Rich guy Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade and whose family owns most of the North Siders, also known as the Chicago Cubs, funds a right-wing Super PAC (what self-respecting rich bloke doesn’t these days? I mean, America is for sale and, all in all, it’s going fairly cheaply).
His Super PAC was considering a proposal to do what John McCain wouldn’t do in 2008: dramatically stir up more white angst than was already a part of that campaign season.
The title of the proposal was “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.” The appeal:
Our plan is to do exactly what John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed. And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.”
Romney, who didn’t exactly “repudiate” any of his friendly Super PACS that were making mincemeat of his primary opponents, did “repudiate” this latest effort to rehash the Jeremiah Wright stuff.
Of course, that is because it is obvious these attacks will only help Obama with independent voters, who knew all about Wright and his sermons last time and were not moved by them.
But beyond that, Mittens used the opportunity today to do two things. First, he is trying to force the Obama campaign to pivot away from attacking his Bain days, saying during a short news conference this afternoon that doing so amounted to Obama attacking him personally, as suggesting he is “not a good person or not a good guy“:
My own view is that we can talk about a lot of things but the center piece of his campaign is quite clearly character assassination. And the center piece of my campaign is gonna be my vision to get America working again and provide a brighter future for our kids…it’s about jobs and kids.
Yes, jobs and kids. That’s what it’s about. Except in February, when Mittens was under the dark influence of Sean Hannity, it was about something else:
I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I’m not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less than Christian nation.
I suppose one could twist that statement into it being about “jobs and kids,” but it would take an Etch-A-Romney effort to do so.
Finally, Romney is trying to get his story straight about Bain. Throughout the primary, when he was being relentlessly attacked by Gingrich and Perry for being a vulture capitalist, Mittens couldn’t quite figure out how to respond effectively, except to attack them for attacking a fellow Republican capitalist.
Now, though, we see his general campaign defense for pre-political life shaping up:
My effort at Bain Capital, as you know, was in every case designed to try and make the enterprises we invested in more successful, to grow them. There’s this fiction that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that, I sure don’t. Our approach was to always make try and make the enterprise more successful.
The statements Romney made today suggest that the exposing Romney’s Bain past has been effective, or is expected to be effective, and Mittens wants to shut it down.
The response from Democrats should be: double down and keep talking about it.