May 25, 2012 •
Eye on the Races – May 25, 2012
Depending on where you live, and how much attention you pay to television advertisements for political campaigns, messages being disseminated are having varying effects. President Obama’s campaign has come out with a couple ads aimed at defining former Governor Mitt Romney’s history in the private sector, most notably his involvement with Bain Capital, a firm he co-founded.
The first round of ads have been airing across the country, mostly in battleground states like Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The second round of ads are set to air in targeted markets as well in the coming days.
Gov. Romney finally broke his silence Wednesday, during interviews and appearances on the campaign trail. In countering the ads from the Obama campaign, Gov. Romney told TIME’s Mark Halperin, “I happen to believe that having been in the private sector for twenty five years gives me a perspective on how jobs are created – that someone who’s never spent a day in the private sector, like President Obama, simply doesn’t understand.”
As far as whether or not the Bain ads are working, it’s perhaps too soon to say. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that a majority (53%) of respondents did not recognize or have enough information to offer an opinion about the name Bain Capital. The same poll also showed that 59% of respondents said Gov. Romney’s background was an advantage in working to reduce the federal budget deficit.
To make things more complicated, a number of prominent democrats – Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former White House “car czar” Steve Rattner – have all levied criticism over whether or not attacking private equity is an appropriate campaign strategy.
President Obama’s campaign has stood firm; however, and the President has stated that Gov. Romney’s record at Bain is what “this campaign is going to be about.”
During a press conference at the end of the recent NATO summit in Chicago, President Obama stated, “When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot.”
It’s clear the issue is not going away anytime soon, and will be a centerpiece of both campaigns moving forward.
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