I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.
Part XXV: Villification:
And after having said that Obama is both:
- "a failure.... a bad guy... did bad things... corrupt..."
- "just... not up to the task... in over his head..."
Romney immediately pivots too: THEY'RE GOING TO VILLIFY ME!
The big questions with respect to Mitt Romney's career are always: Just how did he get so rich? Did he take a reasonable share of value-creation activities that made us all richer? Or was he a rent-seeking parasite--someone who successfully held up productive activities and took an outsized share in return for not blocking them, a financial robber baron of the late twentieth century?
The natural way to answer this question would have been for Romney to trot out testimonials from the clients of Bain Capital. Who were the great entrepreneurs whom Bain Capital funded? What were the high-profit high-value high-wage paying companies that got their chance to scale up their success because Bain Capital was there, with financing and with key insights into markets and strategy?
But Romney never seemed to want to talk about those. "I ran the Salt Lake City Olympics" seemed to be the only thing he wanted to point to. He did not even want to say: "I was a very good Governor of Massachusetts." And so he was on the defensive with respect to his business career throughout the campaign: the job-killer union-buster pension-stealer partner-hold-upper.
It was and is a puzzlement. On the finance side, Warren Buffett has always talked constantly about the great businesses he has bought and helped expand, and the great operating managers he has backed. But Romney?...
Romney: What's he going to do by the way is try and vilify me as someone who's been successful. Or who's closed business or laid people off—an evil, bad guy. And that may work. I actually think that right now people are saying, "I want somebody who can make things better, that's gonna motivate me, who can get jobs for my kids and get rising incomes." And I hope to be able to be the one who wins that battle...