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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Obama Bain Attacks On Mitt Romney Leave Swooning Democrats In Love Again
For a presidential campaign that endured days of second-guessing over its decision to attack Bain Capital at the general election's onset, the numbers are being treated as nothing short of vindication. And for those Democrats who watched as their colleagues in the Northeast Corridor openly fretted about attacks on wealth, it was a chance to wonder aloud about the party's backbone.
"We are pussies, good God you can quote me on that," said David "Mudcat" Saunders, the longtime Democratic consultant. "There is nothing wrong with having a fine car and a fine house and living the American dream. But the greed! Bain Capital is about greed. ... It stinks morally."
Added another top Democrat, who lobbied the campaign privately to continue the Bain attacks: "It was surprising and disappointing that these folks who are politically on the tour -- they aren't novices -- would not understand that what they said had the potential to undercut the president's strongest message. It was like, 'Don't you realize you are in the fight of our life here?'"
Known for his ability to reach blue-collar voters, mainly in his home turf of Virginia, Saunders said he's seen a shift in voter perceptions of Romney since the Bain line started. A similar testimonial was offered by former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who made the case well before Romney was the presumptive Republican nominee that the private equity work wouldn't play well with Buckeye State voters.
"Look, closing factories is a big deal. I think the vice president would say it's a big fucking deal," said Strickland. "I think the president should continue to bear down on that and I think it is having an effect. ... I think we've moved beyond [the argument over whether Bain is fair game] at this point. I would be surprised to see a round two from these folks."
Interviews with officials on both the Obama campaign and its allied super PAC confirm Strickland's theory of Bain's endurance. Privately, the president's political aides have long argued that focusing on Romney's private equity career was part of a more elaborate line of attack they hoped to stretch out through the summer. The design was to turn Bain into a liability before arguing that Romney applied those lessons to his time as governor and would do the same if elected to the White House.