3 Knockout Punches Obama Didn't Throw
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3. "I’d figure with your experience exporting jobs, you’d know all about it."
Romney essentially called President Obama a liar to his face when he said that he had never heard of any tax benefits for companies that shift their operations outside the U.S. The benefits surely exist, and as an officer of Bain Capital, with its storied history of buying up companies and gutting them or shipping operations to overseas sweatshops, he had a fiduciary duty to exploit the bejesus out of them. In denying their existence, it was as if he had dropped his hands to his waist and stuck his chin out and offered it to Obama to hit it. That’s where this would have been the coup de grace:
"You don’t know about the tax benefits, Governor? They were available to companies like Corporate Software Inc. when they shifted call center jobs that middle-class Americans used to do to Europe and Japan. Modus Media, when they moved software production to Australia, Asia and Europe. GT Bicycles, when it off-shored its manufacturing operations to Asia. All of those companies used to employ American workers, who used their wages to support their families and enjoy the benefits of a middle class life -- but no more, because their jobs were shipped to foreign countries. If those names sound familiar, Governor, they should. They’re all companies Bain Capital owned or controlled in the 1990s, when you were in charge. If you don’t know that there are significant tax benefits to shipping U.S. companies overseas, you need to get yourself a new tax lawyer, because your guy isn’t giving you much bang for your buck."
These shots would have made Ronald Reagan’s totemic “ There you go again” look about as biting as a Dixie riddle cup. They speak to the traits that voters have come to expect from Romney. Namely, he is an out-of-touch one-percenter whose loyalties lie with other one-percenters, who will say anything to get elected (which Rudy Giuliani called him out for, before notoriously flip-flopping to endorse the “man without a core,” albeit tepidly), and whose brand of capitalism is a key contributor to the nation’s economic nightmare.
Each of these independently could have been the shot that made pundits say, “There’s no way Romney can come back from this beating.” If they had been used in conjunction, Mrs. Romney would have rushed the stage and thrown in the towel. The Republican Party would have folded its tent and Reince Priebus would’ve changed his phone number.
But that was never going to happen. The President must at all times appear presidential. The obstructionist Republicans in Congress, the professional Obama-haters of the conservative media -- Obama can’t blame them for unemployment or a divisive, distrustful mood in the country, lest he seem defensive or whiny. And he also can’t slap around an inferior combatant like an internet gamer pwning noobz. That would be beneath the dignity of his office.
But if he wants to stay president, he’s going to have to fight, presidentially. The first rematch is in two weeks. Time for Obama to get the Eye of the Tiger.