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Newt Gingrich
Still image from Newt Gingrich's appearance on Fox earlier this morning
Credit where credit is due: earlier this morning on Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich did a pretty good job of explaining it's baloney for Mitt Romney to dismiss questions about his record at Bain Capital as "attacks on free enterprise." Here's the heart of his argument:
When you have a circumstance where they [Romney's Bain Capital] made a lot of money and the company went broke, it's legitimate to ask the question—and this is the whole Wall Street problem—how come the big boys made a lot of money and they went broke? That's not an attack on capitalism. That's not an issue about the whole capitalist system. That is a question about a very particular style of activity involving a very particular person. Remember, we're not talking about the system. We're talking about somebody who is running for President of the United States, and we're asking the question about his judgment, his values, the choices he made.

Even though Newt Gingrich says South Carolina will be "Armageddon," I wouldn't bet on his ability to convince enough Republican voters that he's right about this to stop Mitt Romney, but in a general election it will be a huge problem. You have to be blinded by partisan loyalty to believe Romney's argument that criticizing his record at Bain is the same thing as criticizing the entire system of free enterprise. As Gingrich said, the questions about Romney's record at Bain are about a specific individual and a specific style of activity.

Mitt Romney would love to make this a referendum between the American economic system and the Soviet economic system, but the real issue here is whether we want to encourage bottom-feeders and bust-out artists. It's Romney who made his jobs record his top campaign issue. And the longer he refuses to address criticism of it, the more obvious it will be that his record as a so-called "jobs creator" is nothing more than a myth.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 08:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

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