Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why The Attacks On Bain Have Backfired on Perry and Gingrich

Sometime in the future when Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry will suspend their campaign, they will have no one to blame but themselves for losing to Mitt Romney and failing to win the Republican nomination. They could have turned their campaigns around but they didn't. Instead, they chose to attack Romney for his work in Bain with the hopes of hurting him but instead they have damaged themselves beyond repair.
Below are several reasons why their ship is sinking and will continue to sink until they bow out of the race:
How The Attacks Have Hurt Them
1. The biggest reason why Gingrich and Perry's attacks on Bain have blown up in their faces is because these candidates who are willing to break Reagan's 11th commandment of attacking another conservative and going on to commit the ultimate unpardonable sin of disparaging Capitalism. For many conservatives, their is no atonement that is sufficient to redeem them from their mistake of launching an assult on capitalism. 
That's why  a big supporter of Rick Perry has backed off from supporting him and is now supporting Romney precisely because of his leftist attacks on Mitt Romney's work with Bain. Another Rick Perry supporter named Roger Simon has also abandoned Rick Perry for his assault on capitalism. 
2. It is impossible to believe their claims that they are not attacking capitalism but just attacking his record. Either they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how creative destruction works or that their knowledge of how free market economies work is getting in the way of their attempts to take Mitt down. These men are claiming that Romney's business was not capitalism but but a destructive, profit-driven perversion of it. Thanks to them, this is no longer a left-wing argument. They have now legitimized Obama's attacks on the free market which makes it harder for them to defeat Obama. Businesses know this and that's why they're rallying around Mitt. They know that they need someone who can defend capitalism and defeat Obama. Mitt's got both. 
3. If Gingrich or Perry become President, their attacks on Romney will come to haunt them. Obama will essentially argue that their attacks on Romney is an agreement with Obama's perspective on wall street, free markets and capitalism.  It will be hard for them to switch from being attackers of capitalism to defenders of capitalism. If they try to defend it, Obama will run attack ads against them using their own words. Mitt Romney has perfectly summed up the core issue of the 2012 election by saying that "Capitalism is on trial."
4. As a result of their attacks on Romney and his businesses, many businesses are choosing to rally around Mitt instead of the other GOP candidates. They've already had four years of Obama villifying businesses, they're not excited for enduring another four years from Obama. They're not excited to have a Republican in office who may or may not vilify them while in they're in office either. Hence, Mitt Romney is the smart choice for them. That's why it is no surprise that the chamber of commerce has told the two Republican candidates to shut up about their assault on capitalism. 
5. Not only are business not lining up behind Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich but the assault on Mitt Romney's career as a venture capitalist makes the Occupy Wall Streeters happy because it plays right into their argument that the 99% deserve to attack are being taken advantage of by the wealthy 1%. However, this argument doesn't make the 53% of Americans happy. They're tired of class warfare. They're tired of anti-capitalism. They're extremely unhappy at Perry and Gingrich because they've been vilified by the President and they don't want another four years of attacks on them from Democrat or Republican. That's why they're rallying around Mitt. At least he defends the American economic way of life.
6. The attack on Bain are far left tactics. It doesn't matter that the attacks on Bain have are not true, they will still press the attack hoping that it will hurt Romney. That's what liberals do. They will attack even if its factually not true because they think the attack works or that it actually does work. That's what Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman are doing. That's why Gingrich is airing segments of an anti-capitalist movie he's purchased in his false attack ads on Mitt. He's now desperate enough that he's now willing to buy a movie that uses every trick in the liberal play book in order to take down Romney. Even Michael Moore admires this movie.
7. When people are desperate they either show their true colors or their weakness. This is true for both Perry and Gingrich in that they have shown both at the same time as they continue to attack Mitt. They have shown themselves to be disloyal to conservative principles and they demonstrate how they really feel about the free market. As a result, Mitt Romney will most likely win South Carolina
 How The Attacks Have Helped Mitt
8. The Bain Attacks has had the opposite effect of uniting conservatives of all stripes into defending and supporting Mitt Romney. Conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and others are appalled at the leftist attacks from so-called conservatives. 
9. Politicians like Rudy Guiliani, Jim DeMint, Tim Pawlenty, and others are disturbed by these class warfare attacks from these so-called conservatives. Conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity and The Club for Growth have come to Mitt's defense. 
10. These attacks have even got Mitt Romney's old Republican rivals like John McCain and Mike Huckabee to defend him. Moreover, they have gotten conservatives such as Michelle Malkin and Philip Klein, who are well known for their dislike of Romney,  are now defending him.
11. Lets not overlook the fact that other GOP candidates, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have refused to join in on these attacks on Romney. They're actually defending Romney.
12. They are helping Mitt Romney in the general election by inoculating the public against attacks on Romney that will surely come from Obama:
Tony Fratto, a former Bush official who now operates his own consulting and communications firm told me, “It’s best for Gov. Romney and the party that . . . [Gingrich] chose New Hampshire to blow up, so there’s no chance of the GOP being saddled with with a Gingrich candidacy. The additional benefit to Romney is that we’ll have the Bain/private equity debate now in January instead of in the late-summer and fall. By the time the Obama campaign tries to raise it, voters will wonder why the president is raising an old issue.”
13. They're helping Mitt Romney make the case that he's the you go to in order to save an organization from economic failure. After all, he's saved many businesses from going under. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics. He's turned Massachusetts around. America needs a president who knows how to reduce the size of government by consolidating, restructuring, or eliminating government programs and firing government employees. 
As a result, the attacks on Romney's experience in the private sector has been a total flop. It may not even have any effect on the upcoming South Carolina Republican primary. It is pretty clear that these attacks on Mitt have backfired on them and it will lead to their demise in the South Carolina primaries or beyond if they choose to limp on to the next primary.


  1. Good article! I think you have hit the nail on the head, or the nail in the coffin of the Gingrich and Perry campaign.

  2. You make good points and I agree with all but #12. In respects to that point, I do not believe this "Raising Bain" episode now will confer any benefit in the general. Why? This attack was not made towards the general electorate, but rather a select primary audience, that being downscale conservative voters in the early primary states that have a populist streak in them and a propensity to consider social conservatives spouting economic arguments more commonly heard amongst democrats. (think Buchanan, Perot and Huckabee for starters). The much broader general election electorate to which this argument will resonate with simply hasnt been presented with it yet. A crafty Democratic ad campaign might re-run Perry and Gingrich comments (in and out of context) and do so quite effectively. Or not. Point is though, this initial Bain raising isn't really an inoculation but more like a preview of coming attractions. It would be irresponsible of Romney not to prepare a more forceful response when it resurfaces in the fall. Other than that, your pretty spot on in my opinion.