On June 21, The Washington Post published an article headlined “Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas.” And the lede told the whole story:
Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
(So Mitt does have some foreign policy experience: exporting American jobs.)
You can imagine that the Romney campaign was prepared for this line of criticism, which they’ve only known was coming for nearly two decades. Their response? To parse the meaning of the words “outsourcing” and “offshoring.”
Inspirational, isn’t it? Mitt wanted the workers who lost the jobs he helped displace know that he didn’t offshore their jobs. He outsourced them. What a relief to hear that, as you stand in line at the unemployment office.
The Post story hit home—especially in rust belt states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, where people have firsthand experience listening to guys in ties who use euphemisms to tell you why layoffs are really wonderful. It reinforced a campaign to define Mitt Romney by his Bain record.
In recent weeks, President Obama’s poll numbers in these swing states have swung to nearly ten point leads, shocking a Romney campaign well aware that the Rove/Koch “non-profit” Crossroads had been spending millions in these states trying to brand the President as Stalin’s Kenyan cousin.
So a week after the original Post story ran, Romney’s team realized that they’d better combat it. They demanded a meeting with Post editors where they insisted that the story be retracted. They even put together a Powerpoint with quotes from Mitt’s CEO pals to explain why Mitt had only outsourced but not offshored, or whatever.
The result? The Post refused to retract the story. All Mitt’s team had achieved was to persuade the paper’s editors to reaffirm that he profited from exporting American jobs.
Mitt is an expert in plausible deniability. He didn’t hire an Indian company to operate a call center for the state of Massachusetts. He hired a company that outsourced those jobs. He didn’t put his money in a Swiss bank account or the Cayman Islands. The guy who runs his blind trust did. He says this with a straight face, even after lashing out at Ted Kennedy in 1994 by complaining that “a blind trust is an age old ruse.”
Bain invested in companies that pioneered the outsourcing or offshoring of American jobs. Bain did this because their only goal was maximizing profits, not creating American jobs. When corporate profits are at an all time high and wages are at an all time low, America doesn’t want a guy whose specialty is lining the pockets of rich investors—especially when his opponent is a guy who saved a vital industry and the millions of jobs that depend on it.
Conservatives set the rules of the game to favor the elite who play with money, at the expense of people who work and create jobs. This is why Mitt probably pays a lower tax rate than you — around 14 percent — and this is why companies that outsource or offshore jobs can get tax breaks to do so.
Voters may look at Mitt and say, “He got rich(er) and maybe he knows how to make me rich.” But he and others like him got rich(er)—don’t forget that he was born well off—by rigging the economy so they always win, even at the expense of American workers.
It may be difficult to explain this to voters. But luckily, Mitt got The Washington Post to say that he profits by sending American jobs overseas, AGAIN.