Joan Walsh is appalled by dressage: We’ve always liked Bill Clinton here, except for that time when we had to follow him (as a comedian).
But good grief! When it comes to his remarks about Bain, President Clinton keeps digging!
Last night, he spoke with Judy Woodruff on The NewsHour. Before long, Judy popped the question. We give you the start of Bill’s answer:
WOODRUFF (6/6/12): So before I ask you about CGI: Is the Obama campaign wrong to continue to criticize Romney's record at Bain Capital?Everything there makes sense. Sometimes, people buy companies and behave in ways which are honorable. On the other hand, sometimes people buy companies and proceed to loot the company’s assets, causing people to get fired and compromising their pensions!
CLINTON: Not necessarily. It depends on the facts of the case. That's what I tried to say in the CNN interview. The equity business can be good if you—
I've got a friend who buys failing companies, and he tries to turn them around. And he's turned a bunch of them around, but not all of them. So sometimes he tried and failed. The effort was honorable. That's a good thing.
There are lots of examples over the last 20 years where people used equity to take control of companies, got the companies in greater debt, looted the assets, caused more people to be fired and, in some cases, compromised the pensions. That's a bad thing. That's where you're just—you're buying something and looting it because you can.
They buy a company, then they “loot it.” “That’s a bad thing,” Clinton said.
So far, so good! But then, good lord, he said this:
CLINTON (continuing directly): I didn't have any idea, when I was giving that answer [on CNN], that I was wading into some controversy in the campaign, because I haven't seen the ads, and I'm not following it, and I'm not really part of it. But you'd have to know about a specific case to know whether it was a good or a bad thing. But there are a lot of good people in that business doing good things. That's the point I was making.As he continued, Clinton said “it's much more relevant to look at what [Romney] did as governor and what he proposes to do as president.” We would tend to agree with that. (The problem being: Our current gang of "liberal leaders" don't know how to talk about policy. All they have is their R-bombs.)
Romney's proposals may well be more relevant. But does anyone believe that President Clinton didn’t know that his remarks in support of Bain might have him “wading into some controversy?” Because he hadn’t “seen the ads?”
People, please! Clinton made his comments on CNN on Thursday, May 31. It had been eleven days since Cory Booker appeared on Meet the Press, touching off a major flap. (It had been ten days since Rachel Maddow treated her viewers like fools, trying to cover for Booker. She did this two straight nights.) Whatever Clinton’s views about Bain might be, was he really clueless about the politics involved in this matter?
Please note: Clinton’s discussion still begs the question about Romney’s conduct at Bain. Was Romney the kind of guy who took over a company and made a real effort? Or was he perhaps the kind of guy who went in and just looted a company?
In all his comments on this topic, Clinton keeps raising the specter of looting, then fails to say if Romney looted. Hacks like Woodruff know they mustn’t ask this question, of course.
By way of contrast, consider a second Arkansan, this one by way of New Jersey. At The National Memo, Gene Lyons describes the way Romney did business. Was Romney one of the “honorable” players? Or was he perhaps a looter?
LYONS (6/6/12): Compare what happened when the Obama campaign ran two tough ads regarding Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital, the private equity firm that earned him roughly $250 million. The ads showcased embittered workers at a Kansas City steel manufacturer and an Indiana office supply company—both acquired by Bain and driven into bankruptcy, leaving longtime employees to the tender mercies of the Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation, a federal agency.Please note: The New York Times and the Washington Post have worked quite hard to avoid reporting Romney’s conduct at Bain. Our “liberal leaders” support the Times’ front-page report on dressage—and they keep their pretty traps shut about this dereliction of duty.
In the case of Ampad, Bain managers fired every single worker at a Marion, Indiana plant the first day of the takeover. They were allowed to reapply for their old jobs at lower wages. Ultimately, Bain realized $107 million profit on its $5 million investment—a good deal for its investors, not so hot for Ampad workers, since the newly indebted company soon ceased to exist.
“To me,” said one embittered worker, “Mitt Romney takes from the poor, the middle class, and gives to the rich. It is the opposite of Robin Hood.”
Welcome to the “liberal world.” As President Clinton just keeps digging, Joan Walsh is appalled by dressage!
Clinton and Walsh both make out great. Progressive interests get screwed.