Romney’s weakness — or strength?

Mitt Romney has been getting attack from all sides for his work at Bain Capital, which involved buying up companies, reconfiguring them to be more successful, then selling them.  “Reconfiguring” often involved firing lots of people, and that is why he is being targeted even by fellow Republicans.

There is some fear that these attacks will hurt Romney in the general election, but I think the opposite is true.  Romney is pretty smart.  Sooner or later he will figure that all he has to say is the following:

“When I ran Bain Capital, and we bought a company, here is what we did with it. We figured out what that company was doing that had real value, that really served customers well.  We also figured out what the company was doing that was a waste of money, and which people were doing unnecessary jobs, or doing things poorly.  Yes we fired some people, but only if they were doing things that were useless, or too expensive, or didn’t provide value to customers.  If they provided good value, we hired more.  The result is that tens of thousands of people are now working at companies that Bain ran, like the Sports Authority, Domino’s Pizza, and Staples.

Do you want to me to do the same to the federal government — to get rid of agencies and people that are not providing good value to the American people?  Do you want your govenment to be as business-friendly as Staples?  To be as quick in responding to you as Domino’s Pizza?  To offer things you want at great values with great service like Sports Authority?  Then you should fire President Obama and hire me to run the Federal government!”

I am not saying I endorse Romney, or that this is a water-tight argument.  But it would quickly end the Bain controvery and make it a strength.

About jackgoldstone

Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University
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