WaPo: Four Pinocchios to Team Obama for “corporate raider” slur

posted at 12:06 pm on June 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

One would think that Team Obama would have learned a lesson from its previous attempt to demonize private equity, which flopped so badly that even its own surrogates defended Mitt Romney’s “sterling business career.”  Instead, the Obama campaign shifted its attack slightly and called Romney a “corporate raider.”  Apparently, everything Barack Obama and his team know about the investment community they learned from Wall Street, and every private-equity executive is simply Gordon Gekko in better attire.  Glenn Kessler rips the charge in his latest fact-check at the Washington Post:

In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered renowned corporate raiders such as Carl Icahn and his ilk. We also have closely studied Bain Capital, and can find no examples that come close to this situation; its deals were done in close association with management. Indeed, Bain generally held onto its investments for four or five years, in contrast to the quick bust-em-ups of real corporate raiders. So calling Romney a “corporate raider” is a real stretch.

So how does the Obama campaign justify this phrase? It cites a single Reuters story from last August, about a campaign stop in New Hampshire, written by a stringer, Jason McLure, who was previously based in Africa. Buried in the article is a reference to Romney as a “former corporate raider.”

“Reuters typically refers to Romney as a ‘former private equity executive’ or something along those lines,” said Ros Krasny, the Boston bureau chief.  “Of the hundreds of times we have referenced Romney over the past year or more, honestly, that example from Jason must have just slipped through the net — 10 months ago.”

Maybe Team O should have checked with its own surrogates first before making the Gekko argument … especially since one of them had already spoken explicitly against it:

 A better source for Romney’s behavior as an investor might be someone who actually worked on Wall Street, such as former Obama auto czar Steven Rattner. “Bain Capital is not now, nor has it ever been, some kind of Gordon Gekko-like, fire-breathing corporate raider that slashed and burned companies, immolating jobs wherever they appear in its path,” Rattner wrote in Politico this year.

Kessler has a lengthy rebuttal to specific charges about Romney’s record in Massachusetts, which he had earlier given two Pinocchios, so be sure to read it all.  He also explains that the Obama campaign heard that Kessler was about to rip them and tried to convince him to rethink his appraisal.  Maybe they should rethink their approach to the campaign.  They had an arguable point, at least, when they shifted the Bain attack to the idea that a sterling career in private equity isn’t a qualification for the presidency … but that left a huge opening about Obama’s own qualifications for the job, too, and at least Romney had a full term as governor under his belt before running for the office.

In the end, the pitch to Kessler to rethink his rating flopped rather spectacularly:

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.

No, but it keeps making Obama’s hostility and ignorance towards Wall Street and investors more and more plain.  After watching this ad, any undecideds in the financial industry had to be thinking that Obama might be coming after Romney today, but tomorrow, it might be them.

Update: I changed the headline from “Obama” to “Team Obama” to make it more clear.


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0bama is a schmuck.

UltimateBob on June 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Are you saying Obama lied? When has he ever????

The Rogue Tomato on June 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Why doesn’t the Obama campaign start running on his presidential record?

Oh, right.

Socratease on June 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Looks like another entry for the amateur of the week award. What a bunch of dolts.

GCStateConservative on June 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Ouch!!

canopfor on June 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

YOU LIE.

Good Lt on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Anybody that has anything of value is a criminal according to this regime. This is the most un-Americam administration ever.

VegasRick on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Axelrod is scum. Pure scum.

rubberneck on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

These guys aren’t handling adversity very well.

forest on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Please tell me again: Exactly what did Obama major in at Harvard?

It wasn’t law, obviously, and it definitely had nothing to do with business.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Politifact would disagree
/

cmsinaz on June 21, 2012 at 12:13 PM

When you’ve lost WaPo’s Fact Checker………..

Bitter Clinger on June 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Scorched earth politics.

Wonder who Bammie will hang with after he’s booted out? Well, besides Ayers. And don’t tell me his dog Bo, he probably sleeps with one eye open.

fogw on June 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Now might be a good time for Bammy to hold a fundraiser and ask for donations from Wall Street, just to show there are no hard feelings.

a capella on June 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Obama and his team really have lost it. The campaign appears to be in total disarray and is grasping at just about anything it can to shift the focus away from Obama.

MobileVideoEngineer on June 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct.

You’ll have to pardon Team Obama. Evidently Joseph Goebbels is working for them.

And every time they repeat a lie, they can later claim it as “another source”.

GarandFan on June 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Please tell me again: Exactly what did Obama major in at Harvard?

It wasn’t law, obviously, and it definitely had nothing to do with business.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

professional agitator.

VegasRick on June 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Obama and his team really have lost it. The campaign appears to be in total disarray and is grasping at just about anything it can to shift the focus away from Obama.

MobileVideoEngineer on June 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

O/T There’s another Michigan poll out today putting the race at Obama 47, Romney 46. Clearly another outlier.

steebo77 on June 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Four Pinocchios to Obama

Someone please explain to that Kenyan idiot that the expression “pants on fire” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does.

Archivarix on June 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Why doesn’t the Obama campaign start running on his presidential record?

Oh, right.

Socratease on June 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

This can’t be said enough…What a joke.

‘Hey, I’ve been an epic failure for the last 4 years. How about 4 more??’

