Voters are paying attention. The more they learn about Romney’s experience at Bain Capital, including overseeing the outsourcing of American jobs, the less they believe he is really committed to creating American jobs.
If you listen to the chattering class in Washington and New York, Mitt Romney’s career as a corporate buyout specialist couldn’t possibly be an issue that voters care about. In fact, they argue that this narrative is actually hurting President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Of course, if you listen to actual voters, you get a different perspective. In battleground states all over the country, the American people are finding that the more they learn about Romney’s career at Bain Capital, the less there is to like about him. While Romney counts this business experience as his primary qualification for his candidacy, shipping jobs overseas, slashing benefits and bankrupting companies isn’t what voters are looking for in a president.
The argument all along has been simple. Romney put profits for himself and his investors ahead of American jobs, even investing in companies that were pioneers in shipping American jobs overseas. As a corporate raider, he loaded companies up with debt before bankrupting some and made millions of dollars for Romney and his partners while thousands of middle-class workers lost their jobs. He counts this business experience as his primary experience to be president—but that experience included shipping American jobs overseas. On the campaign trail, he claims to support American jobs, but as a corporate raider he made a fortune helping companies send jobs overseas. Romney doesn’t care about American jobs.
Romney would eliminate U.S. taxes on companies’ foreign profits, giving them more incentive to move offshore. He’d also raise taxes on hardworking families to pay for budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest.
And voters are paying attention. Recent battleground state polling suggests voters aren’t interested in Romney’s corporate raider vision for the country. The more they learn about Romney’s experience at Bain Capital, including overseeing the outsourcing of American jobs, the less they believe he is really committed to creating American jobs. And they are right.
A recent NBC/WSJ poll found that President Obama is widening his lead in battleground states, just as voters begin to learn more about Romney’s business experience. Specifically, the poll found that attitudes about Romney’s business experience are more unfavorable in these states. “Among swing-state respondents, 18 percent say what they’ve seen and heard about Romney’s business record gives them a more positive opinion about the Republican candidate, versus 33 percent who say it’s more negative,” according to NBC’s First Read blog.
Similarly, Quinnipiac polling has President Obama leading in key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
And this isn’t a new trend. The Huffington Post reports that a 2002 focus group of women in Massachusetts found that information about Romney’s business experience moved them to wonder whether he was capable of being concerned about middle-class workers. "Is he going to be able to focus on the less fortunate, which is the better part of America?” one woman wondered after viewing the ads.
The common thread in these states and the polling data is that voters are beginning to learn more about how Romney Economics worked in states like theirs—and they don’t like what they are learning.
Romney’s policies wouldn’t create jobs or economic security for middle-class Americans. His economic proposals make it abundantly clear. He wants to go back to the extreme economic policies of the past, including more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy and fewer rules for Wall Street—the same formula that benefited a few but crashed our economy and punished the middle class. This tried and failed trickle-down economics is familiar and troubling: cuts to education and Social Security and ending Medicare as we know it to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
That’s what Romney Economics is all about. The more voters learn about his business experience, the less they think Romney Economics is right for America’s future. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.