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Mitt Romney's fellow Republicans are giving him a chance to clear the air about his dirty laundry
at Bain, but instead of defending himself, he's simply accusing them of being socialists.
GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, in South Carolina, joins Newt Gingrich's attack on Mitt Romney's brand of locust capitalism:
Rick Perry ripped into Mitt Romney on Monday after the former Massachusetts governor told voters in New Hampshire that he knows what it's like to worry about getting a pink slip.
Perry, campaigning in South Carolina, cast Romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider with a long record of hurting workers.
"I had to shake my head yesterday when one of the wealthiest men I suppose has ever run for the presidency of the United States, the son of a multimillionaire, Mitt Romney, he said 'I know what it's like to worry about whether you're going to get fired. There were a couple times when I worried about whether I was going to get a pink slip.' He actually said this," the Texas governor said at a campaign stop in Anderson.
"I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I'm sure he was worried that he'd run out of pink slips," he continued.
Perry's parting shot: Mitt Romney, he said, spent his career at Bain "getting rich off failure" by "looting" companies in South Carolina.
But as surprising as it might be to see a Republican finally attacking Mitt Romney, check out the Romney campaign's weak response:
The Romney campaign fired back, accusing Perry of sounding like a Democrat by "running against the private sector."
Maybe that will get Romney through the primary without losing support, but in the general election, that sort of response will never fly. And I wouldn't bet on it convincing Republicans, either. Imagine if President Obama had handled the Jeremiah Wright videos by simply accusing his opponents of race-baiting and leaving it at that. It would have eaten his campaign alive and wouldn't have resolved a single question about the controversy. The same thing is true for Romney—simply accusing his opponents of being socialists or communists because they dare criticize his record at Bain does nothing to address the key question about his tenure there: Did Mitt Romney ever make money by bankrupting a company? Maybe his problem is that the answer is yes.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 10:32 AM PST.