One of the Obama team’s biggest perceived weapons against presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney — Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital — continues to be deployed on the airwaves and in campaign talking points as we speak. Some polls show that the Obama ad carpet-bombing is having an effect on Romney’s numbers in key swing states, at least temporarily.
As of yet, none of it has gone nuclear. To the contrary, the Obama camp has encountered some air defenses from some unanticipated sources. When a Democratic campaign gets itself into a dispute with The Washington Post over the accuracy of its claims, you have to wonder if it has deployed a “dud.”
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker and FactCheck.org have both strongly criticized the Obama camp’s claims about Romney and Bain Capital. Attempts by Obama campaign officials to push back on The Post have failed, with the newspaper issuing a statement on Wednesday that it stands behind its original story.
Make no mistake: The Obama camp will not abandon the Bain line of attack anytime soon. It has no choice because Bain Capital is a huge part of Romney’s career and background. I believe the frustration for the president’s campaign lies in the fact that Mitt Romney has led, by any reasonable standard, a clean personal and professional life. There is no evidence of any John Edwards-esque personal drama or Bernie Madoff-type conduct to exploit. Consequently, the Obama campaign has been reduced to arguing over the technical date that Romney left Bain.
Many conservative pundits, including yours truly, have been critical of the Romney campaign’s slow and somewhat passive response on the details of the Bain Capital claims. But standing back and letting the Obama team flail may prove to be a smart approach for Romney. Time will tell.
The Bain attacks play into Team Obama’s strategy of distracting Americans from Obama’s record and the performance of the economy on his watch. The Bain attacks are just a small part of the Obama campaign’s program of distortion and dishonesty. And it’s going to get worse — much worse —- before November 6.
I predict that, as the economy continues to struggle and the president’s poll numbers remain stagnant or deteriorate, many more dishonest attacks will be launched, possibly setting a new low in American politics. It will be ugly, potentially offensive and most certainly shocking to any reasonable person.
I wonder: When do the consequences of such systematic, willful dishonesty begin to reflect upon the reputation and integrity of Barack Obama? How will the American voters react? And will they accept such conduct from a U.S. president to foment a political ideology and “fundamental transformation” of our country?
I just read a story about Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggesting on a media conference call that Governor Romney may be a felon. Outrageous. Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a turbulent ride to November.
N. Scott Jones, a contributing columnist at The Daily Caller, is a Dallas-based, nationally recognized expert in public relations and public affairs and a weekly radio commentator on “The Gary Snyder Show.” He has served as staff, an appointee or adviser to three U.S. presidents and two Texas governors.