Political Animal


July 28, 2011 10:05 AM Romney inadvertently backs Obama’s agenda

By Steve Benen

Given that Mitt Romney is the apparent frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, it’s often surprising how awful his campaign really is.

The former Massachusetts governor was in central Ohio, visiting a rock-crushing-equipment factory called Screen Machine Industries. As Romney argued, the business would be thriving if it weren’t for that rascally President Obama and his liberal agenda.


[I]t’s been the government — and Obama’s policies in particular — that has helped propel Screen Machine’s growth at its sprawling new headquarters here, even during the recession. The company, which builds heavy-duty crushing and screening machines used in construction, mining and recycling, received four stimulus awards totaling $218,607. It is also benefiting from a 10-year deal with local and state governments to not pay taxes on its property, equipment or inventory, according to public records.

And Screen Machine, which is expanding its global sales, recently won a federal contract to deliver its machines to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

I see. So, Romney would have us believe the federal government is holding Screen Machine Industries back and preventing it from growing. In reality, the federal government in general, and the president’s agenda in particular, is boosting Screen Machine Industries and helping it thrive.

And that’s just under Obama. This same company received government aid — from federal, state, and municipal agencies — seven years ago to help expand its Ohio headquarters.

Remember, Mitt Romney considers Screen Machine Industries an example of government intervention hurting the private sector.

What’s more, this keeps coming up. Romney recently visited a closed-down facility in Pennsylvania, and inadvertently made the case in support of Obama’s agenda. Soon after, he traveled to a dilapidated California shopping center, without realizing the project failed before Obama took office, and was actually shut down by a major Romney donor.

Has Romney not hired a research staff? How about an advance team? The former governor can take some solace in the fact that the political world’s focus is on Capitol Hill right now, not on the GOP presidential candidates, or his campaign’s striking incompetence might be a much bigger problem.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • T2 on July 28, 2011 10:09 AM:

    Romney's not too smart, it would appear. He is what he is because his father was a Congressman for decades. The fact he lost a primary in2008 to McCain doesn't indicate a real smart campaigner. It indicates a loser.

  • c u n d gulag on July 28, 2011 10:14 AM:

    "Has Romney not hired a research staff?
    How about an advance team?"


    And based on the voters he's targeting in the primaries, he's had his pick of the dumbest, most ignorant, most moronic motherf*cking huckleberries in the nation - because they want to work for one of the front-runners.

    Hey, if they were at all smart, they wouldn't be working for a Republican candidate for President in the first place.

    Amd I mean, you can't expect even the top graduates of The Alchemy School at Liberty University to turn these dingleberries into gold.

  • gus on July 28, 2011 10:24 AM:

    He's the git who keeps on giving.

  • Peter C on July 28, 2011 10:29 AM:

    You seem to be assuming that the Romney campaign INTENDS to tell the truth. If that were the case, that would make his campaign unique among the Republican presidential contenders. Sadly, all the evidence points to the fact that his campaign is just like all the others - it is concerned only with spreading negative messages about the capabilities of government and the actions of President Obama, regardless of whether those messages have any basis in reality. The Republicans have learned that whatever they say will be treated as 'reasonable' by the corporate media and trumpeted as self-evident by FOX. The Republicans have freed themselves from the restrictions of telling the truth and THIS and their near-limitless corporate spending account is the only thing keeping them in power.

  • foosion on July 28, 2011 10:49 AM:

    His statements sound good. What else matters? The media won't call him on it.

    By the way, this is one of the main problems with Obama's "appear reasonable" strategy. No one notices. The media just says the Rs and Ds are being too rigid, ignoring that Obama is bending over backwards to compromise.

  • Another Steve on July 28, 2011 11:00 AM:

    Oh come on, Steve. You know full well why he does it, and it's not because he's not very smart. Go back and look at the headline to the story you link to:

    Romney, visiting Ohio factory, says Obama's policies are bad for business

    That's the headline. The fact that the factory he's visiting undermines his theme, or even the fact that the WaPo noted the fact in the text of the story, is utterly irrelevant. He got his message into the headline and, in our idiotified world, headlines are the news.

    Romney keeps doing this because he knows he will be rewarded rather than punished. The MSM will give him a free pass on every lie he tells by portraying every underlying lie as matters of opinion disputed by bickering partisans.

    He'll stop lying when CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and, to a lesser extent, even MSNBC, stop rewarding him for it and start punishing him. It's not because he's dumb. It's basic Human Behavior 101.

  • MsJoanne on July 28, 2011 11:01 AM:

    One can only hope that these workers are paying attention. I saw that Obama was only polling so-so in MI...the MI that houses Detroit, the same Detroit that Romney wanted to go bankrupt, taking all of the auto industries down-stream vendors/suppliers/local establishments with it.

    Call that the Romney Domino Effect. Detroit goes bankrupt and anything having a relationship to Detroit goes with it.

    And now these ignorant comments.

    Dear god, I hope people are paying attention. Wait, isn't Casey Anthony over now? Maybe they will pay attention now.

    publican dialles?? Hmmm. Captcha still sucks like a vacuum.

  • doyles on July 28, 2011 11:13 AM:

    When have facts EVER mattered to a Republican campaign?

  • Kathryn on July 28, 2011 11:20 AM:

    To me the scariest aspect of Romney is is total lack of character or convictions. He couldn't lead a two man parade and would be putty in the hands of the far right GOP in Congress. If there has ever been a less authentic person running for President of the U.S.A., I can't think of who it was.