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It pains me to say

It pains me to say

that both the Bain and tax return issues were entirely predictable and in fact predicted.

No sense piling on, but remaining silent might be worse.

Defenses of Bain which worked in the primaries — you hate capitalism — don’t necessarily work in the general.  Show why Bain was a positive force, and don’t get trapped in this silly argument over when Romney retired.

As to tax returns, why are we even in this position in mid-July? This reminds me of late December and late-March.  I’m not sure if it’s too late to change course; it might be, but it’s frustrating that what should have been a non-issue is issue no. 1 for Obama advertising.

For heaven’s sake, the Romney campaign should have been better prepared for this.

Get your act together, please.


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I would like to see a compilation of the federal taxes paid by companies into which Bain invested, after the Bain investments. That should compare nicely to the losses incurred to taxpayers through Obama’s “investments” of our money.

Way too predictable.

Three and a half months to save the world – time is running out. we know the democrats have a dynamite game plan and they have the media megaphone. We better have a plan and we better all get together.

We can fight with each other later. Get behind Romney. Don’t sit back and wait for him to say it – be the army that gets out and clears the path for him.

The primary goal of the GOP Establishment is not to win general elections. It is to crush conservatives during primaries.

If they succeed in that, winning the General is just icing on the cake. Anyone who threatens Washington’s graft and power structure is considered the real threat.

It is unimaginable, but the GOP considers Conservatives — their own base! — to be the real enemy.

    delicountessa in reply to CalMark. | July 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Here is a comment that was made by someone in a group that supports a brokered convention. This is the mindset of the GOP towards the people who are not happy about the disaster that is Romney:
    We arent your side. You are the red head stepchild at the family reunion. You sit at the table, eat the food, but everyone knows you arent really one of us.
    Angela, the primary is decided. At the convention Paul will get the delegates he earned in the first vote. Afterwards they dedlegate either join in or get left out- and the required percentage is lowered to accomodate that smaller number of delegates. You’ve run your course and been found wanting. You’re done.

    I largely agree with your point. We have all seen this coming and have feared it. Several elections ago here in Colo. the GOP insider candidate for Gov. Bob Beaupre was defined in a very hard primary. He then in the general election ran a cautious and poor campagn. He never had a chance as a result. In Colo this has happened time and again. This is the smell of the Romney campaign. It is always tomorrow that it will come out swinging.

      listingstarboard in reply to secondwind. | July 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      I have recently re-located to Colorado and while I mostly meet people who want Obama to lose I have yet to see a pro Romney TV ad–but Obama is running hideously negative and false ads against Romney quite often.

      CalMark in reply to secondwind. | July 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Reminds me of the McCain campaign, right before the last debate. His advisors were going around saying, “It’s gonna be Armageddon! McCain is REALLY gonna hit Obama in the next debate!”

      And then…nothing. McCain made some lukewarm, passionless assertions, Obama responded by snarling some lies, McCain folded his tents and stole away quietly, never to be heard from again.

      The rest, as they say, is history.

    logos in reply to CalMark. | July 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm


    The Establishment RINO governor of Tennessee is declared to be NO CONSERVATIVE.

    As reported, in the liberal rag, The Tennesseean

    “Rank-and-file Republicans, including some in the party’s suburban Nashville stronghold, have condemned Gov. Bill Haslam for policies that include the hiring of … Democrats and a Muslim-American lawyer.

    At least two western Tennessee chapters of the Tennessee Republican Party — and possibly as many as eight statewide — have passed resolutions saying Haslam has shown “a consistent lack of conservative values” and calling on state party leaders to sanction the governor.”

    The Brentwood, TN 912 group has purchased 1/2 page in the 7/20/2012 Tennessean to publish a Resolution to condemn Gov Haslam for the formation of a Muslim Advisory Council and appointing Samar Ali – fresh from the White House – to the Economic Development Council.

    Unfortunately, there is no recall provision in the Tennessee Constitution.

    As you say, the real enemy is the conservative base of the GOP.

      Bottom line point. Obama has never stopped campaigning. He and his media allies are definining the field. Romneys answer of waiting till the convention is a looser.

