8 p.m. ET on Fox News. Actually, it’s too late to get ready: They taped it this afternoon. But here’s your thread in case you’re one of the three people in America who’s watching this tonight instead of the final battle of good and evil in Foxboro. The best reason to tune in, in fact, isn’t the candidates’ answers but rather to see how the GOP’s class warrior of Campaign 2008 handles the questioning on Bain. Remember when he used to say of Romney, “Americans want a president who looks like the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off?” Apparently he’s warming up to the idea of the latter:
Romney has come under a lot of fire for Bain Capital’s investments in some companies that were then scaled down with layoffs to become profitable. That’s been demonized thoroughly by the media as corporate raiding, But it’s surprising to see so many Republicans embrace that leftwing argument against capitalism. It’s terrible for the workers who lose their jobs, and nobody likes to see viable companies looted and destroyed. But if downsizing can turn around a failing company, then at least it prevents all the jobs from being lost, and it sets up a stronger company that can grow and start rehiring. The term for this among people who aren’t hostile to capitalism is “creative destruction.” Bad companies have to die to make way for stronger companies, in the same way that old trees fall over to make way for new trees. The other alternative, the Obama way, is to use vast amounts of taxpayer money to prop up companies that are failing in the marketplace. Sometimes, with a big enough cash transfusion, they survive, like GM. Other times, all the money in the world can’t stop them from going belly-up and losing all their jobs, like Solyndra. But at least when a company that’s bought out by investors goes bankrupt, the money that’s lost was voluntarily invested, not taken from taxpayers at gunpoint.
Watching Mike Huckabee get indignant on behalf of Mitt Romney over a blue-collar attack on Wall Street would be a television moment made of pure spun gold. Especially since stories like this are just now starting to appear in South Carolina newspapers.
Rep. Tim Scott is co-moderating, so there’s another reason to watch: You’re likely to get some tea-party-flavored questions, possibly involving RomneyCare, that you won’t get at the Fox News debate on Monday or the CNN debate on Thursday. Feel free to use this as a thread for the forum or for the big game. Here’s some video to put you in the mood for either, or both.
Update: Oh my:
At a forum hosted by Mike Huckabee with 800 undecided South Carolina Republicans, Newt Gingrich was loudly booed when he criticized Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, according to a Republican who attended the closed-press event.
“They were really angry,” said the attendee. The forum will be aired on Fox News tonight.