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Friday, January 13, 2012

When Mitt Romney Came to Town: Is Newt's New Attack Video Good for Anybody?

In case you haven't heard, Newt Gingrich (well, his Super PAC known as Winning the Future) released a scathing 28-minute video titled "When Mitt Romney Came to Town." See it below:


I watched it, and the first thing I felt was disgust. I wasn't disgusted at Mitt Romney. I wasn't disgusted at Bain Capital and their business model or practices. I was disgusted at Newt and his Super PAC for creating this misleading video. 

Let this be known: this blog, its writers, owners, managers, etc. do not yet endorse any one GOP candidate. We feel either of the GOP candidates would be a better solution for America's future than Barack Obama. With that, I am extremely disappointed in Newt Gingrich. 

After Herman Cain dropped out, Newt got a surge in popularity. I will admit, I liked him. He did what I and the writers of this blog love: he backed what he said with fact (you will see why this is in bold). In the GOP debates, he would make a claim and give a cited, historical reference as proof. His wealth of knowledge in history and how he applies this knowledge is something I have rarely seen. It has been very admirable. He seems to understand politics, economics, and most importantly, how history can teach everyone and everything in these fields a lesson. 

In comes this video. First, this is not a post about private equity or venture capital. Being student of finance, I understand these fields very well. I understood these fields before I studied finance and financial economics academically and before I entered these fields as a career. This post is about how destructive this video could be to the GOP as a whole. 

The first opinion I had of When Mitt Romney Came to Town was that it made me think it was made by Occupy Wall Street. It reminded me of the 9/11 conspiracy video "Loose Change." It used video clips and mood-changing music to back its points. What's worse? It can be used later by the Obama campaign to hurt Mitt Romney if Mitt wins the nomination. How? Well, out of the 312 million citizens in this country, how many truly know or understand what private equity is all about? Obama can use clips from this video (just as Newt is doing) to sway the minds of the non-understanding electorate into believing things about Mitt that simply aren't true. How does this help the GOP? Everything right now points to Mitt winning the GOP nomination, and to me, this video is basically nothing but Newt Gingrich saying "if I can't sail the ship home, I'm going to burn down the whole damn ship."

Factually, the video is Swiss cheese at best. Again, without getting into the tenets of private equity, this video plays more on emotion than hard facts. I uses testimonials from various manufacturing workers of companies purchased by Bain Capital. While their stories are sad, these workers are by no means experts in these fields. It sounds harsh to say, but it's the truth. Using these testimonials for backing that Romney and Bain Capital were acting unethically is like asking the fan of the team that loses the Super Bowl what he thought of the referees. Regardless of truth, the information given is going to be very biased, and it won't give a factual representation of the real business practices utilized by Bain. When it comes to fact checking, this article on CNNMoney (http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/12/the-bain-bomb-fizzles/?iid=HP_LN) breaks down the cases seen in When Mitt Romney Came to Town and shows how many of the "facts" given in it are simply false. For example, author Dan Primack states uses Bain's purchase of KB toys to highlight this point:

"Romney and Bain bought the 80 year-old company in 2000." Again, Romney left Bain in 1999 and had no operational role thereafter. It is true that he remained an investor, but so did dozens of university endowments, private foundations and pension systems. None of them played a part in Bain's investment decisions or portfolio company management." 

Primack then writes, "The video also plays a video of Romney speaking at Emory University in 2010, and suggests that he refers to the ultimate failure of KB Toys as "creative destruction." This is taken completely out of context. Romney's Emory comment was pulled from a 45-minute interview that never once mentioned KB Toys. Instead, he was discussing broader economic productivity issues."

Using clips taken out of context... Come on, Newt. You know better than that. It was sleazy when the press took Mitt Romney's comment about firing people out of context; this is no different. 

He continues with another example from the clip highlighting the plight of circuit manufacturer DDI Corp. Bain Capital acquired DDI in 1996: 

"It suggests that "Romney and Bain" began firing DDI employees just before taking it public, including 275 Colorado workers. Again, there is a timing problem. Those Colorado employees were let go in early 2000, after Romney left Bain. The IPO also occurred after Romney had left."

Say what you will about Bain Capital and the practices of private equity firms, but to hold Mitt Romney accountable for things that occurred after his tenure is irresponsible. 

I'm sure the Democrats are just loving this, and as I would have expected, this video has been scorned by the GOP. It's political treason. Newt is employing tactics the far left would admire. Out of context clips, misleading statements, "facts" that are simply false, mood-changing sound and video shots are all intentional and are all used in left-leaning propaganda videos. Nothing is more dangerous than feeding misunderstood material to people in order to change their opinion. As the late comedian George Carlin once said, "I saw some old clips of this from the 1930s, but they were difficult to understand because the subtitles were in German." 