How can the Dems complain about Bain when Obama’s “stimulus” has left a trail of dead companies in its wake? I suppose they were “green” companies, so it’s noble that Obama tried, huh?

And how can they claim to be horrified when some Bain-connected companies went bust, but they can calmly see a “need” to shut off a few innocent (but inconvenient) lives every now and then? (And by “a few” I mean 55,000,000 – just in America.)

    Milwaukee in reply to RKae. | July 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    “How can the Dems complain about Bain when Obama’s “stimulus” has left a trail of dead companies in its wake? “

    With straight faces. Or ones twisted in anguish over how horrible Romney is.

    Noted: Pelosi made millions in Asia, and Debbie-the-disaster WhatshernameShultz also has money in Switzerland. What is she hiding? Is she guilty of felony corruption?

    logos in reply to RKae. | July 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    You ask:

    How can the Dems complain about Bain when Obama’s “stimulus” has left a trail of dead companies in its wake?

    Answer: It’s easy. The Dems can lie, and lie and lie again – because their voters do not think and are incapable of logic.

      Milwaukee in reply to logos. | July 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      The Dems don’t think. Remember a town in North Carolina which wanted to eliminate partisan city elections. Somebody in the “Justice” Department with a surname of King objected, because then African-American voters wouldn’t know who to vote for. Duh.

I don’t think the GOP is out to win this election, to be honest. They seem happy with letting the country become the next Greece.

I think that it is better to have O’bammy peak out now than late in the campaign. Almost every economic authority predicts the the economy will continue to worsen as time progresses and I think that the brain trust at Romney HQ knows this.

Best course would be to neutralize the dem’s convention and then put the pedal to the metal thereafter…

What is the problem…?
Romney has a remarkable record of success at Bain. He should proudly show it.

You may be right to be concerned, but I doubt it. I see the Romney campaign as exceptionally, sharp, prepared — and tough. They demonstrated a ruthless streak, as well as a smart grasp of timing, when they unloaded against Newt, as you doubtless remember.

A lot of people seem to be operating from the misguided premise that Obama was and is ripe for defeat if only a “tough” challenger would “take the fight to him,” etc. (even Charlie Cook!). But the fact is that while Obama has obvious vulnerabilities, he also has — and has had all along — important strengths. In the RCP average of matchups, Obama has led Romney by a couple or three points consistently since last October! — long before the GOP primaries. That is because Obama gets 45 percent of the prospective vote solely by virtue of being a Democrat and Black. Nothing short of a reprise of a severe recession will drive him below that floor.

The good news is that during the same nine months, Obama has not scored above 48 percent in the RCP average, and today, after his camp has fired as much as $100 million in negative ads at Mitt and Obama has stumped relentlessly, he is still stuck in the same place with Romney neck and neck with him (actually, I think accurate polling of likely voters would show Romney with an edge, but I can’t prove that).

To be sure, it is a truism that you cannot allow your opponent to “define” you, especially when you
are the less-well known non-incumbent. If that were happening to Romney to a degree that reduced his standing with voters, you would be crazy not to respond (although “respond” in this context does not necessarily mean you must answer whatever the New York Times says is the important question; more likely, it would mean running “positive” Romney ads and “comparative” ads contrasting Obama unfavorably in swing states). But there simply is no evidence in public polling that the Obama attacks have made a significant impact in MOVING VOTERS. There is, of course, some effect on voters’ perceptions of Romney. That is inevitable, and the sponsors of public polls make it a point to ask questions designed to spotlight whatever those effects might be. But the bottom line is that the Obama campaign has not moved the needle. And I suspect that the Romney campaign has been fielding their own tracking polls in key states where the Obama is running heavy ads and has a variety of response spots in the can, ready to beat back any actual movement of voters.

