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Bain Ad May Be Based On Dem ‘Opp’ Research

From a giddy Politico:

Tale of the Mitt-bashing Bain film

Jon Huntsman PAC eyed Mitt Romney Bain film

By: Kenneth P. Vogel
January 9, 2012

Before Newt Gingrich’s super PAC paid $40,000 for the stinging anti-Mitt Romney documentary that’s roiling the GOP presidential campaign, Jon Huntsman’s allies expressed interest in it.

Veteran GOP adman Fred Davis, who is a key adviser to the pro-Huntsman Our Destiny PAC, was impressed by the introduction to the half-hour documentary “When Mitt Romney Came to Town" and took it to his group’s board.

The board “decided not to move forward with it” because “we simply saw it too late to seriously consider,” Davis told POLITICO.

Still, he predicted the film’s portrayal of Romney as a cold-hearted “corporate raider” could be used to devastating effect against the former Massachusetts governor.

Maybe by the Democrats. (After all, who uses such language as "corporate raiders" except Democrats?)

“Think ‘Swift Boats,’” he said of the movie, calling the introduction “very well made and powerful stuff” that seemed “to be accurate portrayals of various individuals and situations.”

Though the full documentary has yet to be released, a three-minute trailer posted on Winning Our Future’s website features interviews with people who worked at companies taken over by Bain, who bash Romney while a narrator accuses him of “exploiting dozens of American businesses.”

The "full documentary" is reported to be all of 27 minutes.

Romney’s campaign has cried foul over the movie’s line of attack, asserting it plays into Democrats’ hands by vilifying capitalism and mischaracterizing Romney’s days at the helm of the investment firm Bain Capital. And some conservatives have suggested funny business, questioning the money and motives behind the movie, which is likely to become a major force in the coming days.

Why aren’t we being given any of the details about who actually made this, and why? Wasn’t this article supposed to be about the background of this ‘film.’

The pro-Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future – fueled by a $5 million contribution from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson – intends to use the movie as the basis for a hard-hitting multimillion-dollar advertising campaign targeting Romney this week in South Carolina.

The real consideration Davis and Our Destiny gave to obtaining the movie, which the super PAC had previously minimized, highlights the emerging consensus among Romney opponents that the Bain attack that it may be their best shot to slow Romney’s march to the GOP nomination — even if it is ideologically unorthodox for conservatives.

That is one way of putting it. Another way of putting it is that they are using Democrat class warfare, Democrat anti-capitalism, to try to bring down an opponent.

The movie’s producer, Barry Bennett, who previously consulted for a pro-Rick Perry super PAC, told POLITICO that Our Destiny came closer to buying the film than even Davis admits.

Our Destiny has aired more than $2 million worth of ads supporting Huntsman and ripping Romney. And Davis brushed off Bennett’s characterization, asserting he “never had a discussion of money” with Bennett.

Both men rejected complaints from Romney allies that the movie plays into Democrats’ hands.

Davis conceded “the Romney team’s response pushing you in that direction has been good,” while Bennett, who still supports Perry, cast the movie as a service to Republicans.

“If Mitt Romney is our nominee, he’ll be better prepared and a stronger candidate because of it,” said Bennett. “And if people see this and don’t think that he should be the nominee because of it, then they’ll choose somebody else. But either way, I think that we’re better off as a party because of it.”

This line of argument is fallacious. If a Republican airs an inaccurate hatchet job, it only adds credibility to the inaccurate hatchet job. That is not doing anyone in the GOP any good.

Bennett said he financed the movie with $40,000 from his own pocket and sold it at cost to Winning Our Future, explaining “I was not trying to profiteer here. It started out as an opposition research project and it just got more and more and more, and then it wound up with a music track on it. Once my wife reads how much money I put in, she’ll kill me.”

The idea and source material for the movie came from three opposition research files produced by Romney’s Republican foes in the 2008 presidential primary, said Bennett, who said he obtained the files without paying, but wouldn’t specify from whom, or for which campaigns they were produced.

“There were never any fingerprints on them,” he said, but he added “there were only so many candidates in 2008 and I think I have three. … There are probably a dozen reporters out there who have John McCain’s book on Mitt Romney. And they didn’t have to pay for it either, I’m guessing.”

And we are supposed to believe this? Even though no Republicans in the 2008 primaries ever brought up Bain.

But rival 2008 campaigns did not focus much on Romney’s days at Bain, either in their public comments or back-channel communications with reporters. And sources told POLITICO that the campaigns with the most robust oppo shops – McCain’s and Rudy Giuliani’s – focused their Romney research on his time as Massachusetts governor.

“Republicans don’t attack other Republicans for making money,” said a GOP operative who worked for a Romney rival in 2008. “I don’t think [the research used in Bennett’s movie] comes from Republicans,” the operative said. Asserting the research more likely came from a Democrat, the operative pointed out that Romney’s work at Bain became an issue in 1994, when he challenged the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy in a Massachusetts Senate race. “This is the Kennedy playbook that’s been updated, and somebody has been paid off to front it.”

Can there be any doubt?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

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