Pawlenty: Why are Republicans attacking capitalism?

posted at 6:20 pm on January 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That’s a good question, especially since it turns out that one of them has financial ties to the very same leveraged-buyout industry he’s currently demonizing. Tim Pawlenty visited Radio Row at the Manchester Radisson and sat down with me for a few minutes to discuss the criticisms of Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital experience by Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Perry. Pawlenty, who endorsed Romney in August and is campaigning in New Hampshire this week for him, couldn’t quite believe that these remarks are coming from Republican candidates. Pawlenty is “really disappointed” that the Republican contenders are making “Democratic arguments” and using “class warfare,” and says the argument isn’t accurate anyway, since Bain actually created many more net jobs than were lost.

Pawlenty is the one who tipped me to this story, reported by both Fortune and the New York Times, which showed that Gingrich both investing in and worked on an advisory board for Forstmann Little — a competitor of Bain in the leveraged-buyout industry.  Here’s Fortune:

Upon leaving Congress in 1999, the former Speaker joined private equity firm Forstmann Little & Co. as a member of its advisory board.

It is unclear how long Gingrich served on the advisory board, or how much he was paid. The campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Forstmann Little was one of the world’s original leveraged buyout firms, although its founder — the late Teddy Forsmann — often railed against what he saw as over-leveraging by rival firms (presumably including Bain). It effectively began winding down operations in 2005, following a legal dispute with the State of Connecticut over failed investments in a pair of large communications companies. Forstmann Little lost the case at trial, but wasn’t required to pay any significant restitution (both deals were done within two years of Gingrich being named to the advisory board).

During Saturday night’s GOP primary debate in New Hampshire, Gingrich said: “I’m not nearly as enamored of a Wall Street model where you can flip companies, you can go in and have leveraged buyouts, you can basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers.”

And here’s the NYT, which Gingrich cited as an authority during this weekend’s debates:

But Mr. Gingrich was himself on an advisory board for a major investment firm that had a similar business model, Forstmann Little, a pioneering private equity firm co-founded in 1978 by Theodore J. Forstmann that was, along with Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital and Henry R. Kravis’s Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among the leading private equity firms during the 1980s and 1990s.

Forstmann Little earned billions of dollars in profits from its investments in companies including General Instrument and Gulfstream Aerospace. But the firm shut down most of its operations a decade ago after suffering losses from ill-timed bets on highflying telecommunications companies at the height of that industry’s bubble.

Mr. Gingrich’s involvement with the firm could complicate his attacks on Mr. Romney. …

Mr. Gingrich would attend twice-a-year Forstmann Little advisory board meetings in Manhattan, which were held typically at the Four Seasons restaurant or at the ’21’ Club. The partners discussed potential investment with Mr. Gingrich, particularly those in the health-care industry.

Over time, Mr. Gingrich made investments in Forstmann Little portfolio companies.

So was Forstmann Little employing Gingrich as a historian?

At least one Republican candidate managed to remain a champion of the free enterprise system, as Michelle Malkin — no fan of Mitt Romney — pointed out:

Leaving the frozen event, Santorum also declined to take a shot at Romney over a remark earlier from the front-runner that he “likes to fire” workers who are not doing a good job.

“We try to hire good people, we try to keep them employed. If someone if obviously not performing their duty and their mission, obviously a business has a responsibility for the greater good of the business and the other employees to make sure that everybody there is pulling their weight,” Santorum said.

Asked whether Romney’s corporate takeover experience at Bain Capital would be a liability, Santorum said: “I’m not making it a liability. I believe in the private sector.”

Yeah, I remember when most Republicans used to believe in it, too.  The irony in this is that the super-PAC backing Gingrich will use $5 million from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson — who, by the way, is a good conservative and stalwart defender of right to work laws — to blast Romney for, essentially, betting on struggling companies — and having a better than 3-1 record in rescuing them.


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Politics aint beanbag Ed

Flapjackmaka on January 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

What is it with everyone using the term “beanbag” today? I must’ve read it at least ten times in the comments. Did Rush say it on his show or something?

Go RBNY on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Good point. Ron Paul exudes capitalism and small govt. Yet the very people who claim to be for both, openly mock him and support two governors of deep blue states.
angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Maybe I should just go out and say it: Crazy Foreign Policy. This is how his capitalism is underminded. Many at Hot Gas don’t even attempt to discuss his fiscal policies or beliefs.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

While I’m very unhappy at the class warfare angle of all this, Romney supporters need to remember that their guy and his PAC started the scorched Earth policy.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I disagree with you there, Cindy.

