“Dramatizing The Truth About Trump”: Trump University Is A Devastating Metaphor For The Trump Campaign
When Donald Trump became the heavy favorite to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, news leaked out of Clinton world that the campaign against him would resemble the 2012 campaign Democrats ran against Mitt Romney. “The emerging approach to defining Trump is an updated iteration of the ‘Bain Strategy’—the Obama 2012 campaign’s devastating attacks on Mitt Romney’s dealings with investment firm Bain Capital,” Democratic operative and campaign aides told Politico. “This time, Democrats would highlight the impact of Trump’s four business bankruptcies—and his opposition to wage hikes at his casinos and residential properties—on the families of his workers.”
That idea was puzzling to some liberals because, for all the superficial similarities between Trump and Romney, they represent very different kinds of oligarchs: Trump, a tribune of the working class, versus Romney, a champion of capitalism and big business. Trump’s everyman-billionaire political identity, taken at face value, is much harder to weaponize than Romney’s was. The fear was that if Democrats set about reprising the 2012 campaign against a self-styled populist, it would fail or backfire. Trump, after all, acknowledges his personal avarice— “I‘ve been greedy, greedy, greedy.” His promise now is to turn that greed outward on behalf of us.
Fortunately, the steady pace of disclosures from the civil case against Trump University—including testimony from Trump employees who say his business-education program scammed the vulnerable out of tens of thousands of dollars a head—provides Democrats a way to repurpose the Romney strategy against a very different kind of foe. The Trump University scam undermines the very notion that a man of Trump’s greed can ever be trusted to advance the interests of others. If exploited properly, it will be Trump’s undoing.
The Democrats can capitalize on lessons they learned from 2012. Early in that campaign, they ran up against a problem they hadn’t planned for. When they pressed voters in focus groups for their views on Romney’s economic platform, it didn’t rate as negatively as they expected, because voters literally couldn’t believe the premise of the questions: Why would anyone who wanted to be president propose privatizing Medicare and giving rich people enormous tax cuts? For a scary number of voters, it just didn’t compute.
Trump University will dramatize the truth about Trump for those voters in the same way Bain Capital dramatized Romney’s stone-heartedness.
The sustained attack on Romney’s private equity career and his capital worship—the ads featuring people whose lives were ruined by the “creative destruction” Bain Capital rained down on their places of employment, and quoting Romney telling a voter, “Corporations are people, my friend”—allowed Democrats to dramatize the story they were trying to tell about Romney’s political agenda.
“[O]nce people have learned that Romney was willing to fire workers and terminate health and pension benefits while taking tens of millions out of companies,” a prominent Democratic pollster told The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent four years ago, “they are much more ready to understand that Romney would indeed cut Social Security and Medicare to give tax breaks to rich people like himself.” If the Republican nominee is a heartless capitalist who cares naught for working people, then perhaps he really does want to serve the rich in office.
Trump University will serve the same purpose for a campaign aimed at exposing a phony populist for what he is:
Trump U is devastating because it’s metaphor for his whole campaign: promising hardworking Americans way to get ahead, but all based on lies
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) June 1, 2016
Fallon is the Hillary Clinton campaign’s secretary, so consider the source, obviously, but his argument holds up to the 2012 test case exquisitely.
Democrats won’t want to attack populism per se, and will have a hard time convincing certain voters to take them at their word that Trump’s promises are fraudulent. He’s incredibly successful, after all! But Trump University will dramatize the truth about Trump for those voters in the same way Bain Capital dramatized Romney’s stone-heartedness. Trump says that he—and only he—has all the answers for the ailing middle class. That he will ply his business acumen on behalf of the everyman and turn his good fortune into theirs. All they have to do to secure his beneficence is fork over their votes. But it’s all a scam. All lies. And when his victims and former employees testify to this for the country, it will be devastating.
By: Brian Beutler, The New Republic, June 1, 2016
“Carly Fiorina Is The New Mitt Romney”: Fiorina Is About To Get Bained, An Assault She May Not Be Able To Withstand
Carly Fiorina has a Mitt Romney problem.
Fiorina, like Romney, is a wealthy former CEO from an affluent Republican family. Like Romney, she entered the Republican presidential contest assuming that her record running a large company would be one of her greatest assets. But she may be about to learn that her opponents have little trouble turning that record into her greatest liability.
