-- One day after President Barack Obama vowed to attack Mitt Romney's private equity record through to November, a super PAC supporting his reelection unleashed a new ad that enlists the former Massachusetts governor's erstwhile primary rivals to do just that.
There's Newt Gingrich, lumping Romney in with financiers who "loot companies, leave behind broken families, broken towns, people on unemployment." Here's Rick Perry, hitting those who "wait until they see a distressed company and then they swoop in and you know pick the carcass clean and then fly away." Jon Huntsman, seizing on Romney's out-of-context quote that he likes to fire people? Sure. Why not? Didn't get it the first time? Here's Perry weighing in against "vulture capitalists." John Brabender, Rick Santorum's chief strategist, also criticizes Romney.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has a cameo taken from a Fox News Channel appearance in which she calls on Romney to substantiate his claim to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain Capital. "That's fair, that's not negative campaigning," she says. "That's fair to get a candidate to be held accountable."
Gingrich, who has swung from being one of Romney's chief antagonists over Bain to endorsing him, predicted in an interview with CNN late Monday that Obama's attacks on Bain would fail. "One of the things we discovered we could never make clear an attack on a particular case and Romney's ability to say 'no, this is about free enterprise.' And the average American looked up and said, you know, 'it's about free enterprise,'" he told CNN.
At the same time, Gingrich seemingly rebutted one of Romney's main counter-arguments, that Obama's criticisms of Bain are really attacks on capitalism as a whole.
"A discussion about a particular company or a particular decision is not an attack on the free enterprise system," the former speaker said.
Still, the ad affirms what everyone knew to be true: That the protracted Republican primary fight would provide ammunition for Obama supporters in the general election.
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