It is convenient to think of a national, post-primary campaign as having five more or less equally important phases (which obviously overlap): 1) The preliminaries through mid-summer, which includes the period when the audience is potential donors; 2) the conventions, when a candidate, expecially a non-incumbent, has the best opportunity to set the terms of the campaign favorably while being pretty much guaranteed a big audience of real voters; 3) the post-Labor Day engagement when the tempo of a campaign increases ten-fold and voters are beginning to pay attention; 4) the debates, which can make or break a candidate; 5) the wrap-up and GOTV operations.

As of today, we are still in phase 1. While it is possible for a candidate to effectively lose at this early stage, that is not happening to Romney.

Timing is everything in a national camoaign

    Tamminator in reply to JEBurke. | July 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    And don’t forget that the Obama campaign is spending money faster than they are bringing it in.

    Most people don’t pay attention until right before the election. That’s when the Romney pacs will atack.

    JEBurke in reply to JEBurke. | July 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    One more thing. Why is it that the Obama attacks have not actually resulted in moving votes? Sure, pollsters find that more people “know” that Bain did some arguably sketchy stuff, making some of them inclined to view Romney less favorably. But at the most, that has firmed up some of Obama’s support among Democratic leaners, and the matchup against Romney has not changed nationally, across the dozen swing states or within individual swing states (certainly not more than a point here or a point there in polls that have 3-4 percent margins of error). Why?

    I don’t really know but the answer may be the most obvious: the five to 10 percent of the electorate whose position could conceivably be changed…just…don’t…care. If so, and if this is the worst that Obama can put out there, he is in big trouble.

I admit to having some anxiety on this issue over the past week. Especially when I heard that clever (not a compliment) James Carville on Hannity last night…sowing these seeds, “…should be mad, this campaign is not doing it’s job…” Divide and conquer is not new and innovative.

There are good numbers happening in the field as the poster JEB noted above. We know what’s at stake here as Sarah Palin put it: The choice is big government or big freedom! We need Romney to get some people out there that can put it in a punch statement and not bore us to death with the droning logic (right as it is). Heard Portman this AM on FOX, nice man, smart, factual, articulute with all the passion of a prune. He’s saying all the right things and I’m feeling like I need to check him for a pulse.

With all due respect, that’s where I really feel what the Prof is feeling. I have a 19 yr old daughter who is anti the Obama message and she has friends that feel the same way (see Marist poll 60% of 18-24 yr olds believe taxes shoud belowered for ALL Americans) and where is there someone from the Romney top 10 to fire her and friends up and get them in the game?

And, for gosh sakes, if an old lady sitting in a fried corn field in Wisconsin saw this coming, you gonna tell me these professional campaign people can’t get their action time down on this stuff?

    SunnyJ in reply to SunnyJ. | July 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    ****Correcion: Marist Poll is 69% not 60% which is even more profound!

    CalMark in reply to SunnyJ. | July 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Unless you’re an “insider” from the get-go, from college onward (the “inside crowd” in a College Republicans group), they don’t want you.

    They’d rather lose an election than let in “uncool” kids from outside the “in-crowd.”

I say we just let Obama keep harping about tax returns and let the public get tired of the whining. Meanwhile, Romney should avoid that diversion and say that he has a country to save and mouths to feed.

The RNC definitely needs more compelling video out there. We need hundreds of testimonies of people – young and old, families and singles – taxpayers – who have made their way in America without asking government for a cent. I’ve done it. This would broaden the party’s appeal. And someone please give Karl Rove a long paid vacation. Sorry but we need youth up in front.

I am happy to see that Fox News is coming out with a Spanish station – MundoFox. It may be too late though, for the Hispanic voters to get a glimpse of the truth.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Sally Paradise. | July 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with Sally. Although the Romney guys could have been pro-active on this, although the Journo-Listers have dutifully jumped on the issue and tried to keep it front and center, I’m left scratching my head.
    This is the best they have?
    A 10 year old controversy asking if Romney was still running Bain while he was saving the Olympics?
    Ho. Hum.

    I’m going with “should I care how Romney spends his money or how Obama spends mine” on this one.

june beamer | July 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Some very good advice from those who were on the receiving end on the Obama bashing of Hillery:

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words:

This picture screams the reason Obama must be defeated in November.