Like Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, the private equity firm at which he oversaw the dismantling of numerous companies purchased by Bain, Fiorina’s record at Hewlett-Packard was notable for the number of workers fired on her watch. Romney’s Republican primary opponents, as well as the Obama campaign, attacked Romney’s record at Bain so aggressively that by the end of the 2012 campaign some people were using Bain as a verb: to destroy a wealthy candidate’s public image by attacking their business record.
Fiorina is about to get Bained. And if history is any guide, it’s an assault she may not be able to withstand.
“When you rise as fast as Fiorina has in the last couple weeks, all your opponents, plus the news media, are gonna pay attention to you,” Newt Gingrich, who ran for the Republican nomination in 2012 and acted as one of Romney’s most prolific critics, told me.
“The upside,” he said, “is now you’re more famous. But when you’re more famous, they come after you.”
Fiorina’s opponents have a lot to work with. Like most politicians, she likes to self-mythologize. Born in Texas in 1954, she says she is from “a modest, middle-class family.” She tends to leave out that her father, Joseph Tyree Sneed III, worked at the Justice Department, including as a deputy attorney general, before President Richard Nixon appointed him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1973.
Fiorina frequently tells of how she rose “from secretary to CEO” in a way that “is only possible in this nation” because it “proves that every one of us has potential.” In fact, she took the secretary job in between dropping out of law school and moving to Italy with her first husband, who last week emerged from obscurity to brand her as cold and calculating. She later went to business school, and after stints at AT&T and Lucent, in 1999 Fiorina became the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the iconic technology company. She was the first woman in American history to lead a Fortune 100 company.
Her time running Hewlett-Packard was highly controversial. Fiorina deflects criticism of her 5½ years at the helm by noting that the company’s revenue doubled during that time. But, as Bloomberg View’s Justin Fox notes, “that was mainly because she made a gigantic and controversial acquisition.” Fiorina acquired Compaq, a computer manufacturer, for $19 billion in 2002—a move largely received by those within (PDF) and observing HP as unwise. Dell Computer’s Michael Dell called it the “dumbest deal of the decade.” By the time Fiorina was pushed out of HP three years after the Compaq deal, and given a $21 million severance package, HP had laid off 30,000 workers.
Four years later, in the midst of the Great Recession, Fiorina ran for a Senate seat from California. Barbara Boxer, her Democratic opponent, used the HP layoffs and Fiorina’s enormous severance to pillory the former CEO. During a September 2010 debate, Boxer asked if voters really “want to elect someone who made her name as a CEO at Hewlett-Packard, laying thousands and thousands of workers off, shipping their jobs overseas, making no sacrifice while she was doing it, taking $100 million. I don’t think we need those Wall Street values right now.”
Fiorina replied that “when you lead a business, whether it’s a nine-person business or 150,000 people, you sometimes have to make the agonizing choice to lose some jobs to save more.”
Later in the debate, a retired Hewlett-Packard employee named Tom Watson was allowed to ask Fiorina a question. “In a keynote speech in 2004, you said, ‘There’s no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.’ Do you still feel that way? What are your plans to create jobs in California?”
Fiorina didn’t answer directly. She said the loss of American jobs was the fault of the federal government for not incentivizing companies the way that China does with tax holidays and help cutting through regulations. In other words, those 30,000 people were laid off because of Washington, not because of Carly Fiorina.
It didn’t end there. The debate’s host noted that Fiorina had suggested teachers be paid in accordance with their performance. Why then, did Fiorina accept a $21,000,000 severance payment when she was fired from HP? Fiorina’s response wasn’t exactly steely. That was, she explained, what the HP board decided she should get paid.
Boxer needled Fiorina further. “My opponent—we know that she shipped jobs overseas, thousands of them,” she said, “we know that she fired workers, tens of thousands of them.”
Fiorina seemed at a loss for how to defend herself. “I think it’s absolutely a shame that Barbara Boxer would use Hewlett-Packard, a treasure of California, one of the great companies in the world, whose employees work very hard and whose shareholders have benefited greatly from both my time as CEO and all the hard work of the employees, that I had the privilege to lead, I think it’s a shame that she would use that company as a political football,” she said.