BigWyo on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Maybe Team O should have checked with its own surrogates first…

Update: I changed the headline from “Obama” to “Team Obama”…

How about: “the O Team”? You know, the ones following the “A Team” and the “B Team” and– the 15th string players.

de rigueur on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Even Gordon Gecko wouldn’t make his dog surf on a station-wagon going 70 on the highway.

Second look at Gekko.

CorporatePiggy on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You’ll have to pardon Team Obama. Evidently Joseph Goebbels is working for them.
GarandFan on June 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I’m sure they have a stack of pardons all drawn up and ready to go.

Flange on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Please tell me again: Exactly what did Obama major in at Harvard?

It wasn’t law, obviously, and it definitely had nothing to do with business.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Like everything else in life, it was given to him. He probably showed up once in a while, rabble roused a little and then he was graduated. I doubt if he actually handed in any papers or if he did they are a mess, which is why we’re never going to see them.

There is very little that Obama actually has worked for and earned in his life, so why would he start now. Why do you think his presidency and now re-election (where results and work matter) is such a debacle.

It’s only going to get worse and more embarrassing. Stock up on popcorn.

It’s only going to get uglier

kim roy on June 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I saw this ad last night on Philly cable TV and I was spitting mad. They ran crap like this against Pat Toomey and it helped to narrow that race considerably. Low-information voters are very susceptible to this sort of deception.

rockmom on June 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

These guys aren’t handling adversity very well.

forest on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I shudder to speculate on how SippyCup & BiteMe would respond to a 9/11-scale type of attack. Methinks that SippyCup would just up & leave, delegating from afar…

SnarkySam on June 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

There is very little that Obama actually has worked for and earned in his life, so why would he start now. Why do you think his presidency and now re-election (where results and work matter) is such a debacle.

It’s only going to get worse and more embarrassing. Stock up on popcorn.

It’s only going to get uglier

kim roy on June 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I couldn’t agree more. It’s comparable to a large corporation putting a sixth-grader in the CEO office and actually telling him that he can run the thing. The wheels are coming off. I just hope the damage he’s done isn’t irreparable.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM

“On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue…”

Other than that, it’s ok, right??

BacaDog on June 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Please tell me again: Exactly what did Obama major in at Harvard?

It wasn’t law, obviously, and it definitely had nothing to do with business.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

…JugEars is a reflection of the trolls in here!

KOOLAID2 on June 21, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Someone please explain to that Kenyan idiot that the expression “pants creases on fire” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does.

Archivarix on June 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

pain train on June 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Apparently, everything Barack Obama and his team know about the investment community they learned from Wall Street

ED – You don’t know how right you actually are.

budfox on June 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

liar liar pants on fire

Terrye on June 21, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Why doesn’t the Obama campaign start running on his presidential record?

Oh, right.

Socratease on June 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

If he doesn’t run on it, rest assured that Romney will!!

VelvetElvis on June 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Even Gordon Gecko wouldn’t make his dog surf on a station-wagon going 70 on the highway.

Second look at Gekko.

CorporatePiggy on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Did Gecko, just like Obama, have a taste for dog meat?

Gladtobehere on June 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

I couldn’t agree more. It’s comparable to a large corporation putting a sixth-grader in the CEO office and actually telling him that he can run the thing. The wheels are coming off. I just hope the damage he’s done isn’t irreparable.

AubieJon on June 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I believe that an intelligent, responsible 11 year old would do a better job than Obama.

Gladtobehere on June 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Did Gecko, just like Obama, have a taste for dog meat?

Gladtobehere on June 21, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Of course he did.

And he had very sharp creases in his pants.

CorporatePiggy on June 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Maybe they were listening to Speaker Gingrich

“Capitalism made America great. Free markets, innovation, hard work. The building blocks of the American dream. But in the wrong hands, some of those dreams can turn into nightmares. Wall Street’s corporate raiders made billions of dollars.”
Transcript of Gingirich superPac ad against Romney
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/09/gingrich_super_pac_ad_romney_a_predatory_corporate_raider_and_scavenger.html

plewis on June 21, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I think one of Mitt’s friends should buy a sports franchise and rename it “The Corporate Raiders”. Doesn’t even matter what sport its in. Pure gold Jerry…

CitizenEgg on June 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Even Gordon Gecko wouldn’t make his dog surf on a station-wagon going 70 on the highway.

Second look at Gekko.

CorporatePiggy on June 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

For certain neither Gecko nor Romney ate dogs like Obama did. In what stupid world you still live not to notice that even Obama the fool does not dare o use the Romney dog story anymore after he was exposed in his own book that he ate dogs.

mnjg on June 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Whoever wrote the ad should be encouraged. We can use the entertainment. I think laughing at them does more damage to them than being angry.

It should be easy to point out that there is nothing wrong with making billions as long as all the transactions leading to it are not the result of coercion or illegal activity.

If I were president, I’d cut 20% out of everybody’s paycheck along with getting rid of the useless departments. And that would cut jobs in a useful way. If government employees don’t like it, so what? They don’t have to work for us.

zonataman on June 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Hey, everyone except DummycRATs knows that Obastard is just a LYIN’ SACK OF CRAP!?!

Colatteral Damage on June 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM