Mitt Romney Can’t Afford To Lose Obama's Bain Game

To prevail, Romney's campaign will have to demonstrate near flawless message discipline. Americans don't understand venture capital, and they're not likely to learn from seven-second sound bites on cable news. What they do know is times are tough, and many on the left are willing to make big business the fall guy for today's economic problems.

Romney's challenge will be to show Bain in a good light—to make Booker's point writ large. Romney will have to showcase companies such as Staples, where Bain's work has led to tens of thousands of jobs. He'll have to make the case Bain has created far more jobs than it has lost.

But it has to go beyond case studies. He has to demonstrate how and why venture capital is the lifeblood of any successful free enterprise system and that free enterprise still holds the best hope for restoring prosperity in America. He'll have to show why the "hope and change" of President Obama's 2008 campaign has become "despair and joblessness," and why these factors are unlikely to change without a change at the top.

Other issues may intervene—if the high court upholds Obamacare, that would open an entirely new front for Romney.

But the battles lines have been drawn and, thanks to Mayor Booker, openly declared. And Romney should know now—if he didn't already—that he can't win unless he can defeat the attacks on Bain.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at U.S. News & World Report 

Update: Article mentioned at The Week as a top opinion pick

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-22 17:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy