Romney Gets a Lesson in Creative Destruction From GOP Rivals

Posted by: Dan Beucke on January 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Mitt Romney knew he’d eventually come in for a beating for his role as a buyout specialist who restructured companies, sometimes chopping jobs in pursuit of a profit. He probably didn’t expect to get quite the Occupy Wall Street treatment from his fellow Republicans, though. A desperate need to keep Romney from taking an early insurmountable edge led to the rare sight of GOP presidential rivals playing the Gordon Gekko card. Hours before voting opens in New Hampshire, a video posted on the web by a Newt Gingrich-aligned PAC accuses Romney of being a “corporate raider.” Gingrich, in an interview with NBC’s “Today,” said Romney “looted” companies that Bain acquired. And an adviser to the PAC and former Gingrich spokesman told Bloomberg that Romney is a “corporate mugger” who pushed jobs overseas.

When Romney told voters he, too, had sometimes worried about losing his job, Texas Governor Rick Perry scoffed, “I have no doubt Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company, Bain Capital, of all the jobs that they killed.” When Romney told an audience in Nashua, N.H., that he likes “being able to fire people who provide services to me,” he was speaking of having choice in health-care providers. But Jon Huntsman said the remark shows “he’s slightly out of touch with the economic reality playing out in America right now.”

Now that Republicans are showing their anti-raider side, we need only wait for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum to join Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman in a drum circle. The Tea Party already has a nice supply of drums, and some fifes to go with them.

(Photographer: Alex Brandon/AP)

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"The Wealth Debate" is a running discussion of wealth, poverty, the economy and income inequality in the U.S. and the world. It was started shortly after the Occupy Wall Street movement sparked a global protest about the fallout from the financial crisis and money in politics. You can reach the editors, Dan Beucke and Mark Gimein, by email, or follow BloombergNow on Twitter to keep up with posts.

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