Richochet linked to MoveOn's new, anti-Mitt Romney ad with the comment that “it’s fairly…devastating.”
It features a former steelworker in Kansas City who lost his job because Bain Capital, the investment company Romney co-founded, bought the mill and ultimately closed it.
“We lost our jobs, and they made millions,” the steelworker says. “Mitt Romney likes to call himself a job creator. He doesn’t care about jobs. He cares about money.”
Another Ricochet post includes the history of the closing of the steel mill, and it wasn’t pretty. It was a bitter experience for the crusty old fellow featured on the advertisement and many more people like him.
But I don’t think it is as devastating as Ricochet does–-if Romney can respond properly.
Maybe I am being naïve, but I think Romney can make the point that, capitalism being what it is, some jobs are lost. But if the system is allowed to work, not stifled by taxes and regulations that drive companies abroad, other jobs will be created. Capitalism is not static but it promotes prosperity better than any other system.
If Romney is the GOP candidate, he is going to have to be able to mount a defense of capitalism. It is going to have to be convincing and perhaps even inspiring. In a way, this would be somehow fitting during an election that is about the size of government as much as any other issue.
On the more practical side, surely, the Romney campaign can round up some folks who got jobs because of Bain. If it can't, he really does have a problem.
Still, you can probably meet people who owe their jobs to Bain Capital the next time you stop by your nearest Stapes.
This just in: A friend emails me with an interesting observation. The steelworker was probably wrong about Bain's making millions on closing the mill. Since it was a failed venture, Bain probably lost millions. But that doesn't fit in with the robber baron narrative–and, to be certain, Bain's losses were far less painful than the steelworker's loss.