The Bain Card, Ctd

May 15 2012 @ 11:06am

Steel_production

In response to Obama's attack, Philip Klein charts the decline of steel:

For decades before Bain ever got anywhere near GST, the American steel industry was already declining for a number of reasons, a big one being global competition.

Alex Koppelman counters:

Patrick Brennan points out that dozens of other steel companies went bankrupt around the time that GST did. (Additionally, it’s worth noting that Romney had left Bain two years before GST filed for Chapter 11.) That’s true, but it won’t save Romney from his own error. If anything, it might ultimately make it worse: saying Romney’s company was just part of the trend that killed the American steel industry helps him how, exactly?

Allahpundit is impressed by Romney's counter-attack:

If they actually anticipated the GST Steel attack spot and put this together in advance as a direct answer, that’s some mighty fine strategizin’. Maybe they have an entire vault full of unreleased response ads for every conceivable Obama attack, like some sort of campaign version of Prince.

Waldman drinks neither campaign's Kool-Aid:

The truth is that both the creation of jobs and the destruction of jobs happened at various times. That's because Romney and Bain were in business for one purpose: making money. Sometimes they did so in ways that destroyed jobs, and sometimes they did so in ways that created jobs. We may never figure out whether the total jobs ledger was positive or negative, since you can always argue that particular losses would have happened anyway without Bain, or that particular gains would also have happened anyway. So we should embrace a little nuance here. Romney's Bain career was neither completely evil nor completely saintly.

Bainbridge once again defends private equity's record on jobs:

Job losses caused by private equity acquisitions are concentrated in takeovers of public corporations that are visible to the media and therefore to the public. The public doesn't see the vastly larger number of acquisitions of privately held companies, which exhibit large employment gains.

Scherer anticipates Romney's overall strategy:

If Obama uses unemployed people who lost their jobs after Bain Capital investments, Romney will use unemployed people who lost their jobs during the recession that has largely defined Obama’s time in office. … It’s a strategy that depends heavily on circumstance. If the economy is growing and confidence is rising, Romney will be whistling in the wind. But if the economy is struggling, then Romney’s message is designed to ride the wave.

Byron York expects Romney to hammer Obama over the auto bailout. Chait doubts this will work:

The comparison is fairly silly, because the key point is that Romney’s career produced huge gains for owners of capital, and the auto bailout forced them to swallow huge losses. But it shows Romney’s recognition of what the voters want.

And Tomasky expects the campaigns to fight to a draw:

I suspected the Bain story is going to devolve into one of those he said-he said things, and most undecided voters will shrug and assume that the truth is somewhere in the middle.