Regular readers know that I’m far from the biggest Mitt Romney supporter in the world. That being said, the criticisms of his time at Bain Capital leveled by fellow candidates Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman, and Rick Perry have been shockingly opportunistic and intellectually dishonest, particularly for self-proclaimed advocates of free market capitalism (they’ve also ignored the more salient criticism — the numerous instances in which Bain lived off the taxpayer).
Over at Ricochet, I have a proposed rhetorical response for Romney. The whole’s thing here, but here’s a sample:
I would remind my opponents – as I would remind President Obama – that work is a form of public service. Our ability to make money is directly tied to our ability to provide something of value to our fellow man. But sometimes when the customer’s needs change or when we lose ground to our competitors, we have to make changes. We don’t choose these circumstances. As a matter of fact, we hate these circumstances. But, like many Americans that are struggling today, we accept the things that we cannot change, we make the hard choices, and we persevere. That is never an easy task. And unfortunately, sometimes people lose their jobs as a result. But what, I wonder, do my opponents think the alternative is? If a company on the brink of failure has no choice but to let a few employees go now or to see all of their jobs disappear eventually, what should they do?
Those are the kind of painful choices that people face in the real economy. And I find it telling that that concept is foreign to my opponents. They’re not foreign to the American people – because they’re living through them every day. You can talk to anyone who’s ever sat behind a manager’s desk – whether it’s in a corner office or a corner store – and they’ll tell you that there’s nothing that they hate more than having to fire someone. Americans take pride in their work. Losing a paycheck hurts. But losing your sense of dignity hurts more. My experiences in business didn’t make me enjoy firing people. It made me loathe the politicians in Washington for whom those people are nothing more than statistics on a spreadsheet.