As stated, many in the GOP have expressed their disdain for Gingrich's video. Even the Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donahue has defended Mitt Romney and his role at Bain: 



From the Daily Caller article, Donahue is cited as saying, “I was very disappointed with the intramural carrying on within the Republican party attacking one of the candidates, Romney, who has an extraordinary business experience that in anybody’s look at private equity would have to say he formed a great firm, and he had a pretty good track record,” said Donohue at a press conference after the Chamber’s Annual State of Business Address. “Nobody in that track record has 100 percent, because in the private equity business, it’s all about risk, people risk their money. But this economy is about money, so if you don’t take a risk you can’t have a success.”

At the end of the day, very few Americans understand private equity. It's not an attack on them; it's merely a fact that not many people know about it, nor do they get involved in this highly complicated field. To use this issue to play on the emotions of a difficult situation, to sway people with misleading information to believe something about a person that's not true is not only sleazy, but it's dangerous. I worry this video that does nothing more than misrepresent a viable GOP candidate will cause more harm as the campaign goes on. In the earlier debates, I said that Newt was going to be a martyr and a hero in the GOP for continually taking on and repudiating the press on live T.V. It was bold, but someone had to do it. He went from potentially being a hero with in that regard to a Benedict Arnold in the GOP.

What do you think?

33 comments:

  1. intereesting take. I didn't see the video but have now. I like how you said telling people misleading things to sway their opinions is dangerous. Very true.

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  2. GOP attacking GOP is never good. This fox news article says: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/13/conservatives-rally-against-criticism-romneys-bain-record/

    On Thursday, Perry lost a key South Carolina donor to the Romney campaign over his remarks. Ex-Perry supporter Barry Wynn said Perry's attacks were "like fingernails on the chalkboard."
    Republican New York Rep. Michael Grimm also released a statement saying the attacks would have a "negative effect on the party."

    So yes, LME... I think you are right. Thank you.

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  3. Jared Brenton Kansas City, MOJanuary 13, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    You are spot on right. Newt is now on the left. Maybe he got paid as a "lobbyist" to make this video. It is sad to see Newt burning down the GOP he can't win. Does he really think he would have much support after dividing us?

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    Replies
    1. I think there is nobody running that is further left than Mitt. Newt defines conservatism but is, to his credit, a pragmatist. And to be fair, what Romney's PAC did to Newt in Iowa is far worse than Newt's attack PAC.

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  4. Awww, whats the matter my fellow Reagan democrats? Is there a lesson to be learned here? Attacking Newt so viciously during Iowa was counter productive now wasnt it? This aint beanbag and if you cant stand the heat , get the fck out the kitchen.

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  5. Anonymous, what are you talking about? Do you have anything productive to say. The clip is above, analysis is above, you provide hollow side-show comments. Can you say something productive? Enlightening?

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  6. Bonjour. Mon nom est Romney et je suis un capitaliste vautour.

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    Replies
    1. Translation for the non-French speaking among us: "Good morning. My name is Romney and I am a vulture capitalist."

      Thank goodness for Google Translate!

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  7. Absolutely, Proud Romney. I have but one question. Those people depicted in that video....are they REAL Americans that lost their jobs? They're not actors - are they?

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    Replies
    1. They are people that made an inferior product and still demanded way to much in compensation. That's what Americans refuse to wrap their minds around. You are not the best at anything anymore except starting wars. That's what Dr. Paul keeps trying to tell you. Pay your bills, let others fight for their freedom like you did unless there is serious money in it for you. With that policy in place you can rebuild your economy and maybe in a few decades be number one again.

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  8. Thanks to all who have posted so far.

    To the anonymous poster who speaks French. If you read our blog, you would see we like fact-backed analysis/positions. It's nothing personal against you, but if you browse the MSM news comment boards, we see tons of comments like yours. I'm asking... other than what is portrayed in Newt's video, can you back what you are claiming? Do you have a response to our analysis of Newt's video and what we say will be a potential effect of it as the election goes forward? Hope to hear from you. Thank you.

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  9. @Anonymous who knows. Maybe they are actors, maybe they are not. But, I'll sit in your boat and assume they are real. So what?! That's what happens. Yes, Bain and other PE firms try to come in and turn things around. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. If you look at Bain's record, they have far more successes than failures. What is your point? Most of those people were fat, old and looked like they have nothing above a screw-bolts-into-metal education. If they were so great and deserving of a job, they could have easily picked up another. That young couple, seriously? Did I hear banjos in the background. Yes, people lose jobs... who cares. Go out and get another.

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  10. Oui LME? But yess, my name is Jepeto and i only have one quesyion. See above stupido.

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  11. Proud Romney....if they're actors....dont you think Romney would have stated that by now. He probably doesnt even know who these people are because to him, they are just a number, just like you. :-)

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  12. And again, what is your point?

