The inherent lying from Republican presidential hopefuls makes it difficult to gauge their true qualifications, and their campaign speeches have served to verify that most of their assertions are fallacious. It is often beneficial to listen carefully to concession speeches to determine how a candidate reacts after suffering through defeat, and after South Carolina’s primary last Saturday, Willard “Mitt” Romney reverted to using the tired canard that his prior accomplishments as investor and governor of Massachusetts are reasons he is a better choice to be the Republican standard bearer in the 2012 general election. For Americans with a memory, Romney’s broken record assertions may not be his best argument for winning the Republican nomination or the presidency.
After losing to Gingrich, Romney thanked the Republican field for a hard-fought campaign and leveled a bevy of attacks at President Obama and Gingrich highlighted by his oft-repeated exaggeration of his qualifications. In particular, Romney said that, “President Obama has no experience running a business and no experience running a state. Our party can’t be led to victory by someone who also has never run a business, or a state.” First, let’s get one thing straight; President Obama does not have executive experience running a state, but for the past three years he has run the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the Earth and he is still cleaning up after the last Republican president who had experience running a state and businesses.
Conservatives may embrace the notion of a vulture capitalist running this country, but for most Americans, leveraging struggling and start up businesses with debt and laying off untold numbers of employees is not the definition of a businessman. Romney slipped during one of the South Carolina debates and admitted that he did not run any business that added employees during his time at Bain Capital, so his assertion that he “ran a business” that created jobs is patently false. Bain Capital used other investors’ money to either shore up or cripple businesses with debt and profited from management fees and selling off failing businesses. While Romney ran Bain Capital, they closed more than 1,000 offices, stores and plants, and cut employee benefits, pensions and wages. American workers were laid off, and their jobs were outsourced to other countries, but Romney will never brag about those facts. Romney is a job-killing machine and he made hundreds-of-millions in the process.
During Romney’s one term as Massachusetts’ governor, the state ranked 47th in job creation and although no governor directly creates jobs, if Romney chooses to use his record as evidence, he is deluding himself and voters that his executive experience qualifies him as the best choice for the Republican nomination. The only decent thing Romney accomplished as governor was signing a universal healthcare bill with an individual mandate that he cannot escape fast enough. Romney’s promise to repeal the Affordable Health Act is a telling indictment of his character. Is it not brutal that Romney embraces the idea of universal healthcare for Massachusetts’s residents, but will eliminate a near-identical plan for the other 49 states to satisfy neo-conservatives who believe healthcare is a privilege for wealthy Americans? Romney’s double standard represents flawed ethical and moral character that no amount of investment or executive experience can erase.
It is stunning that Romney is using the same qualifications to be president as George W. Bush, and experience dictates the results will be the same. The truth is that there are few policy differences between Bush, Gingrich, and Romney, and they (Romney and Gingrich) intend on repeating Bush policies that reduce taxes for the rich and corporations, make Draconian spending cuts, and increases the size of the military for their impending war with Iran. The only difference between Romney and Gingrich is that one is a career politician and the other is a vulture capitalist; both men are wealthy elitists. Neither man has ever really “run a business” in the truest sense of the word. Romney may have presided over a company that served as a facilitator between wealthy investors and struggling and startup companies, but as he stated, he never ran a real businesses that created jobs any more than Gingrich.
Romney’s concession speech trumpeting his business acumen and executive experience will be repeated often whether he wins the rest of the Republican primaries or not. His perpetual accusation that President Obama, and now Gingrich, are engaging in a “frontal assault on free enterprise” is laughable and as Romney pointed out, “We expected this from President Obama, we didn’t anticipate some Republicans would join him.” Romney’s contention is an assault on reason and a lie, but Republicans are notorious for lying and rejecting facts to promote their nasty allegations.
The only true and new statement in Romney’s concession speech was that it will be a long campaign for the nomination. He lied when he said he ran businesses that created jobs and he lied when he stated President Obama lacked executive experience. His only achievement worth boasting about while governor of Massachusetts is plague to conservatives and he cannot distance himself fast enough from signing universal healthcare. It is going to be a long nominating process and the only certainty is that Romney will repeat his qualifications ad nauseum even though any reasonable candidate would hesitate to boast refutable facts. Romney’s problem is that he has nothing that qualifies him to be anything more than a wealthy elitist who used other people’s money to enrich himself, kill jobs and entire companies, and although it sets well with the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Enterprise, and the Koch brothers, main-stream Americans are not impressed by wealthy investors and in Romney’s case; a broken record.