Attack ads dismantled

Attack ads dismantled

July 3rd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

Even some of the most notoriously deceptive political campaign ads often rest on a thin reed of truth -- weasel words to provide an escape hatch in case skeptical observers start doing some actual digging.

Not so the recent Obama attack ads suggesting that GOP challenger Mitt Romney outsourced jobs to other nations during his time at venture capital firm Bain Capital.

The claims were too much even for left-leaning FactCheck.org, which ripped them apart in extended fashion.

The organization pored over documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as a range of other information sources.

Its conclusion? "[W]e found no evidence to support the claim that Romney -- while he was still running Bain Capital -- shipped American jobs overseas."

The full analysis is at the organization's website, but here are its summarized findings:

• "One TV ad ... claims that Romney 'shipped jobs to China and Mexico.' But two examples cited by the Obama campaign occurred after Romney left Bain. There's no clear evidence that a third company shipped jobs to China under Romney."

• "A second ad ... mocks Romney's tough talk about cracking down on China's trade practices by saying 'all he's ever done is send them our jobs' and citing [a] Washington Post article. But the newspaper article contained no examples of U.S. jobs being shipped to China while Romney was working at Bain."

• One ad "casts Romney as a 'corporate raider,' but that term, loaded with negative connotations, is simply inaccurate. Bain didn't engage in hostile takeovers when Romney was at the helm."

• "That ad also repeats the claim that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney was 'outsourcing state jobs to India.' But it wasn't the state that outsourced contracts. Rather, Romney vetoed a measure that would have prevented the state from doing business with a state contractor that was locating state customer-service calls in India."

Translation: The ads are bacon-stuffed malarkey.

You may or may not favor Romney for president. But if you don't, please do yourself a favor and find a better reason than the fibs pouring out of the Obama campaign about Romney's time at Bain Capital.