Maybe Obama reelect can finally get a day off, if for no other reason than to watch the coming onslaught. They’ve certainly done the job on Romney Republicans seemed too squeamish to do themselves, but which is now about to land hard on Mitt’s presidential campaign. Whatever vestige of Reagan’s 11th commandment was alive is now D.O.A. once “King of Bain” was born.
Thanks to a $5 million donation from a wealthy casino owner, a group supporting Newt Gingrich plans to place advertisements in South Carolina this week attacking Mitt Romney as a predatory capitalist who destroyed jobs and communities, a full-scale Republican assault on Mr. Romney’s business background.
The advertisements, a counterpunch to a campaign waged against Mr. Gingrich by a group backing Mr. Romney, will be built on excerpts from a scathing movie about Bain Capital, the private equity firm Mr. Romney once ran. The movie, financed by a Republican operative opposed to Mr. Romney, includes emotional interviews with people who lost jobs at companies that Bain bought and later sold.
Nobody’s a better target for a swift-boating type of campaign than Mitt Romney, especially in the age of Occupy.
I know a lot about swift-boating strategy and the right’s utilization of the tactics, but they’ve never been turned back on one of their own. So, you’ll forgive me if I find something delicious in the devilishness of Newt Gingrich’s diabolical plan. Swift-boating takes scorched earth to a whole new level.
As a little history, John Kerry formed the Patriot Project after he lost the presidency to push back on swift-boating, and I was a member of the small team who worked to aid Democratic politicians, many of them veterans, being targeted by the right. One such person I helped was Rep. Joe Sestak, who called me personally and sent me a note for my work against Kurt Weldon, with Howie Klein calling my writing for Patriot Project “bareknuckle, steely-eyed analysis.” Another was the late Rep. John Murtha, also back in 2006, when I did an article of almost 4,000 words, “John Murtha: Anatomy of a Smear,” delineating the right’s smears against him and how they developed and expanded. Swift-boating is usually taking something laudable, like a veteran’s exemplary military service, then twisting it into something negative, even using it as a character assault.
Newt’s Super PAC Winning Our Future is about to give the “King of Bain” Mitt Romney a little of his own medicine. That Gingrich has David Bossie on his team, the king of “Hillary, the Movie” that launched Citizens United, is just perfect. Wayne Barrett runs down Gingrich’s swift-boat alliances today for the Daily Beast.
Citizens United, which also bought $250,000 in pro Gingrich ads in Iowa, shared the same fundraising website producer with the swift boat group. David Bossie, who runs the organization that won the Supreme Court case that opened the floodgates for the “independent” super PACs that buried Gingrich, placed a 30-second spot right before the Iowa caucus ostensibly promoting a 2009 movie that he and the Gingriches produced about Ronald Reagan. “It’s for movie sales,” a Bossie spokesman explained. – Wayne Barrett
However, what Newt Gingrich and his billionaire casino backer Sheldon Adelson, though Gingrich can’t be directly involved with the Super PAC, are doing is taking Mitt Romney’s vulture capitalism, painting it as evil and making Romney the face of it. What’s stunning is that Gingrich is calling out a fellow Republican for using capitalism, the foundation of Republicanism, and bending it to his will.
It’s the reason George Will blasted Gingrich earlier and why I wrote Newt had committed the worst offense of all: demonizing the tools of the trade of modern capitalism, which Republicans trumpet.
The tactics of Newt’s friends is something David Axelrod and the Obama team know all too well and is a strategy they’re going to unleash against Mitt Romney if he wins the nomination. Politico covered their plans in brief earlier.
Both Republicans and Democrats have no guiding vision and lifting dream to offer in 2012. It’s a race to the bottom between Mr. Cool and Mr. Ice, unless Gingrich can reverse Romney’s current trajectory. If the tactic wasn’t being utilized by Newt Gingrich it might work, but since it is and the target is the tools of capitalism the outcome is less sure.
In swift-boating, it’s more effective if the person utilizing this strategy and the tactics comes off cleaner than the person being hit.
Is this any way to pick a president?
Newt Gingrich is about to Occupy Mitt Romney’s presidential dreams.