1. Roll out deceitful, misleading ads
2. Allow the liberal mainstream media surrogates to propagate these ads
3. Repeat misleading information in as many speeches as possible
4. Get the American people to blindly believe and repeat whatever misleading information you say
5. Relax knowing that since the liberal mainstream media outnumbers the conservative mainstream media, it will take a long time for the GOP to respond to correct the lies, rendering any attempts at truthfulness to be “too little, too late”
6. Win in November no matter how badly you're doing as President
Simple enough, right?
It all starts with the first part of the plan: Roll out deceitful, misleading ads. I wrote about this 12 days ago (see: this post). In that post, I highlight the 4 key arguments the Obama campaign is currently making (3 of them about Mitt Romney specifically), and I used examples to show how each of these arguments is misleading. With the most recent ads, it appears that the Obama campaign has stepped up its efforts, giving itself a violent shove from "misleading" to flat out lying.
Case in point: The Obama campaign has released a new ad that accuses Mitt Romney of repeatedly shipping jobs overseas while he was the head of Bain Capital. It's not a surprise that left-leaning news outlet ABC News would publish this in its "Political Punch" segment without even stopping to consider the facts (video of the Iowa ad is seen here): ABC News Article. Additionally, Team Obama has added this to its "Romney Economics" campaign and created lovely map seen below. The map cites some of the companies you will read about in the following analysis.
Click to enlarge. Source: www.barackobama.com/romney-outsourcing-offshored-map
Let's review the brief history of the ad: On Thursday, June 21, Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post published an anti-Romney article titled, "Romney's Bain Capital Invested in Companies that Moved Jobs Overseas." (see it here: Tom Hamburger, 6/21/12 - Washington Post). He gets right into the thick of it in the second paragraph:
- "During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
Pioneers! Wow! Don't worry; the Obama campaign has grabbed this term, and Obama himself has used it at his speeches. Hamburger continued:
- "Bain played several roles in helping these outsourcing companies, such as investing venture capital so they could grow and providing management and strategic business advice as they navigated this rapidly developing field.
Over the past two decades, American companies have dramatically expanded their overseas operations and supply networks, especially in Asia, while shrinking their workforces at home. McKinsey Global Institute estimated in 2006 that $18.4 billion in global information technology work and $11.4 billion in business-process services have been moved abroad."
Of course, the second paragraph is misleading. It provides no context of the claim "$18.4 billion in global information..." Was this during the year 2006? Was this done by Bain Capital in 2006 which is well after Mitt’s tenure? Was it done by Bain at all? Is this for all American companies? All these answers are left out, and the reader has no frame of reference for the argument Hamburger is making.
Hamburger then attempts to back his claims by citing some companies under Bain's management that claims shipped jobs overseas:
- "The corporate merger that created Stream also gave birth to another, related business known as Modus Media Inc., which specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing. Modus Media was a subsidiary of Stream that became an independent company in early 1998. Bain was the largest shareholder, SEC filings show.
Modus Media grew rapidly. In December 1997, it announced it had contracted with Microsoft to produce software and training products at a center in Australia. Modus Media said it was already serving Microsoft from Asian locations in Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and in Europe and the United States.
Two years later, Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia.
According to a news release issued by Modus Media in 1997, its expansion of outsourcing services took place in close consultation with Bain. Terry Leahy, Modus’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the release as saying he would be “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.” At the time, three Bain directors sat on the corporate board of Modus."
Hamburger then goes on to indict Romney and Bain Capital over its ownership of California bicycle company GT:
- "One of those was a California bicycle manufacturer called GT Bicycle Inc. that Bain bought in 1993. The growing company relied on Asian labor, according to SEC filings. Two years later, with the company continuing to expand, Bain helped take it public. In 1998, when Bain owned 22 percent of GT’s stock and had three members on the board, the bicycle maker was sold to Schwinn, which had also moved much of its manufacturing offshore as part of a wider trend in the bicycle industry of turning to Chinese labor."
Hamburger lists other companies, of course, but as you will see, the truth in this write-up is slim, at best. It seems he intentionally clouds the "facts" behind his examples knowing good and well that few Americans will dig deeper into his case. Someone has, however: His own newspaper…
Now comes the fun part. As stated in the title of this analysis, the Washington Post's own Fact Checker gave the Obama campaign 4 Pinocchios for creating the Mitt Romney "Outsourcer-in-Chief" ad! Since Team Obama used Tom Hamburger's article as the basis for its ad, in a sense, the Post fact checked its own writer and found Hamburger's (and, of course, Team Obama's) case to be a big lie. Does this surprise anyone? Why is this significant? Imagine if Nancy Pelosi made a statement in a press conference that was rebuked by Harry Reid 3 hours later. This internal game of "Fact-Checkers" (:-P) is quite comical.
In his tenacious rebuttal (seen here: Glenn Kessler's Fact Checker), Kessler states that the WaPo's Fact Checker has warned against using the "Mitt Romney outsourcing" claim as well as any other attempts to paint Mitt Romney in a bad light for his time at the private equity firm. Heck, even Bill Clinton agrees: (see it here: WaPo article and video). Kessler cites and links several examples of his warnings (as well as other Obama campaign fact checks from previous analyses) and goes on with his rebuttal:
- "Regarding the outsourcing claims, we have frowned on these before. The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital.
Regarding the other claims, concerning Canadian electronics maker SMTC Manufacturing and customer service firm Modus Media, the Obama campaign tries to take advantage of a gray area in which Romney had stepped down from Bain — to manage the Salt Lake City Olympics — but had not sold his shares in the firm. We had previously given the Obama campaign Three Pinocchios for such tactics.
The Modus Media case is also not an example of shipping jobs overseas. The company closed one plant in California and transferred the jobs to North Carolina, Washington and Utah. At the same time, it opened an unrelated plant in Mexico. The Obama campaign once trumpeted the fact that we had dinged a conservative Super PAC for making the same leap in logic."
Kessler then continues:
- “Upon hearing this ad was under consideration for a tough rating, the Obama campaign supplied reams of additional SEC documents regarding Romney’s ownership in Bain after he left for the Olympics, most of which we had examined previously when we first looked at this question. The campaign also supplied SEC documents showing that two of these companies, Modus and SMTC, as well as one called Stream International (a predecessor of Modus), earned money in part by helping other companies subcontract work overseas. Some of this business predated Romney’s departure from Bain, but thus far it seems a slim case for this particular ad.”
These same SEC filings also show that the aforementioned GT bicycles had overseas suppliers and manufacturers well before Bain invested in the company. You wouldn’t know that from Tom Hamburger’s article.
In Kessler’s summary section, he concludes:
- “The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of “corporate raider” to its examples of alleged outsourcing. Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct” and awards the Obama ad 4 Pinocchios.
Why does all this matter especially when it’s one WaPo’s writer’s word against another’s? For starters, the Obama campaign immediately jumped on this issue and began using it against Mitt Romney. Secondly, Kessler’s remarks are a direct rebuttal to Hamburger’s. Hamburger is the one making the claims and citing his “facts” but Kessler provides evidence that Hamburger’s claims are full of holes. It’s not the other way around. And finally, this isn’t the only time this has been done by the Obama campaign. As I pointed out in the first link in this analysis, it seems the MO of Team Obama is to simply put forth some misleading information, hope it sticks in people’s minds, and sway the electorate with half-truths and misrepresented information. To me, the sad thing is… it’s going from misrepresentation to complete lies.
What do you think? Am I way off? Are you noticing this yourself? Please don’t forget to rate the article and share your opinions below.