So much for the 11th Commandment. Newt Gingrich, a man who has decried negative campaigning and dishonesty for months, and Rick Perry, who more than likely just has no idea what he is saying, have decided that they are going to adopt the lines of the Obama Campaign Machine in an attempt to sway voters from Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Instead of talking about how they want to put America back on the right track and reverse the effects of the economic disaster that has been the Obama Administration, Governor Perry and Speaker Gingrich have decided to attack capitalism.
Above is a video produced by Newt Gingrich’s SuperPAC, Winning Our Future. Watching it I can’t help but think of the rhetoric that came out of the Occupy Wall Street camps. It bashes Romney for being an investor, a venture capitalist, and finally, successful. It accuses Romney and Bain Capital of being in business merely for the purpose of bleeding American workers dry for a “quick buck.”
The facts? Bain Capital has invested in hundreds of businesses and the overwhelming majority of them grew into more successful enterprises and created jobs. Of course, some did end up in bankruptcy and folded, but that is the nature of business, some succeed and some fail. On average, 10 percent of U.S. businesses from big to small will go bankrupt every year, and just because a businesses shields itself in bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that everyone joins the unemployment line.
Attacking Romney for making sound business decisions and doing well is not only dishonest, but it is ideologically impure. Newt Gingrich claims to be a champion of capitalism and smaller government, but he seems to feel that the sound business judgment of venture capitalists, integral players in our incredibly complex marketplace, should bend to political considerations rather than efficient growth and profit motive. That is nothing short of absurd. Investment firms are in existence for one purpose only, and that is to make money. The moment these firms stop pursuing that goal is the same moment our economy takes an even deeper nose dive than it already has. Without the constant competition for the investment and guidance of businessmen like Mitt Romney we would see very little growth and expansion in the marketplace.
Gingrich also said this yesterday, which if I did not actually hear his voice I would have thought it came from President Obama himself.
If we have a potential nominee who can’t take the heat in February you sure don’t want to discover that in September so I think Governor Romney owes all of us a press conference where he explains what happened to the companies that went bankrupt and why did Bain make so much money out of companies that were going bankrupt.
While I have previously been a fan of the Speaker, I am not sure that I could stand behind him given his scorched earth policy in this campaign. Primary competition is ultimately good for the party and will help us emerge with a strongly vetted candidate, but attacks like these have the left salivating at the prospect of running a commercial in October featuring Gingrich slamming our likely nominee in the same way that the President and his followers will. Nothing good can come of this. It is destructive not only to Mitt Romney, but to the Republican brand, capitalism, and the country itself.
Rick Perry is taking a slightly dumber approach to attacking Romney. In an attempt to pick himself up out of the polling gutter in which he finds himself down face first, Perry said this,
This is probably one of the richest people ever to run for President of the United States . . . Mitt Romney’s never worried about pink slips. He might have worried about not having enough of them to hand out in places like Gaffney, South Carolina.
As a candidate who used to deride the left’s use of class warfare, Rick Perry should be ashamed of himself. Like Newt, he has decided the best way to win over voters in South Carolina is to draw a distinction in wealth. To show that Romney is from the “1%,” if you will. This comment is barely worth analysis. It is as though Rick Perry thinks that he is letting people know for the very first time that Mitt Romney is rich. But of course, come this fall we will all be reminded again and again how “out of touch” Romney is. How many houses he has (ask McCain about that one), how little he pays in income tax as opposed to capital gains tax, and how much he and his family are ultimately worth. Like Perry, the Democrats will not mention the hard work it took to get there. Instead, again, like Perry, they will highlight the Americans he supposedly stepped over to get there.
To be clear, I find nothing to be wrong with negative or contrast campaigning (although I would argue that the latter works far better), but these two have decided to take things to a new level. They have essentially declared that they 11th Commandment be damned! That if they cannot have the White House, then no Republican should. President Obama will thank them in a few months time.