A few weeks after the debate, Boxer released an ad titled “Outsourcing,” which slammed Fiorina for the HP layoffs, for “tripling her salary,” buying “a million-dollar yacht” (she has two) for herself and “five corporate jets” for HP. Fiorina’s poll numbers immediately plummeted. In the Democratic wipeout year of 2010, Boxer managed to defeat Fiorina by 10 points.
Fiorina knows similar attacks are coming as she makes a run at the presidency. You could almost see the impending sense of doom on her face during Wednesday night’s Republican debate.
“Ms. Fiorina, you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard,” CNN host Jake Tapper said. “Donald Trump says you, quote, ‘ran HP into the ground,’ you laid off tens of thousands of people, you got viciously fired. For voters looking to somebody with private-sector experience to create American jobs, why should they pick you and not Donald Trump?”
Fiorina’s reply felt lived-in, like she had long ago decided on the proper delivery—almost Carlin-esque, fast-paced and melodic—for such a message. She looked as though she had practiced every syllable and plotted out every point at which she would pause to take a breath.
“I led Hewlett-Packard through a very difficult time,” she said, “the worst technology recession in 25 years.” Despite the circumstances, she said, she led the company to success. She rattled off her supposed accomplishments: “We doubled the size of the company, we quadrupled its top-line growth rate, we quadrupled its cash flow, we tripled its rate of innovation.”
Donald Trump looked on, smirking and rolling his eyes with meme-worthy animation.
“Yes, we had to make tough choices,” she said. But, she said, firing thousands of people actually “saved 80,000 jobs,” which led to the growth of “160,000 jobs.” And how dare Trump of all people make such a criticism, Fiorina said, since “you ran up mountains of debt, as well as losses, using other people’s money and you were forced to file for bankruptcy not once, not twice, four times. A record four times. Why should we trust you to manage the finances of this nation any differently than you managed the finances of your casinos?”
Fiorina’s defense of her time at HP was a minor blip in her debate performance, which saw her bash Trump for his recent attack on her looks and open up about losing her stepdaughter to drug addiction.
She received rave reviews from the media and vaulted up in the polls from 3 percent at the beginning of the month to 14 percent in a CNN/ORC poll released Sunday. Fiorina’s rise coincides with the first signs of Trump’s decline. Though still in the lead, Trump fell from 32 percent to 24 percent in the CNN poll.
Fiorina is, understandably, feeling optimistic. Asked if she would like to speak with me for this story, Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager, Sarah Isgur Flores, emailed, “I’m swamped today. But I’m sure it’ll be good without me :)”
As the emerging candidate of the moment, Fiorina should expect the coming Bain-like attacks on her record will intensify perhaps beyond even what she experienced in 2010. In The Gamble, a data-driven analysis of the 2012 election, political scientists John Sides and Lynn Vavreck argue that although “the polls seemed almost random” in the Republican primary, “there was an underlying logic at work.” That logic, according to Sides and Vavreck, can be described as “discovery, scrutiny, and decline.”
When a candidate does something to capture the public’s attention—getting into the race at all, in the case for Trump, or delivering a breakout debate performance, for Fiorina—the “discovery” of the candidate results in an increase in media attention, which in turn results in a surge in the polls. But with increased attention comes increased scrutiny from both the media and primary opponents and the barrage of negative information reliably results in an “irreversible decline in both news coverage and poll numbers.”
Sides told me that “Fiorina is a textbook case of discovery. For months, her candidacy received limited media attention. Then, thanks to Trump’s comments and last week’s debate, she received much more coverage, and her poll numbers responded accordingly.”
Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich all experienced these cycles in 2012. Only Romney survived. Sides and Vavreck write that Romney had the advantage of a well-run organization and fundraising operation, more support from Republican leaders than other candidates, and the good fortune of being “the most popular candidate among the largest factions in the party, which tend not to be the most conservative factions.”
But the anti-Bain attacks, launched by Gingrich and others during the primary, left Romney vulnerable in the general election. There was an incessant drip-drip of negative information about Romney’s immense personal wealth and his time at Bain Capital released by his Republican rivals that enabled Democrats to latch onto the narrative of Mitt-the-jobs-destroyer so easily.
