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Sunday
Jan082012

David Axelrod: Mitt Romney’s ‘Bain Mentality’ Will Undermine His Appeal

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod Sunday on “This Week” honed his two-pronged attack on GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, insisting the former Bain Capital CEO’s record and shifting policy positions will undermine his general election appeal.

“Frankly I don’t think bringing a Bain mentality to this economy — to running this economy — makes him a strong candidate,” Axelrod said. “I don’t think shifting and moving around on positions – fundamental positions – is one that people are going to embrace.”

During the ABC News New Hampshire debate Saturday, Romney’s Republican rivals tried to level similar attacks, taking particular aim at Bain’s record on creating and eliminating jobs.

Newt Gingrich denounced Romney’s support for the “Wall Street model where you can flip companies, you can go in and have leveraged buyouts, you can basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers.”  Rick Santorum insisted, “the commander-in-chief of this country isn’t a CEO.”

But Romney, who co-founded the private equity firm in 1984, seemed to fly above the fray, emerging from the debate largely unscathed.

“If last night was a NASCAR race, Mitt Romney had a couple of laps on everybody, and all he had to do was keep from hitting the wall. And I would say this, when his car came off the track last night, there were no dents in it,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said.

The Obama campaign has for months signaled that it expects Romney will be the GOP nominee, and on Sunday Axelrod reiterated criticism of Romney’s record at Bain as Democrats’ major line of attack headed into the spring.

“They closed down more than a thousand plants, stores and offices. They outsourced tens of thousands of jobs. And they took 12 companies to bankruptcy and on those bankruptcies he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars,” Axelrod said.

Romney, who has said President Obama is a “job killer,” insisted Saturday night that he does not deserve credit for 22 consecutive months of private sector job growth or an improving unemployment rate.

Axelrod called the claims “preposterous.”

“He has a lot of arguments, but none of them are supported by fact," Axelrod said.

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