Poor Mitt Romney.
Well, not that poor.
The wealthiest man ever to secure a major party nomination for the presidency is crying foul because President Obama’s campaign has dared to explain how Romney made his money.
Romney was a robber baron. And he continues to profit—to the tune of $230 million and counting—from the “vulture capitalism” his Republican primary opponents decried.
He helped to create Bain Capital, a private equity firm that makes its money by buying functional US manufacturing and service firms and rendering them dysfunctional. Bain guts American companies, ripping out whatever parts are profitable and then tossing the workers aside.
Bain forces cuts in wages, benefits and pensions. It outsources work. And it offshores production—harming American workers and communities and undermining American industries.
No amount of wordplay by Romney and his campaign team is going to charge those facts.
Yet, bizarrely, Romney and his media and political minions continue to claim that Obama is being unfair to the presumptive Republican nominee by noting that Romney continued to be intimately involved with Bain as the company began to focus more and more of its energies on the shuttering of US factories and the transfer of the work done in those factories to foreign countries.
Romney does not like that he is being portrayed as a vulture capitalist who cares more about his own bottom line than the economic viability of his own country.
This is understandable, as the image is not one that presidential contenders generally assume.
But, unfortunately for Romney, the bane of his existence is and will continue to be Bain.
The debate about when Romney relinquished day-to-day control of the firm—in 1999, as he likes to say, or considerably later, as the paper trail suggests—is irrelevant. Through arrangements that he made, Romney remains one of the prime beneficiaries of every move that Bain makes.