7:33am

Thu January 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Anti-Romney Bain Video By Pro-Gingrich SuperPAC Gets Wide Release

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Winning Our Future, the superPAC supporting Newt Gingrich, released the entire 28-minute video "When Mitt Romney Came To Town," which portrays the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination as a one-time corporate raider who caused the layoffs of scores of workers. (A trailer has been available for a few days.)

If this were Hollywood, we would call this a wide release since it is likely to be playing on computer and home television screens by the many tens of thousands.

The video is high in pathos, with people who claim that they worked at companies acquired by private-equity firm Bain Capital when Romney was its CEO. They describe the hardships they endured after losing their jobs.

Some of Romney's rivals for the GOP nomination, Gingrich, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have criticized Romney for his Bain experience, accusing him of profiting handsomely at the expense of financially exploited companies and laid-off workers.

Gingrich in particular has accused Romney of "looting" companies and engaging in acts of unscrupulous capitalism when he was at Bain, though on Wednesday the former speaker appeared to backtrack from some of his harsher criticisms. During an encounter with a Republican voter in South Carolina, Gingrich allowed that some of his criticisms sounded like what might be heard from President Obama. according to a Politico.com report.

Later, his spokesman R.C. Hammond indicated Gingrich wasn't retreating at all, the same report said. Romney's campaign has called the attacks from his fellow Republicans "desperate."

Bloomberg News, which got to see the video Tuesday, did a fact check of the assertions made in the production and found some problems:

"A 28-minute film that attacks Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for eliminating jobs at times stretches the truth and takes some reports out of context or selectively edits them."

All of which makes the video a perfect fit for the suddenly intensified campaign in the lead-up to the South Carolina primary. The state is known for the perverse pride it takes in underhanded political tactics.

Considering some of the political nastiness that has occurred there, a video that employs a few unfair touches should fit in nicely.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.