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  13. Okay, French speaker... again, what is your fact-backed position? What is your rebuttal of our views?

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    Replies
    1. He was responding to the video dick head

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    2. He said "Bonjour. Mon nom est Romney et je suis un capitaliste vautour" and I wanted to see some facts for a justification of this position. And why do you feed the need to be profane? Does that add any value to the debate?

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  14. My point, Proud Romney is just one. I can relate with those folks in the vid. Your candidate is going to have a hard time in the general. The overwhelming independent minded individuals like myself WILL NOT be voting for the Wall Streeter.

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  15. That's fine. But to me, I'm not voting for a "Wall Streeter." I'm voting for someone who says... I've done many good things as a manager. I have created successes. Look at my record in Massachusetts, look at MA's education. I cut taxes and worked with the other side. Look at how I managed the Winter Olympics. Look at how I have worked at Bain (aside from what the awful media tells you) and created many more jobs and success stories that I didn't.

    That's why I'm voting for Mitt. As a leader, he has done very well.

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  16. Who cares what he says. Just a few days ago during the debates Romney stated that he never seen any of the Newt attack ads and then went through one of the ads and listed all five items in the ad. That guy has a character problem and this site is a joke. Bye bye.

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  17. Huh? You know, that incoherent babbling and sharp, quick attacks sounds like the musings of a Ron Paul supporter.

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  18. I've yet to see the video/documentary and will reserve comment on this post until I do, but I just came across a couple of articles that were pertinent. Gingrich is back pedaling (http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/politics&id=8504259) and the other is PolitiFacts take on 'When Mitt Romney Came to Town' (http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/jan/13/how-factual-king-bain-video/)

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  19. Whatsamattausa - Thank you for the links. Love it when people give citable facts for things.

    I sincerely hope Gingrich backs down. The clip for the entire video is at the top of this post. Hope all is well. Thank you.

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  20. Which user of this blog is "lemming36" on CNN Money? The Federal Authorities would like to have a quick chat with him.

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  21. We have no users by that name.

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  22. Whats with all of the idiots who say "I have not seen the video yet"..... And then comment?

    The link is right there on the top !



    Here is another example of Mitt being a total DICK !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9cn0M_AFWg


    Now don't tell me you have to pull the kind of F'd up shit Mitt did to be pro capitalist . It's just not true.

    This guy sucks.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for giving you such agita (I can only assume that I am "all of the idiots" you were speaking of being that I'm the only one who mentioned not having seen the video)! However, I did not comment on the video (as I said, I'll reserve comment until I've seen it) but rather added some context to the discussion by showing a factual take from a 3rd party and also by providing a link showing how Gingrich is already backing away from his position.

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    2. Yah, Whatsamattausa - I'm not sure why this poster sounds so angry. Disagree with Romney's positions, fine... But why call him a "dick." He actually seems kind of nice. I do like how he is nice, but does stand up for himself.

      And true... Newt has pulled back a little. He said he requested his campaign folks to edit the video (though they did say this morning they are standing behind it)... but, yes, you do take the "I will get my information first" approach, which, though often in contrast to me personally, is highly respectable. To top it off, you're not angry, and you don't call people a "dick." And you certainly don't call us a "fake" blog (whatever that means) like the poster below :-)

      Delete
  23. You also delete peoples comments if you don't agree with them.

    This is a fake blog. It is just for your opinions , it is not a discussion.

    A propaganda machine

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    Replies
    1. HAHA now you're just getting dumb. We have never, ever deleted a comment. I would LOVE to see some proof behind this truly ignorant statement.

      If you read through this blog you would see that we provide an open forum blog where all positions are respected. We encourage readers to express themselves and engage in civil and respectful debate. If you actually read this blog you would see tons of comments that do not agree with me or the other writers of this blog. Please, some how, back this ridiculous claim you have made.

      We have stated numerous times that we would only delete comments if they are threatening, dangerous or using hateful/racist speech. That, thankfully, has never happened and, as you can see, we have not deleted your comment.

      What we truly hope for: that people are able to express themselves while providing thoughtful and insightful, FACT-BACKED views. You are dropping in and giving no facts, and for some reason, you think it helps the conversation to be profane. Well, we hope to hear something more insightful from you. Thanks and good luck to you.

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    2. And, you know. I'd like you to try to show how this is NOT a discussion. Show some posts that are not. Copy and paste if you must. This is our challenge to you; I doubt you will come back with anything good. Thanks.

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    3. LME, I'm surprised you're wasting your time with this troll. I follow this blog. It's open. It's fair. It's a great blog and it provides proof and facts. It's not solely about your opinions as you have asked many times "what do you think?" Ignore this dolt. He is worth nothing to you, me or anyone. He clearly has nothing better to do than to make things up.

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