Politics and Public Opinion

Obama’s Bain backlash continues

Since Barack Obama launched his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record in private equity, the GOP counteroffensive highlighting Obama’s public equity record continues to gain steam. The Romney campaign, American Crossroads, and the RNC all have ads up highlighting Obama’s public equity scandals. And yesterday, Romney paid a visit to the poster child of public equity gone wrong when he dropped by the shuttered offices of Solyndra—the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer and recipient of a $535 million Obama loan guarantee. The Washington Post reports:

[O]pening up what will likely be a constant line of attack against the Obama administration’s economic policies…. Romney has accused Obama of not understanding how the “real economy” works and Solyndra has become his Exhibit A. “Two years ago, President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of his stimulus. Well you can see that it’s a symbol of something very different today, it’s a symbol not of success, but of failure,” Romney said. “It’s also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest. An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors.”

Romney, standing in front of the gleaming Solyndra office building which has a red “For Sale” sign hanging on it, said that the building was a symbol of “gross waste.”

“If you look at this building behind us, this is not the kind of building that is filled by private enterprise. This is the kind of enterprise, the kind of building that’s built with a half a billion dollars of tax payer money,” Romney said. “It’s not just the Taj Mahal of corporate headquarters, you probably also heard that inside there are showers that have LCD displays that tell you what the temperature is of the shower water.”

Meanwhile in Boston, Obama’s top political advisor, David Axelrod, got a taste of the public equity backlash up close and personal. Traveling to Romney’s home state of Massachusetts to attack the former governor’s economic record there, Axelrod was met by a crowd of Romney supporters chanting “Solyn-dra!  Solyn-dra!” You can see the video here:

Looks like this issue is going to be dogging the president’s re-election effort for months to come.

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