    SunnyJ in reply to retire05. | July 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    That’s it…that’s exactly what is needed. That had immediate punch factor with wit and humor…and yet the ridiculous truth.

Jed Skillman | July 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Not only must Mitt Romney respond, he needs to respond with an element of wit. There is something inherently funny about this.

We all know that corporate America is riddled with high-paid executives who vote Democratic and donate money to Obama. Example: Yahoo just hired a Democratic fundraiser as their CEO. Does Yahoo outsource jobs? Do their employees drive American cars? Wear American clothes? Drink American wine? Vacation in America?

The attack on Bain Capital is an attack on business. At one point and earlier President stated that “the business of America is business”. What our current President is campaigning on a platform of “bite the hand that feeds”.

dorsaighost | July 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Not one vote will be lost by Romney holding onto his tax returns for a while longer …

The more money Obama spends trying to claim Romney is hiding something the better … Romney knows he’s not hiding anything so he has every incintive to wait for Obama to make some more outragious claims, allow the MSM to run with the ball and then release the returns that destroy the story line …

Doing what your opponent wants is usually not a good strategy …

Don’t forget if the MSM wasn’t asking about tax returns they would never stick a mic in Mitts face … he gets a chance to pivot to the economy everytime they ask him about returns … don’t answer the question and pivot … lather, rinse, repeat …

“For heaven’s sake, the Romney campaign should have been better prepared for this.”

At this point in our modern political history the fact the Republican Party (the party of liberty and limited government?!) cannot find, encourage and advance presidential candidates who know the Left cold and understand the mortal threat they pose to everything we value, and moreover are bristlingly prepared to fight them — to take the fight to them offensively on EVERY front — is unspeakably sad and even tragic.

Romney is doing nothing more than what anybody who knows him could have predicted he would do. Absolutely no surprises here.

Airtight and aggressive narrative defenses of Bain should have been readied long ago; overwhelming and withering attacks on Obama’s surrounding soft sides put in motion from the day the nomination was in the bag right up until election day. This isn’t even about winning an election anymore; it’s about saving a country. This should be the operative, urgent and militant mission of
any self-respecting Republican.

There is absolutely no excuse for anything less. None.

So what is the problem? Is it ignorance? Cluelessness? Incompetence? Or just total cowardice, a fear of the Left and the media, a desperate sphincter-squeezing, hand-wringing effort not to stir up their fearsome hornet’s nest? Whatever it is, it’s far too familiar and depressing.

Romney wants to win by crossing his fingers and killing the clock. No, actually, he doesn’t want to win. He wants Obama to lose.

I think Romney will still win. But it’s good to remember what you’ll getting when he does. A non-winner and a coward.

When Bain dies down the MSM will pull out the next “scandal” in the queue. There will always be a “next”, and there will alwsys be a need for explaining, except from Obama.

Whether we think Romney and his advisers are being tactical in not marshaling a bigger and better response to the Bain criticism and false felon charges, or they are showing their ineptitude in not having an effective response is beyond the point.

What the Romney camp needs to do is telegraph to his supporters and potential supporters that he’s not going to take this lying down. The dog days of August are early, so get your dog in the fight, Mitt! Make news. Drop a bombshell. Change the current media narrative. Pick up the phone and call Sarah Palin & invite her to the convention, embrace the Tea party, name your VP – and then at the convention, introduce your cabinet (at least the big 3 or 4)… do something BIG! Now!

jimzinsocal | July 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Its easy to get irritated with what I guess we call the Romney campaign. And lets face it..most of us are political junkies to one degree or another and pay attention to what we see and read. MSM and Memorandum etc. After the apparent “beating” Romney has taken over the past week or so…we really do need to remind ourselves..

Obama spent 100 million for this result

This tells me..despite the James Carvilles and other “expert” opinion?
Where’s the beef?

But were still apt to feel…well…not real up at the moment.
We have a basically untested guy in Romney. We dont know what he’s capable of when we get to the convention and beyond. If this were something like a heavyweight fight wed like to think Romney is our Ali…but we havent seen his stuff really.
The closest weve seen from Romney to an actual punch at the Champ was his going on all the media to bitch about Obama last Friday. And that was basically a yawn.

