After a week of taking a battering from Barack Obama over his tenure at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced today that they were punching back, attempting to hit Mr. Obama for what they call his record of rewarding government contracts to friends of his administration.
“While middle-class Americans are suffering in the Obama economy, President Obama’s donors and supporters are ‘doing fine,” said campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “The President has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on political payoffs, but failed to create the millions of jobs he promised. Americans deserve a president who is concerned with creating jobs for the middle class, not rewarding campaign donors.”
On Fox and Friends this morning, Governor Romney made the case himself:
“There is no question but that when billions upon billions of dollars are given by the Obama Administration to the businesses of campaign contributors, that is a real problem particularly at a time when the middle class is really suffering in this country,” he said. “This is a tough time for the people of America. But if you are a campaign contributor to Barack Obama, your business may stand to get billions of dollars or hundreds of millions of dollars in cash from the government. I think it’s wrong. I think it stinks to high heaven and I think the administration has to explain how it is they would consider giving money to campaign contributors’ businesses.”
The Romney campaign emailed out a number of stories which they say point to the Obama administration’s favoritism, including one that showed that several top Obama donors got jobs in the Energy Dept, another ABC News report which suggests that political allies of the administration received stimulus loans, and a Times report that shows that donors sometimes gave campaign funds soon after official White House meetings.
A lot of the news here is a little stale, but obviously the Romney camp thinks that the notion of Democrats using government largesse to reward allies is a political winner for them, playing into notions of Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals from the machine era. And with the struggling economy, the notion that those close to people in power are doing fine plays into middle class fears about elite advantages that most Americans are cut off from.
The campaign released an accompanying video, which includes audio of Obama serenading donors to Al Green’s “Let’s Get Together” in Harlem earlier this year, and which can be seen below: