January 10th, 2012
08:34 PM ET
“He's deliberately bankrupted companies, dismantled them, shipped jobs overseas, fired people for profit.” Can you guess who lodged that attack against Mitt Romney? Was it DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich?
Maybe this one’s easier. “We know of one case for sure where they put in $30 million, they took out $180 million, six times as much, and the company went broke. Now what was the judgment and the character?….I think that is a legitimate question to ask somebody who wants to be President of the United States.”
Hard to tell? The first is indeed from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC, which expects Mitt Romney to become the Republican nominee, is working overtime to define him as a job killing Wall Street downsizer.
The second is from free market Republican Newt Gingrich appearing on John King USA.
When Democrats make such an attack they’re often accused by the GOP of being anti-business. But now it looks like they’ll have ground cover from the GOP – because Gingrich isn’t alone.
Doesn’t that sound a bit like top Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod, on ABC’s This Week: “They closed down more than 1,000 plants, stores and offices. They outsourced tens of thousands of jobs, and they took 12 companies to bankruptcy. And on those bankruptcies, he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Gingrich also helpfully explained a distinction President Obama has been trying to make for months – that being critical of Wall Street isn’t the same as being a socialist: “Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe that, in fact, the whole goal of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation, would find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1,700 families without a job.”
Mitt Romney says he can take the incoming fire, though he tweaked his fellow Republicans for adopting the Democrats’ line, saying, “I thought it was going to come from the President and the Democrats from the left, but instead it's coming from Speaker Gingrich and apparently others. You know, that's just part of the process. I'm not worried about that.”
Some Republicans tell CNN they think these broadsides from the other candidates are good preparation for a general election should Romney win the nomination. No doubt he’ll get worse from President Obama.
But Rush Limbaugh and the Club for Growth are calling on the other candidates to stop.
Top democrats admit that the GOP attacks are helping the DNC do its job which is to challenge Romney’s central case for the presidency – that he’s a jobs creator.