Like most anything that has to do with Newt Gingrich, the 28-minute long hit video on Bain Capital is wildly over-the-top: ominous music, shadowy b-roll of cigar smokers counting piles of hundred-dollar bills. It’s unvarnished propaganda, but the question is, will it be effective propaganda?
Depending on how it’s used, and how well it’s countered by the Romney campaign, it could be. But many of the facts in the movie are already being challenged. At CNN Money, Dan Primack points out that the film is riddled with timeline inaccuracies and verifiably false claims. The movie focuses on four companies that Bain Capital allegedly plundered and wiped out, destroying thousands of lives in the process. But according to Primack, three of these companies – UniMac, KB Toys and DDI Corp – laid off employees and shut down well after Romney left Bain Capital in 1999. Two of those companies, UniMac and DDI Corp., weren’t even owned by Bain at the time of the layoffs.
To be clear, none of this is to suggest that Romney and Bain didn’t make some very real mistakes, or that they shouldn’t be criticized for situations in which they profited from financial engineering rather than from company growth. But the Winning Our Future PAC goes beyond that, intentionally obscuring the record in a way that makes such honest discussions more difficult. And for that, Winning Our Future deserves some scorn of its own.
Once the inaccuracies really start coming to light, there’s going to be a lot of pressure for the pro-Gingrich Super PAC to stop running the ad. In fact, there apparently already is a lot of uneasiness with the film behind the scenes at the Gingrich campaign. Stephen Moore reports:
I’m hearing from Gingrich insiders that several top campaign brass want the former speaker of the House to withdraw the 28-minute ad — which has been universally panned by conservative leaders in recent days. Even Mr. Gingrich himself is said to be having reservations. But other senior advisors of the Gingrich Super PAC, Winning Our Future, want to continue full speed ahead. They dismiss complaints that the ad should be withdrawn and say doing so would only help the Romney campaign….
While Gingrich’s campaign may be backing away from the attacks, the Super PAC is pushing right along. Politico reports he Super PAC is set to run shortened versions of the film in 30- and 60-second ads, and based on the amount of airtime it’s bought, the commercials should be “all over the South Carolina airwaves.”