The most memorable of these assaults came from Winning Our Future, an “independent expenditure-only committee” supporting Gingrich’s campaign that distributed When Mitt Romney Came to Town, a 28-minute attack documentary that felt like a cross between an episode of American Greed and a Michael Moore documentary. The movie accused Romney of everything from “stripping American businesses of assets, selling everything to the highest bidder and often killing jobs for big financial rewards” to “contributing to the greatest American job loss since World War II.” Devastatingly, it featured interviews with real people (some of whom had no idea they were being interviewed for an attack ad against Romney) who described in painstaking detail the misery of losing their jobs as a result of Bain Capital’s actions.
“We thought that it was a legitimate question to raise and also that it was something that Barack Obama was going to raise, which of course he did,” Gingrich told The Daily Beast. “I think it’s the same thing as attacking me for my record as speaker,” he said. Which is to say, Gingrich thinks any candidate’s history is fair game.
“Anybody at this point is going to have a record in their career or they wouldn’t have gotten here. So, it’s fair to go after Trump for his business record. It’s fair to go after Carly for hers. It’s fair to go after Jeb for his governor’s record. If you’re gonna run for president you’d better expect that you’re gonna be thoroughly challenged—and you should be! We give presidents of the United States an enormous amount of power and whoever wins that office should be thoroughly tested.”
Asked how he would run against Fiorina were he in this Republican primary, Gingrich said, “I have no idea. I have been so confused by this primary season so far.”
When it came time for the general election, branding Romney as an out-of-touch, car-elevator-riding bully-of-the-working-class proved an easy task for Democrats. All the work had already been done for them by Gingrich & Co.
Will Fiorina ever make it that far? It’s at best a longshot.
She has all of the downside of being a wealthy and controversial former CEO like Romney, but none of the benefit—the establishment support, the fundraising operation, the organization, or the four years as governor of Massachusetts—that insulated him against the “discovery, scrutiny and decline” pinball machine and helped him win the primary.
“She’s smart, Fiorina knows this is coming and she knows exactly what it’s gonna be like, because she’s already lived through it once,” Gingrich said. “My guess is that she must believe that she has a stronger, more convincing answer than she had in the Senate race in 2010.”
It’s true that Fiorina may now be a better prepared and more polished candidate than she was when she last ran for office, but the substance of her answers to questions about HP hasn’t changed much at all.
But to hear Gingrich tell it, when you’re the longshot who is suddenly surging, that doesn’t really matter. “I’m sure it’s more fun to be one of the top two or three candidates and have to defend yourself than to be in the bottom tier and have nobody paying any attention to you,” he told me.
And isn’t that what a presidential campaign is really about?
By: Olivia Nuzzi, The Daily Beast, September 22, 2015
“The Battle Of The Plutocrats”: Mitt’s Snit; If Anybody’s Going To Be The Candidate Of The Entitled Rich, It’s Me!
Is there anything more American than the spectacle of two entitled rich guys fighting over who gets to be the presidential candidate of the 1 percent? First former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced he’s “exploring” the race, and the next thing you know Mitt Romney says: “Me too!”
It’s true Romney hadn’t ruled out running for president, but he was sounding relentlessly skeptical about a third try – until Bush announced his presidential explorations. By “exploring,” Bush meant corralling the party’s major donors, many of them former Romney backers, who are terrified by the idea of the nominating process being hijacked by eccentric Sen. Rand Paul or a can’t-win Christian right loser like Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee or the terrifying Ted Cruz.
That’s all it took for Romney to let supporters “leak” the news Friday that he, too, was “exploring” another bid.
Over the weekend the Washington Post ran a long profile of the relationship between the two men, which it said was characterized by “competitiveness and snippiness.” It’s a fun read. Apparently Mitt’s still mad that Bush took his time endorsing him in 2012, waiting until after Florida’s crucial primary (which Romney won anyway), and that he criticized Romney’s campaign moves on immigration.
Also: Romney is worried that Bush’s work for Lehman Brothers and Barclays “makes Bush vulnerable to the same kind of Democratic attacks that he faced in 2012 over his career as Bain Capital co-founder and chief executive.”
That makes Romney the logical alternative how?
The piece makes the rationale for a Romney run sound like a tantrum: “Jeb endorsed me too late, he criticized my campaign, and if one idle plutocrat who hasn’t won public office for more than a decade can become president, it’s going to be me!”
In fact, the real driving force seems to be entitlement. As Bill Kristol put it (and he knows a thing or two about nepotism and entitlement): “A Romney-Bush race would be more personal — about whose turn it is and who is owed it.”