“This” started in the last election from the McCain/Palin campaign. The Destroy Romney effort by that campaign was disgusting. Lots and lots and lots of truly gross, reckless and irresponsible denigration of the man by that campaign AND their campaigners. It made me embarrassed to maintain Republican registration and though I opted to vote for that ticket eventually, I will never forget the disgusting depravity I witnessed by that campaign’s malignment of Romney, AND his supporters last election.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

***

NEWSFLASH PEOPLE: These ads will be run by Obama. If you can’t handle the spin now, you’re dead in July. If anything Gingrich is doing you a favor.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I’m stunned that Romney has been caught flat-footed by this.

Rather than quibbling about generalities, he should be compiling and communicating the details in a succinct fashion. Don’t feed me some line that he was merely pursuing capitalism. I’ve seen something today in which Bain owed a failed bank about $10M in the early 1990s at a time when Bain was on the ropes. Bain and other debtors were somehow able to extract some signficant debt forgiveness from the receiver of the failed bank–FDIC. Now, I know enough to know that in some cases of debt forgiveness, a company in Bain’s position must either recognize the debt forgiveness or, in the alternative, have some of its own tax attributes (say, basis in their own assets) reduced so that they get reduced depreciation deductions or have lower basis in real estate it may own. But Romney’s not explaining anything.

I don’t like Romney, but if he can’t explain himself, screw him.

BuckeyeSam on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Some people think a drawn out primary will give some other candidate time to rise as the ‘Not Romney’ alternative.

In reality, every week that goes by gives these jokesters one more opportunity for them to shoot another hole in the bottom of their own boat.

swamp_yankee on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I have yet to see a poll that had any Republican candidate competitive with Obama other than Romney. But I guess some people must know better on account of experience and heredity.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

I thought we’re supposed to celebrate capitalism.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

No, today i was told that in order to be a true conservative i must hate capitalism, So to protect my “true conservative” pin i feel as a duty to attack capitalism,

And how many other talk show hosts do not have an opportunity to be on the air because Rush has to be on 500+ stations? How many family’s has he broken because of that?

s/

OrthodoxJew on January 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Maybe I should just go out and say it: Crazy Foreign Policy. This is how his capitalism is underminded. Many at Hot Gas don’t even attempt to discuss his fiscal policies or beliefs.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Sure his non-economic views are out there. But would it hurt a Romney type to say something along the lines of “Paul is a nutbag when it comes to Israel, Iran, etc, but his ideas of cutting spending and the size of govt are quite good”.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Oh good Lord, the guy that is making the movie from a Democrat opposition report from 2008 is a former Romeny guy. You guys need to get a grip, Bain was going to be front in center in October if it hadn’t been pushed to light now.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I like Newt, but his pot calling the kettle black antics are getting old. The idea that Newt has somehow been removed from capitalistic decisions that determine, or benefit from, the success or failure of a business enterprise is naive, as the stories about Forstmann Little point out. These opportunistic attacks on Mitt’s business endeavors smack of hypocritical desperation.

Slainte on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Capitalism in the sense that what Mitt did was considered capitalism or a manipulation of the flaws in the irs code and the various balance sheet structures of different companies?

when I think of capitalism – i think of making a product – getting that product to market – competing within that market and striving to make the best, cheapest, valued product to the consumer.

Consumer demand which is capitalism, didnt drive Bain, clever presentations, club room get togethers, followed by clever board room presentations by long dissassociated executives far removed from the original entity was what happened here.

firms like Bain in the 50′s and 60′s used to entertain ideas from people like Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and invested in ideas and building companies – Bain didnt do anything like that.

EricPWJohnson on January 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Great post!

Bain’s type of “capitalism” ain’t the capitalism I know and love.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. People forget this. Yes he’s also a conservative. But he’s an entertainer first and foremost. And he knows that more people want to hear the latter than the former. More people = more listeners = more money for him.

I thought we’re supposed to celebrate capitalism.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Only according to arbitron he has lost 1/3 of his listeners

tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Maybe I should just go out and say it: Crazy Foreign Policy.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Ron Paul’s foreign policy may be crazy but Bush’s was insane and Obama’s is demented.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

. If anything Gingrich is doing you a favor.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

This might be a beneficial preview of things to come, but there is zero doubt in my mind that Newt never did anyone a ‘non’ quid pro quo favor in his life.

M240H on January 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I frankly see no problem with making ALREADY FAILING, INEFFICIENT companies into something better.

blatantblue on January 9, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Exactly, at the essence of capitalism is progress by creative destruction ( Schumpeter ). Down with the less efficient; up with the more efficient. It’s Darwinian.

Funny how the leftists embrace Darwinism when it’s pitted against Judeo-Christian religion. But refuse to allow it in the social and economic spheres. Pffft.

petefrt on January 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

No, today i was told that in order to be a true conservative i must hate capitalism, So to protect my “true conservative” pin i feel as a duty to attack capitalism,

Who told you that?

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Plus, guess who else has ties to the leveraged-buyout industry?

I know! I know! What do I win?

(Newt)

Buy Danish on January 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I have yet to see a poll that had any Republican candidate competitive with Obama other than Romney McCain. But I guess some people must know better on account of experience and heredity.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 2008 at 6:55 PM

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

‘Cause Santorum and Gingrich are the purest of the pure.

Put the absinthe down.

blatantblue on January 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

i voting for paul, not because i believe everything that the old fart says, but because i want the party to head in that general ideological direction.
i know the others suck too, but why should we just conform with this candidate that barely defend small government ideals that we were so passioned about just a few months ago? it does not feel right!

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I have yet to see a poll that had any Republican candidate competitive with Obama other than Romney George HW Bush. But I guess some people must know better on account of experience and heredity.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 1980 at 6:55 PM

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

You know what else the left did? Claim GWB was an incoherent imbecile because he spoke with a Texan accent and stumbled over his words occasionally. You know who else does that? Perry. And you know what else Romney people do? Call Perry an incoherent imbecile.

Using the left’s tactics is OK when attacking Perry. It’s not OK when attacking Romney.

Are there any other rules like that we should know about?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Are you friggin serious? Calling someone an idiot and making an argument that capitalism is evil and takes food out of the mouths of babies are tow different things.

Do you not understand the difference between attacking someone personally and attacking an IDEA (one that you are supposed to be a big supporter of, if you’re running for the GOP nomination)? Come on.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Sure his non-economic views are out there. But would it hurt a Romney type to say something along the lines of “Paul is a nutbag when it comes to Israel, Iran, etc, but his ideas of cutting spending and the size of govt are quite good”.
angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Romney’s base is probably not very interested in cutting much. I am, though, told they enjoy firing people.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Only according to arbitron he has lost 1/3 of his listeners

tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Too bad Rush’s show isn’t run by Bain. Romney would be out there hustling a $10M bailout for Rush.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Do you not understand the difference between attacking someone personally and attacking an IDEA (one that you are supposed to be a big supporter of, if you’re running for the GOP nomination)? Come on.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

That reminds me of one of my favorite sayings. I don’t recall who first said it.

Smart people talk about ideas. Average people talk about things. Stupid people talk about other people.

Make of that what you will, all.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

If I remember Mitt super pac’ed people to death last time and now his super pac has done it again. You can’t throw stink and not get it all over yourself too. I’m tied of the don’t hit mitt standard,fight it out ,thats why we have primaries for!

JustHugh on January 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

to blast Romney for, essentially, betting on struggling companies — and having a better than 3-1 record in rescuing them.

To bad you don’t have the slightest clue what you are talking about Ed.

SWalker on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Only according to arbitron he has lost 1/3 of his listeners
tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Really? Wow. I’m one of them.

Buy Danish on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Do you not understand the difference between attacking someone personally and attacking an IDEA (one that you are supposed to be a big supporter of, if you’re running for the GOP nomination)? Come on.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Focus.

Breathe in. Breath out. Wax on. Wax off.

Now that you’ve calmed down….

The point is Romnneybots are using the left’s tactics to destroy Perry. But when Perry/Gingrich use the left’s tactics against Mittens their panties are in a bunch and they’re throwing a hissy fit.

I’m not saying either is right. But if you’re going to play with fire, don’t complain when you get burned.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Some people mistake capitalists with conservatives, when they are not the same thing. Capitalists can benefit from conservative governance, but they are not beholden to it.

