The Romney campaign has a new web ad that’s making the rounds — it may even appear atop this very website right now — showing a long line of people waiting in an unemployment line. The headline above the image, in all caps, reads, “Obama Isn’t Working.”
As it turns out, the image is three decades old. As Dave Weigel noted, this was copied, intentionally, from an ad run by the UK’s Conservative Party against the incumbent Labour Party in 1979.
As an aside, it’s worth noting that Romney’s preoccupation with Europe is getting a little odd. Romney is raising money in Europe; he’s using European advertising as his own; he wants to use Europe as a model for energy policy; and then he complains that President Obama seems “awfully European.” Strange.
In any case, Romney should also be aware of the fact that the more his campaign focuses on employment, the more Romney leads with his chin. Put simply, the jobs issue is Romney’s weakest issue.
The more he pushes this, the more the public should be reminded of Romney’s atrocious record.
“You see, Romney made a Mittload of cash using what’s known as a leveraged buyout. He’d buy a company with ‘money borrowed against their assets, groomed them to be sold off and in the interim collect huge management fees.’ Once Mitt had control of the company, he’d cut frivolous spending like ‘jobs,’ ‘workers,’ ’employees,’ and ‘jobs.’ […]
“Because Mitt Romney knows just how to trim the fat. He rescued businesses like Dade Behring, Stage Stories, American Pad and Paper, and GS Industries, then his company sold them for a profit of $578 million after which all of those firms declared bankruptcy. Which sounds bad, but don’t worry, almost no one worked there anymore.
“Besides, a businessman can’t be weighed down with a bleeding heart. As one former Bain employee put it, ‘It was very clinical…. Like a doctor. When the patient is dead, you just move on to the next patient.'”
Romney slashed American jobs as if his career depended on it — and it did. Indeed, it’s tempting to wonder how many of those folks in Romney’s new web ad, waiting in the unemployment line, were put there by Romney’s hedge fund?
Complicating matters, during Romney’s only service in public office, his state’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country.” Adding insult to injury, “By the end of his four years in office, Massachusetts had squeezed out a net gain in payroll jobs of just 1 percent, compared with job growth of 5.3 percent for the nation as a whole.”
How bad is Romney’s record? During his tenure, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states in jobs growth.
Romney seems to think this is a winning issue for him. He’s mistaken.