying felon – they’re still going to vote for him. Besides, the majority of voters (81%) have pretty much already made up their minds.
The touting of this article isn’t a total waste of campaign funds for Obama. Among those voters that follow the election cycle closely and are paying attention to campaign news…Obama trails Romney by three percentage points. Assuming these voters are in the 19% of voters that haven’t made up their minds (because, you know, the differences between the two aren’t so freakin’ obvious!)…news like this could tip the scales in his favor. If they are paying close attention and want to make an informed decision…then discovering that one of the candidates has lied about the one thing that defines him could make them say, “He’s not my candidate.”
The one thing I do know for sure…this will be a fun story to watch until the next major bombshell is dropped. Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a juicy gay politician sex scandal!