“Whose turn it is and who is owed it.” That reminded me of Ann Romney telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2012: “It’s Mitt’s time. It’s our turn now.”
Bush and Romney are two sons of wealthy accomplished fathers, two sons of noblesse oblige. One father won the presidency (but alas, only for one term); the other was cruelly denied it. Both ran for governor in states where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans and won. Both are rightly skeptical of the long term future of a party that only attracts white people, but Romney caved to the right when he ran in 2012; Bush seems to think he can get away without doing that.
At least Bush seems to have a rationale for a run — to articulate a new way of talking about Latinos and gay people that probably doesn’t lead to policy changes, but at least tests whether kinder, gentler rhetoric can help grow the party nationally. What is Romney’s? He’s told friends “he considers poverty the topic du jour.” But poverty was just as high in 2012 and Romney had no answer for it – except to famously disdain “the 47 percent of Americans…who won’t take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Although as a Democrat I’d enjoy the spectacle, I find it very unlikely both Bush and Romney will run. The GOP’s donor class can’t control the Tea Party, but they can probably force one of these guys to the sidelines, if he doesn’t go willingly, and I’d guess it’s Romney. He sounded convinced, and convincing, in the documentary “Mitt,” when he told his family, “My time on the stage is over, guys.” No longer clinging to the notion that “it’s our turn now,” Ann Romney agreed. “We’re done,” she said.
Though Romney is now telling friends that the once-reluctant Ann is on board with a third run, she was right back in 2012. They’re done.
By: Joan Walsh, Editor at Large, Salon, January 12, 2015
“Be The Smarter Bush Brother, Jeb; Don’t Run!”: Why Would A Guy Running For President Create A Brand Spanking New Bain Capital?
So Jeb is running. Or is he? And he’s really formidable! Or… is he?
I can’t remember in my adult lifetime a presidential candidate quite like Jeb Bush. Every presidential election we have our A-list candidates, your Clintons and your Romneys and your Humphreys and indeed your Bushes. And, every election, we have our quasi-comic-relief candidates, your Al Haigs and Gary Bauers and Bill Richardsons. These archetypes usually reside in separate life forms. But in John Ellis Bush, they exist in the same body.
The A-list case is: He’s a Bush. And… and… OK, he was the governor of a huge and electorally important state. And largely considered to have been, to those who can still remember, a successful and reasonably popular one. And there’s his Latina wife. But really, the A-list case comes down to the fact of his last name. Just as a football coach named Lombardi is going to win automatic positive “free media” until he turns out to be a total loser, a politician named Bush is going to be assumed to be a serious playah until he undeniably proves otherwise. Until then, establishment money is going to cascade to him.
The quasi-comic-relief case consists of a much longer list. First of all: Well, he’s a Bush. That is to say, while the name confers a certain status among insiders and the media, at the same time it reminds too many voters of the brother. This would be an obvious problem in a general election, but I think even in a primary. The Republican red-hots, the pols who play to the base that dominates the primary process, have been ranting against Dubya and his big-spending ways since the day he left office. There’s no reason to think the family tree will bring much good will.
The bigger thing is this. What in the world is a guy who wants to run for president doing, precisely during the months of presidential speculation, starting up an offshore private-equity firm? But Bush has done exactly that, filing the papers for BH Global Aviation with the SEC right around Thanksgiving. The fund raised $61 million in September, largely from foreign investors, and it incorporated in the U.K. and Wales to avoid paying American taxes. Business questions are raised—who starts a PE firm and bails on it in a matter of mere months?—but more salient are the political questions: Why would a candidate, on the eve of a presidential run, go out of his way to create what is in effect his very own brand spanking new Bain Capital?
Then there’s the service gap. He hasn’t been in office since January 2007, and more to the point hasn’t run a campaign since 2002. To find a presidential candidate with as long a gap between campaigns (excluding those like Eisenhower, who’d never run), you have to reach back to James Buchanan. Questions of rust will arise, of course, but more than that, we can fairly wonder whether he has a feel for the politico-culture landscape these days. The conservative movement of today is a rather fiercer creature than the one his brother held at bay with a few Scriptural dog whistles.
