Even a casual glance at Mitt Romney’s campaign pitch reveals a pretty straightforward message: he’s a conservative businessman, not a traditional politician, who’ll focus on jobs.
As the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, and attention turns to next week’s Florida primary, AFSCME has a good idea on how to use this pitch against him: note the similarities to the same pitch Floridians heard in 2010.
The union is airing this 30-second television ad in the Sunshine State throughout the week:
As Greg Sargent explained, “The basis for the ad is a 2002 Boston Globe article reporting that Romney and Bain made huge profits from the 1993 sale of a medical testing company that earned its revenues partly from a criminal scheme to defraud the Medicare system. Romney served on the board of Damon from 1990-1993 but was never implicated in any way, the Globe reported, adding that the eventual sale of Damon made Romney $473,000 and netted $7.4 million for Bain investors.”
The underlying controversy, of course, offers a chance to connect Romney to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), whose low approval ratings make the comparison anything but flattering.
Indeed, given Florida’s electoral significance, and Scott’s ability to repulse, I suspect this isn’t the last time we’ll see Romney’s critics equate him with the scandal-plagued governor. It’s a natural question for Florida voters to consider: remember the last time a conservative businessman with a shady private-sector background made a bunch of promises? Were Floridians satisfied with the results?
I would imagine that President Obama and his allies would spend much of the fall making a similar argument in the Sunshine State: if you don’t like Rick Scott, don’t elect someone like him to the White House.