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Check out this still image from Mitt Romney's new ad defending his work at Bain:

The full ad is below, but the key thing to realize here is that Steel Dynamics—one of the three companies cited in Romney's ad—never would have gotten off the ground without tens of millions of dollars in public subsidies. That's a pretty important detail given that the ad accuses Romney's critics of putting "free markets on trial."
If Mitt Romney really believes that his critics have put "free markets on trial," then responding to them by citing a company that got off the ground with $37 million in public aid is pretty hilarious.

Equally funny: Romney's ad claims he created "thousands of jobs" at Bain. As Steve Benen and Greg Sargent note, however, that's a decline from "tens of thousands" a few days ago and "a hundred thousand" a few days before that. Next thing you know, you'll be able to count the jobs he claims on your fingers and toes.

But my favorite part of the ad is the text claiming that Romney was a "conservative businessman."

First, what the hell is a conservative businessman? I mean, if free enterprise means government has nothing to with with the private sector, what could it possibly mean to be a conservative businessman, or a liberal businessman, or a moderate businessman?

Second, Romney, by his own admission, is more conservative today than he was ten years ago when he ran governor. At the time, he was calling himself a moderate and a progressive. And by that point in his career, he'd already retired from Bain. So if you insisted on putting a political label on his days as a businessman, he'd be a "moderate businessman" or a "progressive businessman."

But as far as I'm concerned, Mitt Romney can call himself any sort of businessman he likes, because no matter what words he might use, he's still a fraud.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 08:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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