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Well, this is a bit odd. In a conference call from early June, here's Mitt Romney encouraging business owners to tell their employees how they ought to vote:
[26:30]  I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, you pass those along to your employees. There's nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision. And of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.
Most of the rest of the tape is shudderingly dull, boilerplate stuff that we've come to expect from Mitt, but at the end he adds that little bit in on his own, as his closing statement. Aside from that being a not-at-all-veiled suggestion that businesses, ahem, let employees know which vote would be "in the best interest of your enterprise, and therefore their job," there's also the rather obvious issue of that indeed happening over the summer. Gawker, for example, got hold of a lovely crazy rant from semi-prominent real estate asshole David Siegel to his employees threatening to fire those employees and close his company if Obama was reelected—a letter inspired, according to the crazy rich person himself, from an over-the-top chain letter from four years ago.

I think the takeaway here is that yes, Mitt Romney is as much of a jerk in his business dealings as we already knew he was. If you're willing to outsource entire manufacturing lines to China to save a few bucks, I suppose it's not very surprising that you'd also be perfectly willing to gently threaten your employees in order to get them to vote the right way. Or stand in front of a bunch of coal miners who were told attendance at your political rally was "mandatory" and that they wouldn't be getting paid for the day, for that matter.

(For more discussion, see the diary by TheGreatLeapForward)

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