CNN anchor to Obama spokesman: You’re smearing Romney with this Bain attack ad, you know; Update: Obama bundler tired of “vilification” of the rich

posted at 7:45 pm on May 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’m kind of torn on this one. On the one hand, she seems as much offended by the idea of campaign attacks generally as by the specifics of the attack on Bain and Romney. When you invite a paid flack on to shill for his candidate, don’t be surprised when he won’t concede the point that their entire line of messaging on Romney’s background in private equity is illegitimate. On the other hand, a defense of business as dogged and full-throated as this on mid-day cable news is a welcome surprise. All she’s really doing, ultimately, is asking him to contextualize the attack on Romney over GST Steel. He wasn’t a corporate raider; Bain took over these companies, tried to build them, and sometimes — but not always — failed. What’s the problem? And did this guy actually offer as a criticism of Mitt, “The goal here wasn’t job creation, it was wealth creation for himself and his partners”? Hello?

Actually, I think Team Hopenchange is okay with wealth creation so long as you’re sharing that wealth with The One:

On Monday night Mr. Obama spoke at a fund-raiser at the Manhattan home of Tony James, the president of the private-equity giant, the Blackstone Group. Attendees, many from the private-equity world, paid $35,800 a head for the privilege of dining with the President who purports to loathe Wall Street when he isn’t asking its greedy denizens to redistribute their wealth to his campaign. Mr. James donated the legal maximum of $35,800 to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee in November 2011.

This is the same private-equity business the Obama campaign is now smearing as morally repugnant when undertaken by Mitt Romney. On Monday Team Obama rolled out a two-minute television ad focusing on a steel company that was bought and eventually shuttered by Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that Mr. Romney founded…

Asked about the attack on Mr. Romney, deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said yesterday the President isn’t “questioning private equity as a whole.” But that wasn’t the message as recently as April, when Team Obama posted on a website a list of eight private citizens who were Romney donors and whom it said had “less than reputable records.”

A friend e-mailed with a good point in response to yesterday’s post praising Mitt for hitting back so quickly after Obama launched his first Bain attack ad. Simply put, why didn’t Mitt hit first? Why didn’t he push the Bain issue out there unprompted as an intro to the general electorate, as part of his resume on job creation? He knew that O would hit him on this eventually so it wasn’t a matter of preempting an attack that might never come. And he’s been dealing with Bain-related sniping from Democrats for nearly 20 years so he has a finely honed sense of how they’re going to attack him. (In fact, compare and contrast Obama’s Bain ad to the one Ted Kennedy ran.) No sense waiting around to let your opponent define you.

Update: Does this guy also invest with an eye to wealth creation for himself rather than job creation for others? Tsk tsk:

Don Peebles, a Miami real estate executive who has raised more than $100,000 for the president’s campaign this cycle, told BuzzFeed “I think it’s difficult to attack or demonize an industry and then take money from it.”

“I think it’s inconsistent,” he added. “I wonder why the leaders of that industry are supporting him.”…

“Any type of attack and vilification of a particular industry is not okay to begin with,” he said…

A spokesman for Peebles reached out to BuzzFeed to set up the interview — saying he is growing concerned by the growing influence of wealthy in campaigns on both sides of the aisle.


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