This post over at Riehl‘s place sums up my feelings about the hand-wringing over Romney being taken to task for how he conducted himself while at Bain.

Y-not on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

finally, after days and days HA has a post that questions why people are attacking capitalism.

I know that Rs are famous for forming a circular firing squad…but this is preposterous

My only explanation is that Rs suffer from some sort of PTSD having seen McCain melt during the financial crisis…and from seeing Palin shredded by the press.

A PTSD from having seen barry walk away with the prize without any scrutiny, on the shoulders of a cheering press. Maybe it was only then that the Rs and Conservatives really saw that the press was not ‘biased’ but rather the PR machine of the hard left.

At any rate, I’d like to know what thoughtful conservatives are going to do to protect themselves from a President who will rule unilaterally for 4 more years?

r keller on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Oh good Lord, the guy that is making the movie from a Democrat opposition report from 2008 is a former Romeny guy. You guys need to get a grip, Bain was going to be front in center in October if it hadn’t been pushed to light now.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Cindy, I voted for McCain/Palin but I had to do so after taking several days’ worth of deep breaths while telling myself to “forget and forgive.” I was entirely grossed out by the depraved content that McCain/Palin supporters lobbed against Romney last election — they didn’t even begin to match that when addressing Obama, if they ever even did: Romney was the enemy, Obama got a pass, 2008. In fact, recall McCain reprimanding the GOP voters, that “you have nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency.” He even made it apologetic to be a Republican, that remark included.

I remain convinced that the McCain/Palin ticket was for the purpose of electing Barack Obama. I don’t mind — and can accept — competitive contrariness between candidates in the same party, but McCain’s campaign went far out into utter garbage as to Romeny in the last election.

It left a big mark, I’ll never forget it.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Too bad Rush’s show isn’t run by Bain. Romney would be out there hustling a $10M bailout for Rush.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

(that there is funny, I don’t care who you are.)

Somehow, I don’t think Rush would accept it.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I have yet to see a poll that had any Republican candidate competitive with Obama other than Romney George HW Bush. But I guess some people must know better on account of experience and heredity.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 1980 at 6:55 PM

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Weren’t you suppose to cross out Obama and replace him with Clinton? The way you did your graffiti makes no sense.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Are you friggin serious? Calling someone an idiot and making an argument that capitalism is evil and takes food out of the mouths of babies are tow different things.

Do you not understand the difference between attacking someone personally and attacking an IDEA (one that you are supposed to be a big supporter of, if you’re running for the GOP nomination)? Come on.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

The person you directed this to has vowed to support Obama if Mitt gets the nomination. Behold Romney Derangement Syndrome in all its glory.

alchemist19 on January 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

firms like Bain in the 50′s and 60′s used to entertain ideas from people like Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and invested in ideas and building companies – Bain didnt do anything like that.

EricPWJohnson on January 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Great post!

Bain’s type of “capitalism” ain’t the capitalism I know and love.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

There’s a reason Frank Captain movies are movies: They ain’t real. And yes, companies like Bain existed in.the fifties and sixties; the only reason they seem different in hindsight is because they operated in the environment created by the politicians, and their benefactors, of that particular era.

This ain’t tiddlywinks, Pollyanna.

M240H on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Too bad Rush’s show isn’t run by Bain. Romney would be out there hustling a $10M bailout for Rush.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Really? That was the best reply you could come up with? You should have just stayed quiet.

tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Weren’t you suppose to cross out Obama and replace him with Clinton? The way you did your graffiti makes no sense.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Actually it should have been Carter since it was 1980. Bah.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Bain was going to be front in center in October if it hadn’t been pushed to light now.

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I don’t object to the Left using Bain to attack Romney — you’re right about that, that it’s to be expected, and was in the last election.

I’m also not surprised to read about this now. What I find revolting is other GOP candidates piling on as to attacking capitalism. It’s class-warfare garbage, and I find it repulsive about those who engage in it.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Only according to arbitron he has lost 1/3 of his listeners
tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Really? Wow. I’m one of them.

Buy Danish on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I must be the other.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I have yet to see a poll that had any Republican candidate competitive with Obama other than Romney. But I guess some people must know better on account of experience and heredity.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

great, to replace obama we get obama light. better that than obama, but, really? this is the token victory we will settle for?

