Newt may have started the trend of going after Mitt Romney for his work at Bain Capital, but it looks like Rick Perry is sensing an opportunity and hopping on the bandwagon. At a recent appearance he unleashed some quotes of his own, going after Mitt for being heartless enough to lay off workers.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry picked up the attacks on Mitt Romney this morning, trying to capitalize off the former Bain Capital executive’s comment that he once feared getting a pink slip.
“Now I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips,” Perry told the crowd at Mama Penn’s restaurant.
Perry laid into Romney for heading a company which Perry alleged eliminated hundreds of South Carolina jobs.
“There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business and I happen to think that’s indefensible,” said Perry. “If you’re a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain, because he caused it.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I really haven’t been able to get behind this line of attack since it first came up. I could see if this argument was taking place among Democrats trying to garner favor with the unions, but it seems like Mitt has a fairly simply response to this. We live in a free market system where there are winners and losers, and the government doesn’t get to pick which is which. In some cases, companies where Romney brought the ax down wound up turning around and flourishing. Others simply turned out not to be viable.
The Wall Street Journal has an analysis of all the companies Bain got involved with. It indicates a record which is admittedly hit and miss over a very long period of time, but did wind up producing an overall positive return on investment.
Newt and Perry might get some traction from pointing out that Bain charged these companies very large management fees for their services, which in some cases still resulted in the companies going under, but nobody forced them to hire Bain in the first place. All in all, it just sounds like something that could backfire on candidates looking to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility.