Thursday, July 19, 2012

Romney’s Toothless Attacks on ‘Crony Capitalism’

By Timothy Carney

Good for Mitt Romney, attacking President Obama’s crony capitalism. Too bad there’s no evidence that a President Romney would do anything to stop it.

“We’re seeing our president hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors,” Romney said in a campaign speech Tuesday. Romney called this “crony capitalism,” and declared, “That is wrong and it’s got to stop.”

A Romney Web ad also whacked Obama over solar panel maker Solyndra, which failed despite generous federal subsidies, pointing out that the company’s largest investor, George Kaiser, was a bundler for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“When billions upon billions of dollars are given by the Obama administration to the businesses of campaign contributors,” Romney said in a Fox News interview on Monday, “that’s a real problem.”

Romney surrogates also are making the same case. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli hosted a conference call hammering away at Obama’s subsidies to donors and bundlers.

But that conference call highlighted the problem in this line of attack. When reporters asked Cuccinelli what Romney would do to prevent crony capitalism in the future, the AG had no specifics.

Why should anyone put much stock in GOP attacks on Obama’s cronyism when Romney can’t say how he would make the cronyism stop?

Romney hasn’t presented a plan to slow the revolving door whereby lobbyists become public servants doling out taxpayer money before returning to K Street. Obama’s 2008 promises to fix the revolving door — promises he’s broken — gave him cross-partisan appeal. Romney could tap into that same well of good-government, cleanup-the-system constituency if he pledged to deliver where Obama has failed.

Not only is Romney not talking the good-government talk, he’s not walking the walk, either. Unlike every other major party nominee since 2000, Romney is refusing to disclose any of his bundlers — volunteer fundraisers — except for registered lobbyists, whose names he’s legally required to disclose.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. That's why it's difficult to believe has a strong chance of winning. At best he's a coin flip. His only compelling reason for being president is that he's not Obama; even that is questionable.

    During the race 4 years ago, McCain at least had one strong belief you could take to the bank: he wanted to kill foreigners. Romney doesn't even have that.

    Romney is just flailing around looking for something that will stick. He now seems to be picking topics that attracted Ron Paul fervent support like auditing the Fed and fighting crony capitalism. Unfortunately, as even gangstas know, without street cred, people just laugh at you.