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Too bad Rush’s show isn’t run by Bain. Romney would be out there hustling a $10M bailout for Rush.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Hey, nobody’s forcing Rush to alienate the Romney supporters and drive them out of his audience by finding any excuse he possible can to oppose Mitt.

KingGold on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sadly, i also believe that many of the candidates are putting themselves above everything else.

Many people in the political class are well aware of where we are headed…but they think that they and their children will do fine by being part of the apparatchik…and they are probably right

r keller on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

great, to replace obama we get obama light. better that than obama, but, really? this is the token victory we will settle for?

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

We go with the Army we have. – Rumsfeld

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

The person you directed this to has vowed to support Obama if Mitt gets the nomination. Behold Romney Derangement Syndrome in all its glory.

alchemist19 on January 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Blah blah blah. If I don’t follow the “R” directive I have RDS. Or I am a True Conservative. Or I am a Democrat OWSer. Or a Palinista.

Or maybe I think Obama with a GOP House/Senate would be better than Romney with a Dem house/senate (after 2014).

Nah. That can’t be it. I hate Mormons. Yeah that’s the ticket.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The point is Romnneybots are using the left’s tactics to destroy Perry. But when Perry/Gingrich use the left’s tactics against Mittens their panties are in a bunch and they’re throwing a hissy fit.

I’m not saying either is right. But if you’re going to play with fire, don’t complain when you get burned.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

TRUTH!

Romney’s camp has been stinking up the airwaves against every one who has managed to break out of the pack and challenge them. They shouldn’t be surprised when the other camps hit back.

Romney’s people have behaved in an absolutely disgusting manner.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Actually it should have been Carter since it was 1980. Bah.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Carter? Try again.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Hey, nobody’s forcing Rush to alienate the Romney supporters and drive them out of his audience by finding any excuse he possible can to oppose Mitt.

KingGold on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Do many Democrats listen to his show?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

If it was 1980, you should have said Reagan.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

great, to replace obama we get obama light. better that than obama, but, really? this is the token victory we will settle for?
nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM
We go with the Army we have. – Rumsfeld
VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Gulp. That’s not comforting.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Actually it should have been Carter since it was 1980. Bah.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Carter? Try again.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Yes Carter. In 1980. Who should it be oh smart one?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

For all the “true” conservatives trying to defend this horsesh*t, its not all about economics.

True conservatism and capitalism are not the same. But it is a classic conservative tenet that economic freedom and individual freedom are inextricably linked. Free markets do more than promote prosperity, they preserve and promote liberty.

Guys like Dan Rhiel are in denial.

swamp_yankee on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I’m also not surprised to read about this now. What I find revolting is other GOP candidates piling on as to attacking capitalism. It’s class-warfare garbage, and I find it repulsive about those who engage in it.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

during this primary i already seen many ideological pivots right here in this forum and many forgeting what we were so passioned about just a few months ago. want to know why gop candidates do it? just look around in this forum.

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Again, the idea is not to attack capitalism. The idea is to point out where Mitt Romney is vulnerable

Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

How stupid can we get. With this pile on against Romney and capitalism, I’m thinking the GOP has no limits on stupidity.

I come here to read several times every day. I enjoy commenting. But this kind of stupidity and craven pandering is depressing me so much that I comment much less than before. I have little to say beyond disgust. And that gets repetitious.

Oh, and by the way, thanks, Ed. Your posts are consistently insightful. You’re well ahead of the curve, and the magnet that keeps drawing me back.

petefrt on January 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Romney’sGingrich’s people have behaved in an absolutely disgusting manner.

tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Again, the idea is not to attack capitalism. The idea is to point out where Mitt Romney is vulnerable

Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Then why did those morons attack capitalism?

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

If it was 1980, you should have said Reagan.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Sigh….

Reagan was the Palin of 1980. Crazy right winger without a chance of beating Carter. George Bush Sr. was the Romney of 1980. Bush was the “practical, moderate choice”. The only choice that can beat Carter. Polls had Reagan down by 20%+ to Carter.

That was my point.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Again, the idea is not to attack capitalism. The idea is to point out where Mitt Romney is vulnerable
Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Not with Perry and Huntsman. We’ll see about Gingrich.

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

You know what else the left did? Claim GWB was an incoherent imbecile because he spoke with a Texan accent and stumbled over his words occasionally. You know who else does that? Perry. And you know what else Romney people do? Call Perry an incoherent imbecile.

