There’s a new villain in the Republican race for the party’s presidential nomination, and its name is business. More specifically, the villain has become GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and his record at private equity firm Bain Capital, a company the former Massachusetts governor started in 1984. Since his decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, Gov. Romney has come under attack from rivals such as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (who, according to the Wall Street Journal, has dropped out of the race today), and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
On the campaign trail in South Carolina last week, Perry accused Romney’s Bain Capital of practicing “vulture capitalism,” saying that it destroyed people’s lives and was a “get-rich-quick scheme” designed to make a quick profit. Gingrich took his anti-Romney, anti-Bain Capital attacks to a whole other level. A Gingrich-supporting “Super PAC” went Hollywood on Romney, producing a slick 28-minute video that portrayed Romney as a ruthless Gordon Gekko-like corporate raider that swooped down and preyed on companies, fired all of their employees, and then parceled off the carcass for a quick buck.
This anti-business line of attack from Perry and Gingrich is a risky strategy, as it sounds more like rhetoric from an Occupy Wall Street rally than it does talking points in a GOP primary. Unfortunately, the attacks also show an incredible lack of knowledge about the role of private equity firms in the marketplace. Read