In the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s torrent of ignorant misogyny, just about everyone has jumped to condemn the conservative radio host’s comments. Several of Limbaugh’s corporate sponsors have dropped him, and politicians from both sides of the aisle — such as Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner — have denounced him. Even anti-contraception culture warrior Rick Santorum has labeled Limbaugh “absurd.”
One notable exception? Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, who has been silent on the issue. Here’s a fun possible reason why the “King of Bain” won’t speak up:
Clear Channel Communications is owned by Bain Capital.
So perhaps Romney’s persistent silence is owed to the fact that Limbaugh’s offensive comments make him quite a bit of money. After all, the majority of investment income in Romney’s “blind trust” is derived from private equity funds managed by Bain Capital. Clear Channel is one of Bain’s largest investments. Rush Limbaugh is one of Clear Channel’s largest investments. Clearly, Romney has a real conflict of interest here.
The Limbaugh/Romney connection may or may not explain why Romney has refused to step forward and repudiate Limbaugh’s comments. What it definitely does prove is this useful rule of thumb for covering the 2012 campaign: whenever something crazy happens in the electoral theater, it’s a good policy to check if Mitt Romney owns one of the actors.