At the same time I realize Romney cant unleash heavy ammo until after the Convention. I get that.
But lets go Romney.
At least convince us that that indeed you have some combinations that will put the Champ on the canvas.
We were all told you were the best choice.
Obama is handing you ammunition just about everyday. Use it.

You are right on that. The last thing Obama wants is for he constantly a point or two Romney all summer, which is where he’s be if he hadn’t blown a 100 million wad. Let’s also not forgot those polls are all either of just “adults” or “registered voters”, which skew Democrat already.

I truly hope all the latest malarkey coming from Obama is sound and fury signifying nothing – nothing but desperation, that is.

Now I am in the uncomfortable position of disagreeing with Prof Jacobson. I don’t see any value in Romney releasing any more tax returns than is necessary. Not while Obama keeps so many things hidden. They can scream all they want but Romney shouldn’t budge on this.

The Bain issue just needs to be cleared up by September. Mow is the time to keep picking away at the Hope and Change/likeability aura that Obama has crafted. Drive his negatives way up. Obama is already his worst enemy. Ordinary people are going to recoil from some of the things he says.

I still think the Romney campaign remains in very good position and that we have seen the high water mark for Obama. I noted that today’s Marist Poll which had the president up +2 was a RV screen. That is not good news for Obama.

Romney just needs to tighten the screws a wee bit harder each week and he will be in the driver’s seat by mid October.

But the panic that some of you show is a little funny. The media is going to make you think this race is close when it isn’t.

    I don’t think Professor Jacobson is saying Romney should have released his tax records. He’s saying that since Newt Gingrich went hard after Bain controversy, and the tax records were already a small – but growing – issue, Team Romney had a season (4 months) to develop a strategy when these would come up again.

    It’s like they thought since these issues came up once, they weren’t to come back. If they thought that, then Team Romney’s heads were at best buried in the sands (but in actuality a biological orifice). They’re not up against principled conservatives, Republican, and a wacky Libertarian anymore. Romney’s campaign is going up against the bloodiest, dirtiest street fighters for the Presidency for at least the last century. The communists and socialists know exactly what is at stakes. Romney needs to up his game.

    He needs to fire people, and hire different talent if his advisers are telling him to keep his powder dry.

      PhillyGuy in reply to McCoy2k. | July 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      McCoy, what would you like to see Romney do? Today he sharpened his stump speech to include more direct attacks to force Obama to play defense. Also, more and more surrogates are coming out to counter the Bain garbage.

      What more would you suggest?I suppose the SuperPacs could start spending in the swing states but that is precious money.

      What kinds of tactics are you thinking about?

I will add that nominating Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan as VP would be a real strong move by Romney. Conversely, nominating Condoleeza Rice would seal his defeat. After seeing Rob Portman speak a few times, I would question whether he has enough fire in him to add value to the ticket.

Bunch of sissies.

Let Obama whine. Let Debbie Downer whine. There is no reason to believe any of this has stuck at all, Romney is NOT “being defined” by it. This is just inside the beltway/political junkie crap.

It is the summer vacation season. The swing voters who will decide the election won’t even start focusing on the race until after Labor Day – at the earliest: recent Presidential elections have shown that half of these voters decide in the last 30 days, and as many as 25% within the last week.

Yet all these supposedly manly conservatives are wringing their hands and sobbing like little girls who lost their dollies.

Cowboy the Fluke up.

    There is an energy that must be created in your base that will impel the rest of the electorate. Conservatives are so angry at Romney’s fecklessness to date (and the GOP leadership’s, exemplified by a lox named John Boehner), that the energy from the base is actually in the negative.

    The “independents” supposedly sitting on the sidelines are going follow the “stronger” candidate, based on rather shallow standards. Right now, Obama is the Hollywood devil they know, and Romney is the ‘clueless rich guy.’ What an awful state of affairs.

jimzinsocal | July 17, 2012 at 2:31 pm

^^Agree and we need to stop reading this slop as well. This silly Pharoahizing of Obama by liberal weenies like this. Its all sounding like Harrison Bergeron.–he-can-start-with-college-sports.html?_esi=1

Sorry for OT but I was looking for knitting needles for my eyes and had to regain sanity.