Here’s more, in terms of problems he’ll have with the base: He’s on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Come have a look at the “our work” page at the philanthropy’s website: Beyond Coal. Vibrant Oceans. Reproductive Health. Tobacco Control. No, no guns per se, but of course Mike Bloomberg is so identified in the right-wing mind with the torching of the Second Amendment that that one will undoubtedly come up.
Beyond this there’s the pro-immigration position. Rush Limbaugh has been laying into Bush on this one. There is such a thing in presidential primary politics as a single-issue deal-breaker. Ask Rudy Giuliani about how his pro-choice position worked out for him. And Jeb, of course, will also have to deal with his outspoken support for Common Core, which the Republican base loathes.
The polls? He runs a little bit ahead of the competition, with 14 percent in the current RCP average to Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee’s 10 and Paul Ryan’s 9.7 (and Ben Carson’s 8.8)! And with regard to taking on Hillary Clinton, he does no better than any of the rest of them. He’s 5 to 10 points behind her in just about every poll. That just is not the traditional idea of the frontrunner.
Throw it all into the kettle and, what? Well, it’s possible to imagine Bush as the nominee and even as the next president. To return to the Lombardi analogy, one would always imagine that a Lombardi would have it in him to find a way to win. So it is with a Bush. They are two-for-two, after all.
But maybe that’s just a psychological mirage. Maybe it’s just as easy, if not easier, to imagine him lasting four primaries. Here’s your 2016 GOP presidential primary calendar, at least as it currently exists. It starts as usual with Iowa and New Hampshire, which seem respectively more like Huckabee/Cruz and Ryan/Paul states than Bush states. Florida doesn’t come along until March 1. Has anyone ever—or since 1976, when we really started having lots of primaries and caucuses—won a party nomination without winning a primary or caucus until March? I don’t think that can be done.
And it might be easiest of all imagining him “exploring” a candidacy for a while and then deciding the hell with it. As has been oft-observed, he doesn’t seem to want to be president, and by most accounts his wife has never been hot on the idea. It used to be frequently said back in 2000 that Jeb was “the smart brother.” Given the tribulations that await him on the hustings versus the easy millions that dangle before him in the global aviation business, the choice that would prove he’s the smart one seems pretty clear.
By: Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast, December 17, 2014
“The Importance Of Self-Awareness In Presidential Politics”: The Quiet Republican Argument Over Their Vast Private-Equity Wealth
As a rule, I don’t have much use for the speculation as to who may or may not run in the 2016 presidential race. We’ll find out soon enough, and until then, everything else is speculative and based on rumor.
This especially true of Mitt Romney – remember him? – who seems to be rewarded every few weeks with a series of new “he might try again!” reports in major outlets.
But once in a while, it’s worth making an exception. This new Politico piece, for example, reports that Romney is unimpressed with those likely to run in the Republican primaries and is suddenly “open to the idea” to running a third time, following failed bids in 2008 and 2012.
The piece includes a lot of unsourced quotes from “people who’ve spoken to” Romney – which is to say, take all of this with a grain of salt – but this tidbit amazed me.
[Romney] has assessed various people’s strengths and weaknesses dispassionately, wearing what one ally called his “consultant cap” to measure the field. He has said, among other things, that Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, would run into problems because of his business dealings, his work with the investment banks Lehman Brothers and Barclays, and his private equity investments.
“You saw what they did to me with Bain [Capital],” he has said, referring to the devastating attacks that his Republican rivals and President Barack Obama’s team launched against him for his time in private equity, according to three sources familiar with the line. “What do you think they’ll do to [Bush] over Barclays?”
Romney believes his campaign struggled in part because of his controversial private-sector background. He also believes Jeb Bush would be susceptible to similar criticisms in 2016, which is true.
But it’s that next part that I can’t quite wrap my head around: if Bush would struggle because of his financial-sector work, why on earth would Romney run again and invite the identical attacks on himself? Because this worked out so well the last time around?
The article got a response from a Bush ally.
Another top Republican operative who is supportive of a Jeb Bush candidacy said that he did not believe Bush would have as much trouble with his financial dealings in a campaign as Romney did.
“Jeb’s wealth and investments are nothing on the scale of Romney’s. He is not building car elevators,” this person said, offering a hint of the bitterness that could ensue if both Romney and Bush run.
Oh good. Before the campaign gets underway in earnest, there’s already a quiet argument underway about which Republican’s vast private-equity wealth will be more politically damaging to their ambitions.
By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, December 12, 2014