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A Bit Late: Gingrich Calls for Bain Ad Withdrawal

Does this serve any practical purpose, beyond a face-saving move for Newt Gingrich? The ad has already been running in South Carolina since Thursday, and even if “Winning Our Future” agrees to take it off TV, it’s still enshrined on the internet for the rest of time. I guess it takes the force out of the charges now that Gingrich is conceding a lot of them are inaccurate – but is it enough to make much of a difference between now and the primary?

On a related note, check out the New York Times’s lede on this story. What’s the chance they would have published a story this sympathetic to Mitt Romney if the ad was put out by “Priorities USA” instead of a pro-Newt group?

Misleading and exaggerated claims in a film portraying Mitt Romney as a heartless job killer led Newt Gingrich to ask on Friday that the group behind it change or withdraw it, even though Mr. Gingrich is the intended beneficiary of the film.

“I’m calling on them to either edit out every single mistake or to pull the entire film,” Mr. Gingrich said at the opening of a campaign office in Orlando during a swing through the critical primary state of Florida. “They cannot run the film if it has errors in it.”

But the group running the video, the pro-Gingrich “super PAC” Winning Our Future, made no move to alter the work.

Here are some more quotes from the Times piece, just because it’s so surprising to see the paper fiercely defending Romney’s record at Bain. Maybe it really was a stroke of luck for Team Romney that the Bain controversy is blowing up for the first time during the primaries rather than during the general election:

The film is a political screed in the classic sense, a digital prosecution against Mr. Romney as a “corporate raider” whose business was “killing jobs for big financial rewards.” Over forbidding music, the baritone announcer says, “Nothing was spared; nothing mattered but greed.”

But Mr. Romney was not counted among the infamous corporate raiders of the 1980s, like Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky. While his claim on the campaign trail to have created a net 100,000 jobs has come under question, and many did lose jobs because of Bain’s dealings, Mr. Romney’s tenure there was not marked by the wholesale liquidation of businesses that the film suggests.

If even the Times is acknowledging it’s deceptive to portray Romney as a “heartless job killer” who oversaw a “wholesale liquidation of businesses,” then what does this mean for the Bain attacks the Obama campaign was supposedly going to launch later on? There are still the legitimate questions about the 100,000 jobs Romney says he created, but that line of attack doesn’t relate to his core character – and it’s not like Obama doesn’t have his own dubious job-creation numbers to worry about.



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