Take Pat Caddell’s advice- then do a document dump- how about the past forty-five years? Dammit, Mitt, DO NOT GET INTO REPUBLICAN ORIGINAL GUILT OVER HAVING MADE A FORTUNE AND USING EXPENSIVE TAX LAWYERS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY LOOPHOLE.
You’ve already said that the tax code needs a complete overhaul (only the tax lawyers will hate that) and some of those tax rules must have been the result of the Clinton administration.

Pound on 0bama for his documents. Where are those college transcripts, and the college applications? The 0 has been hiding much more. Pound on all those inconsistencies in his autobiography.

Can I sue the publisher in small claims court for the price of my book? I thought I was buying an autobiography, not a fictionalized account of somebody’s upbringing.

Let the Dems bitch about Romney’s tax returns all they want. Apparently the IRS hasn’t had any issues with them. If he gives up a decade worth of returns tomorrow they’ll just move on to another manufactured controversy. The Dems don’t really care what’s in Romney’s returns. They simply want to keep his campaign in a defensive posture. They’ve already gone through the family dog, Bain and tax returns… all thoroughly predictable and with three months still to go. Wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they make hair dye an issue at some point… and there will certainly be some Republicans urging Romney to immediately make his barber available for interrogation. Unless Romney has some really big skeletons in his closet the Dems are dangerously close to flaming out with way too much campaign time left.

Right now the Obama campaign’s biggest asset (Obama himself) is just babbling like a buffoon. Even his most devout supporters have to be wincing at these new teleprompter-free speeches. See any prominent Dems lining up for photo ops? Romney’s polling is doing fine. He needs to hold his own with the MSM for six more weeks, then turn the PACs and surrogates loose on Obama at a point where Obama’s cash-strapped campaign is most vulnerable.

    Tamminator in reply to Merlin. | July 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Exactly right! Why engage this early and waste your campaign dollars?

    Any time the leftist media screams that Romney is not fighting back, they are telling us what THEY WANT HIM to do.

    Jeez, hasn’t the right figured this out by now?

1). The head of the OMB is from Bain, as is his wife.
2). Today’s WSJ has a wonderful article by Andy Kessler–“The Incredible Bain Machine”. Pull it up, I can never paste a link on my iPad : (

Amateurs and the faint-of-heart are running the Romney campaign.

They should be so busy slamming softballs out of the park ( — that is, the easy attacks against the bad joke of the Obama presidency)that none of this stupid noise against him would even be heard.

If he is miraculously elected, political chaos fostered by the left will continue to ensue, left unabated by Romney. If he can’t lick it now — or won’t — he won’t do it later.

Patriot Dan | July 17, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I agree with Milwaukee – “Pound on Obama for his documents.” It is my understanding BHO sealed all of his records when he became president. How long did it take for a “birth” certificate to be published?

Somebody needs to push back on the release of records. It would not be kosher here to say the pot calling the kettle b***k (which could lead to another racism charge) but people need to understand the administration that was going to be the most transparent in history is now asking Romney to do what they have been unwilling to do in so many ways -release records.

I believe the good “ole” American people need to understand that many of the liberals do not operate according to what is normally thought of as right and wrong but want to apply standards to others which they don’t abide by themselves.

Professor, I have followed you for a long time and your blog is one of the first I look at whenever I go online and then I go to the “Blogs I Read” to get inspiration. Thanks for all you do.

BannedbytheGuardian | July 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Yes there is a full on attack over Bain

How far have Americans gone that they have forgotten it used o be a mark of honour to set aside a successful business career temporarily to go & fix something of national emergency.

Now these people are supposed to just give everything up rather than delegate the running of their companies. They are to be denied the status of CEO of the company they developed ?

Whatever happen to ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but ….

Hopefully some will see the coming Olympics & think hey SLC was a pretty FBD. It was a major achievement by Romney & the Bush Admin to get through that after 9/11.