Using the left’s tactics is OK when attacking Perry. It’s not OK when attacking Romney.

Are there any other rules like that we should know about?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 6:53 PM

In fairness, Perry can be an incoherent imbecile with a Texas accent that stumbles all over his words. Happens pretty much every time he speaks. And yes, I’m from and live in Texas and I’ve heard him speak quite a bit. That doesn’t mean he can’t govern, but clearly public speaking is a weakness for him.

Attack away at Romney.

cd98 on January 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Your graffiti was so screwed up as to be unsalvageable. I would ask you to just start all over again, but please don’t.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

He should’ve stayed in.

JellyToast on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

What I find revolting is other GOP candidates piling on as to attacking capitalism. It’s class-warfare garbage, and I find it repulsive about those who engage in it.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

There is a marked difference between being a capitalist and a corporate raider. Romney and Bain Capital were sometimes the latter.

Get used to class warfare because if Romney gets the nominee, class warfare is how Obama will attack him……being that Romney is one of the 1% Wall Street Insiders and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth!

Sparky5253 on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Then why did those morons attack capitalism?

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Of for crying out loud. Nobody attacked capitalism. They attacked Bain capital’s practices.

That’s like saying I am “attacking automobiles” because I said the Chevy Volt is a piece of crap.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

This ain’t tiddlywinks, Pollyanna.

M240H on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I’m not going into details, but I know all about how companies like Bain operate. They aren’t all bad, and do some good things. But, they sometimes skirt the law to make the outcomes favorable for them, at the expense of what might be a salvageable company.

IOW, I might be a Pollyanna in some areas. This isn’t one of them.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

This post over at Riehl‘s place sums up my feelings about the hand-wringing over Romney being taken to task for how he conducted himself while at Bain.

Y-not on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Unfortunately, Riehl perceives everythig in high-drama intensity. Anyone with comments negative about Romney/Bain is perceived as “wringing their hands,” etc. Riehl’s keyed into the high-drama of the Left, unfortunately, he’s de-acclimated to it.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Then why did those morons attack capitalism?

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Ya think 0bama’s going to let these arguments slide? The point here is that the case for Romney has largely been made on 0bama not being able to lay a glove on the guy.

Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

“We try to hire good people, we try to keep them employed. If someone if obviously not performing their duty and their mission, obviously a business has a responsibility for the greater good of the business and the other employees to make sure that everybody there is pulling their weight,” Santorum said.

It’s also for the greater good of the customers. The 99%.

JellyToast on January 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

KingGold on January 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

For me, this isn’t about how many workers got fired. The issue is plain. PE’s can be a tremendous benefit to the economy when operated ethically. I can point to several examples of great work done by Bain, probably under Romney, where they successfully turned around ailing businesses. There are also the giant turds of AmPad and Sealy and others where Bain’s actions are much more questionable. The issue is about Romney’s decision-making track record.

It’s totally fair to point out that these negative examples exist, that they had a real world impact, and to question Romney on whether he lived up to common ethical standards.

Robert_Paulson on January 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

It’s interesting because you can like sausage or you can dislike sausage, but Romney has actually spent much of his career making sausage, and you have to admire any man who can sell the sausage he makes.

Seth Halpern on January 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Who’s attacking capitalism? Are people seriously saying we can’t question a business model or a businessman’s ethics without damning the whole capitalist system? Please.

Romney says bailouts are a mistake, while Bain took federal cash at least twice. By Romney’s own stance on the bailouts – if Bain wasn’t going to stay afloat when he took over, he should have let it fail. Isn’t that what he’s been railing on in these debates?

If there’s a pattern of Bain making significant profit over companies it flipped, and if it was known prior to acquisition that that was going to be the end goal regardless, it’s worth exploring. It’s worth calling out. We’re not the party of greedy tycoons. We’re the party of small government.

If people getting rich by intentionally shutting down plants and factories and sending those jobs and capital overseas is conservatism, count me out. I’ll vote libertarian and continue to advocate for a smaller decentralized government.

Hostile Gospel on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

It is a sad day when taking over a going concern, stripping it of equipment and ability to grow, running up unpayable debt, and finally going bankrupt and foisting it’s commitments off on taxpayers is called “capitalism”.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Of for crying out loud. Nobody attacked capitalism. They attacked Bain capital’s practices.

