First, who is Newt Gingrich, whose entire life has been in politics, academia, and self-promotion, to offer judgment on how businesses are or should be run? Gingrich’s qualifications in this area are little better than Barack Obama’s, but at least Gingrich’s self-promotion was done a few times through for-profit companies which appear, in total, to have hired a few dozen people — and fired some of them when Gingrich Communications was shut down last year when Newt announced his campaign. I don’t buy into the idea that a business decision is better if it helps others more than it helps you, but at least Romney’s job firings were done to protect the jobs of others as well as the investments of those who trusted Romney. Newt fired people just so he could run for office. What’s good for the goose, Newt?
And by the way, Newt, what “style of investment” do you want to recommend as comporting with your holier-than-thou approach to business ethics — one that perhaps does not require trading on political influence and connections the rest of us don’t have, and which were not the foundation of Mitt Romney’s financial success (quite different from, for example, collecting $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for “advice as a historian”)?
Second, is it an appropriate question to ask, especially for a conservative? Shouldn’t the right question be, “Did Romney do what he promised his investors he would do, while staying within the law?” Is Mr. Gingrich suggesting that Romney should have treated investors — to whom he had a fiduciary duty — worse in order to live up to Gingrich’s cynical implications regarding the morality of business?