Super PAC Smackdown: Romney vs. Gingrich


Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich Super PAC, has produced a 27-minute video called “King of Bain: When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” slamming Romney for his years at private equity firm Bain Capital by interviewing unhappy people who lost their jobs after Bain bought their companies. 

Gingrich, although legally barred from coordinating directly with the Super PAC, touted this film during the New Hampshire debates after moderator George Stephanopolous brought it up, and knew its exact running time, although he said he had not seen it.

The full movie can be viewed here, while a three-minute trailer is embedded below.

Bloomberg News fact-checked the video, and did not entirely like what they saw, finding it “at times stretches the truth and takes some reports out of context or selectively edits them.”  For example, it dings Romney for selling his stock in an electronics company that proceeded to go bankrupt, without mentioning that the company later emerged from bankruptcy and created 1600 jobs.  It also hits Romney for things that happened after he left Bain. 

And of course, in what seems to have become a cottage industry among Romney critics, the video cuts sentences out of his quotes to twist or invert the meaning of what he says.  At a business school in Atlanta, he said it was important for society to help people transition as painlessly as possible out of outmoded industries, but the makers of “King of Bain” dishonestly cut all of that out and merely quoted him saying that “for an economy to thrive, there are a lot of people who will suffer as a result of that.” 

This is not merely a careless oversight – it’s a deliberate attempt to precisely reverse what Romney was trying to say.  Or do the makers of “King of Bain” think that no industry should ever become outmoded?  Is that a Gingrich position I’ve missed somehow?  Taxpayer-subsidized solar-powered buggy whips forever!

Remember the good old days, when conservatives criticized Romney for what he did in public office, and were able to make their case against him without selectively editing his quotes?  I’ve heard it said that if Romney becomes the GOP nominee, the conservative movement will lose its soul trying to defend him.  Maybe so, but at the moment some of us are losing our souls by attacking him, and that’s a lot worse… especially since it’s moving the entire national conversation to the Left. 

These anti-Bain broadsides from Gingrich will supposedly make Romney a better candidate by previewing assaults Team Obama would have made later.  Whatever benefits might be gained by making Romney run through the jungles of anti-capitalist Dagobah, turning somersaults and swinging from vines with Newt Gingrich clinging to his back, are far outweighed by giving bipartisan cover to the attacks Obama will be launching.  Get ready to hear President Solyndra’s people saying “As even Newt Gingrich agrees…” with distressing frequency.

Also, does anyone suppose it would be difficult to put together a half-hour of interviews from disgruntled employees of anyone who had a long career in high-level management?  Rarely could such a position be held for years without plenty of people getting fired.  A lot of people who get fired passionately believe they were sacked unfairly.  Is the lesson we’re supposed to take away from all this the importance of selecting only candidates who have never had extensive private-sector management experience?  Funny, I thought that was the exact opposite of the Republican platform.

It probably wouldn’t be hard for Romney Super PACs to assemble a half-hour of complaints from unhappy clients of Freddie Mac, which paid Newt Gingrich $1.6 million for his services.  Instead, such a PAC, called Restore Our Future, put together a thirty-second web video called “Desperate” to air in South Carolina and Florida.  It’s brutally tough on Gingrich, hammering him for both his campaign tactics and past activities.