That’s like saying I am “attacking automobiles” because I said the Chevy Volt is a piece of crap.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

So now you are saying Bain ran on batteries? You are just digging a deeper hole for yourself. Please take a rest and come back later.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Gingrich both investing in and worked on an advisory board for Forstmann Little — a competitor of Bain in the leveraged-buyout industry

Tee hee :-)

MJBrutus on January 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

The Special Report panel mentioned this just a bit ago. They cited Newt’s involvement with Forstmann Little as a reason he should cease this attack ASAP. Mitt knows about it, I’m sure.

Mitt will strike back, and it is fair game to question the conservatism of candidates who attack the role of VC in a free-market system. This line of attack is going to implode those 3 desperate candidates who were dumb enough to take the bait and jump on the OWS bandwagon.

When asked about the Bain dustup, Rick Santorum chose not to jump into the fray and attack Mitt over his role at Bain. Rick said he believes in the free-enterprise system and noted that sometimes people lose their jobs in the private sector for one reason or another.

Philly on January 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

great, to replace obama we get obama light. better that than obama, but, really? this is the token victory we will settle for?

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

We go with the Army we have. – Rumsfeld

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

to win a meaningless victory

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Again, the idea is not to attack capitalism. The idea is to point out where Mitt Romney is vulnerable

Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Bingo. These so called “attacks on capitalism” have exposed Romney’s huge weakness in the general election. Romney’s been sold to us for the past 4 year as Mr. Electable vs. Obama.

Turns out he’s not that electable after all and it was one big myth. Instead of admitting that Romney has a huge blind spot with Bain, the Mittbots are lashing out like children towards Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman for being mean.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

I miss T-Paw.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Gingrich and Perry’s remarks about Bain Capital are unforgivable, and they deserve to lose because of them. These two idiots should be tarred and feathered, then forced to work at a buggy whip factory.

jan3 on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

It is a sad day when taking over a going concern, stripping it of equipment and ability to grow, running up unpayable debt, and finally going bankrupt and foisting it’s commitments off on taxpayers is called “capitalism”.
Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Ouch

aryeung on January 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM

So now you are saying Bain ran on batteries? You are just digging a deeper hole for yourself. Please take a rest and come back later.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Only according to arbitron he has lost 1/3 of his listeners
tbrickert on January 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Really? Wow. I’m one of them.

Buy Danish on January 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I must be the other.

VorDaj on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Something about Rush’s “vote for Hillary because that’ll prevent an Obama election” advice — advice TO THE RIGHT — sorta’ ushered in some sort of Rush disarray of mind (as also, advice).

I like some of his points raised, always have, but his overall cheerleading for failure justified by his strange theories based upon something like palm-reading really ruins his credibility.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I am glad all this krap is coming out now…instead of later!
Get it all behind us…then ‘pivot and focus like a laser’ on JugEars! /

KOOLAID2 on January 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

In reality, every week that goes by gives these jokesters one more opportunity for them to shoot another hole in the bottom of their own boat.

swamp_yankee on January 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

couldn’t agree with you more…the more you look at this pathetic bunch of losers (I appreciate your milder term ‘jocksters’, personally I think they are all basket cases), the more presidential Romney looks…

jimver on January 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Turns out he’s not that electable after all and it was one big myth. Instead of admitting that Romney has a huge blind spot with Bain, the Mittbots are lashing out like children towards Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman for being mean.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

:: world’s tiniest violin plays in the background of your woebegone tears for Ron Paul.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

It is a sad day when taking over a going concern, stripping it of equipment and ability to grow, running up unpayable debt, and finally going bankrupt and foisting it’s commitments off on taxpayers is called “capitalism”.
Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

If Romney took a steaming hot pile of horseshit, added some mayo and mustard to it and placed it in between two pieces of bread, T-Paw et al would call it a gourmet sandwich.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

These two idiots should be tarred and feathered, then forced to work at a buggy whip factory.

jan3 on January 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Good plan, very well thought-out.

Romney needs to stop whining. He’s dealt several low blows, and Bain’s practices are hardly the sum total of capitalism. Corporate raiders are bottom-feeders.

alwaysfiredup on January 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Or maybe I think Obama with a GOP House/Senate would be better than Romney with a Dem house/senate (after 2014).

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Why would you think that? Barky has made it perfectly clear that he’s going to do whatever the heck pops into that pea-brain of his … and the GOP has made it equally clear that they’re going to let Barky do whatever pops into that little pea-brain of his.

This nation is toast.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Exactly when is this little movie coming out?

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

:: world’s tiniest violin plays in the background of your woebegone tears for Ron Paul.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Huh? Ron Paul tears? Seriously WTF are you talking about?

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

If Romney took a steaming hot pile of horseshit, added some mayo and mustard to it and placed it in between two pieces of bread, T-Paw et al would call it a gourmet sandwich.

angryed on January 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

How much cash did Romney give Pawlenty again?

tetriskid on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Romney is being attacked by Republicans who are using the language of the left. Please link to the Romney SuperPAC ad where he does that to Gingrich.

alchemist19 on January 9, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Mr. Pawlenty,

Please run against Amy Klobuchar. You have the demeanor of a Senator, and, frankly, the Senate needs you.

SouthernGent on January 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Anyone who didn’t think that the subject of Bain was going to be detrimental to Romney wasn’t thinking at all.

This was inevitable.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Exactly when is this little movie coming out?

Cindy Munford on January 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I thought it was today myself… Newt thinks it has the goods on Bain. As much as I don’t want Newt for POTUS, I think he has something here. I’m interested in seeing it to find out if it proves Bain was venture or vulture.

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Anyone who didn’t think that the subject of Bain was going to be detrimental to Romney wasn’t thinking at all.

This was inevitable.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Exactly. When the Hades was this supposed to come out, Mitt fans? In the general election? I don’t think so!

Sekhmet on January 9, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Mitt attacked Perry’s “SS is a ponzi scheme” with “language from the left”. Remember the senior-scaring and fear-mongering he did?

Aslans Girl on January 9, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Yep. And Mittens wasn’t the only one. That was another embarrassing moment for humanity.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 9, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

There is a marked difference between being a capitalist and a corporate raider. Romney and Bain Capital were sometimes the latter.

Get used to class warfare because if Romney gets the nominee, class warfare is how Obama will attack him……being that Romney is one of the 1% Wall Street Insiders and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth!

Sparky5253 on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Bain or any other org. that purchases other companies in distress does what it needs to do to make a profit. If it involves liquidating assets, then that’s what you do. There’s nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with that nor is it an example of class-warfare.

Unfortunately, today’s Nanny State mentality assumes that a job means your name is in the will. It’s a job, not an adoption.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

If people getting rich by intentionally shutting down plants and factories and sending those jobs and capital overseas is conservatism, count me out. I’ll vote libertarian and continue to advocate for a smaller decentralized government.

Hostile Gospel on January 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Actually it’s libertarianism, not to get in the way of companies allocating their capital in a way that maximizes their investments.

Maybe the Republicans should just end all pretense and make a planned economy part of their plank?

MNHawk on January 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

I’m not going into details, but I know all about how companies like Bain operate. They aren’t all bad, and do some good things. But, they sometimes skirt the law to make the outcomes favorable for them, at the expense of what might be a salvageable company.

IOW, I might be a Pollyanna in some areas. This isn’t one of them.

kakypat on January 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

So why are you knocking Bain? Do you have some insight as a result of your experience that makes them one of those that “sometimes skirt(s) the law” instead of one that “do(es) good”?

And. what is “salvageable”?

M240H on January 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

i voting for paul, not because i believe everything that the old fart says, but because i want the party to head in that general ideological direction.

nathor on January 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

On domestic affairs, yes. On foreign affairs, no. In a primary, I might well vote for Paul. But in a general, I’ll vote for whoever runs on the GOP ticket against Øbama. The thing I fear most in 2012 is a second term for Barack Øbama.

Poll: Americans, 2-1, Fear Obama’s Reelection

HT: DRUDGE

petefrt on January 9, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Bain or any other org. that purchases other companies in distress does what it needs to do to make a profit. If it involves liquidating assets, then that’s what you do. There’s nothing inherently ‘wrong’ with that nor is it an example of class-warfare.

Unfortunately, today’s Nanny State mentality assumes that a job means your name is in the will. It’s a job, not an adoption.

Lourdes on January 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

That is fine.

Just don’t take bailouts while you are doing it.

Romney is worse than Obama. At least Obama is somewhat straight up about what he is doing.

tetriskid on January 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

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