Romney the Outsourcer/Offshorer and Corporate raider meme

I apologize first off that I’ll probably be dropping this thread in and then only periodically checking on it and reading the (hopefully several) responses. Basically, the question is, will this meme maintain traction and, ultimately, is this going to be the issue that kills Romney’s bid for president? The fact that it’s mostly a BS claim (exaggeration through outright distortion and into the realm of a bald face lie, at least according to FactCheck ) is beside the point, so I’d rather not get into that discussion unless no one wants to talk about the meat of the question as to what real world effect this is going to have on the campaign.

Personally, I think Obama and the Dems have hit on a sliver bullet here…it’s a meme that resonates and has resonated with the American people for years now, if not longer. The fear of outsourcing and offshoring, the anger over it, the lack of general understanding of the public of why it happens or what the actual real world effects are, all culminating in this effort to paint Mitt as one of these vile folks who do this sort of dastardly deed to good, hard working Americans, blah blah blah. I think that Obama et al are going to be successful in painting Mitt with this label (I think they are already successful at doing so in fact), and that it’s going to resonate with voters. It’s a brilliant, if slimy tactic that I think is going to win Obama another 4 years in office…IMHO anyway. What think you, 'dopers?


According to a USA Today poll it’s already working:

Bain has been the focus of the overwhelming majority of the negative ads against Romney.

It’s a bit Rovian, actually - take (ostensibly) your opponents strongest point and use it against him.

Obama is already using the outsourcing meme in campaign stops:

However, the corporate raider/breakup artist meme might stick around.

If Romney brings up his business acumen, his opponents simply have to point out that yes, Romney would be a good choice for president if what you want to do is break America up into parts, fire everyone, gut the pension plan and sell the profitable parts of the USA to other countries. This seems to be his area of expertise in business.

Here’s a take from the noted left-wing site (sarcasm) Rightwing News:

Why should an average American vote for someone who thinks it is a good idea to take away their job and give it to someone who isn’t an American?

Hey, don’t get irritated…but your OP makes it sound like it is for that recently unemployed persons good. You need to explain to him that him being laid off and an Indian doing his job is a GOOD thing for him.

If Romney cannot do that then maybe he shouldn’t be president. I, personally, look forward to hearing how he explains it.

He won’t and that will hurt him.

I don’t think someone that made his money outsourcing even ONE job overseas and/or has savings accounts overseas should be president. If you are president you should be PRO America. You should be The U.S’s main cheerleader. You can’t do that if you actively hurt Amercia by laying off workers and not paying taxes on your income by hiding it. That behavior is more toward the treasonous side than the pro-U.S. side.

That just goes to show that this meme goes beyond simple left/right politics. Ignorance and anger on this subject cross party lines…which, to get back to the OP, is going to play right into Obama’s hands IMHO. THIS is going to be the killer app of this election I expect.


BD: Do you realize that most economists believe outsourcing is a net plus for the US economy? If we’re arguing facts, than an anti-outsourcer should not be president.

XT - neighbor was just layed off and his job outsourced.

Explain his ignorance to him and about how this is a GOOD thing for him and how he shouldn’t be angry.

Exactly right Duck. See, I agree with John that, in the aggregate, outsourcing is a net good for both America and the world. But I can’t blame an individual voter who lost his job for being pissed and not wanting to vote for the political embodiment of the boss that fired him.

It’s certainly good politics for Obama to play that up, while it’s good policy for him to continue to work on foreign trade deals like the ones he has signed.

I know the arguments. I even think they might be true.

However, explain it to the Joe American worker that he should vote for you when you want to lay him off and give his job to a foreigner.

See that it might be a bit tough?

Most economists would say in general, jobs going to the cheapest sources is a net plus for the economy, but would make no proclamations on whether it was a net plus for the country, as there are more than just economic considerations. Therefore an anti-outsourcer should not de facto be not president.

There’s a difference between something being a net good for the US economy and being good for the finances of most Americans however. If someone loses their job to outsourcing, the fact that “the American economy is doing better” is rather weak comfort. Especially given the fact that gains in the US economy over the last decade and a half have gone to a relatively small sliver of the population (a sliver that includes people like Romney, which is why I suspect the various attacks accusing him of being a plutocrat have been so effective).

Back when I was a teacher, it was every difficult for a teacher to get on a school board. The public distrusted teachers being on the board as a conflict of interest.

I’ve noticed I have the same feelings about businessmen in government. Maybe businessmen shouldn’t be in government because of the conflict of interest.

It is one thing for a man (Obama) not not do anything about outsourcing and, in fact, even encourage it as you say. It is quite another thing to elect a man as president who actively killed many U.S. jobs. You may argue that it needed to be done and that, while tragic, would have happened anyway.

However, it is quite another thing to make the man who actually did these things and made much $$$ off of it president of the U.S. That is just…wrong.


Bain Capital may in fact have been doing great business that was good for the overall economy of the US. It could be argued that the businesses that Romney broke up and sold were inefficient and a net drag on the economy. Perhaps it was a very good thing to get rid of them, and simply an unfortunate side effect was the local folks losing their jobs. Perhaps you could even argue, using statistical analysis and cold logic, that there was a net gain in jobs, after another company on the other side of the country was able to expand into the market left by the destroyed company.
You could build a cold, unemotional, logical argument based on this.

Contrast that with testimonials and advertisements featuring real down-to-earth solid Americans who lost their jobs after Romney sold off their company. Small towns where payroll was reduced to the point where cafes and small stores also went under.
Folks talking about how Christmas was ruined that year, and they personally blame Romney for taking their jobs and ruining their lives. Bonus points for showing a widow who does not get the pension of her late husband who put in 30 years and is now left with nothing.

Logical? No. Powerful? Yes. A single personal story can be far more moving than a pile of statistical analysis.

ETA: And here is how NOT to address those personal stories; Have a supporter say that essentially if you disagree with Romney, you are uneducated and too stupid to understand what is going on.

I don’t think this is going to be the only issue that kills Romney’s bid for president.

Their are so many reasons…

I won’t derail the thread to list them here, but your OP assumes that absent this issue Romney would have a fair chance of victory. Only this “slimy and unfair” attack stands between him and the White House. I see much bigger problems for the Romney campaign than just this.

Is it your contention that outsourcing is bad for the finances of most Americans?

I doubt anyone says it would be. But people like to buy cheap shit, and it’s rather weak comfort to tell a poor person that they have to pay more for their goods so that someone else doesn’t lose his job.

The rich are an easy target. I’m not going to argue against that.

Give him a dictionary and have him look up the word ‘meme’ in his copious spare time…that might be a good place to start. Possibly direct him to the FactCheck article I linked too.

After that, it’s going to be tough. While in the aggregate we all benefit from overseas trade, and even benefit from having jobs in manufacturing sectors that we can’t compete in any longer shipped overseas, that becomes more difficult to handle when it’s YOU who has been outsourced or downsized. Since I’ve been there myself I can say that it’s no fun at all.

However, ask your friend whether he would have been happier had, instead of shipping the job overseas, instead the company had gone the automation way instead. The practical effect would have been exactly the same…his job would have been gone. And that’s the real world quandary companies are in and have been in. There is competition everywhere, from all over the world. If you can’t compete with the labor force you have then you either change the equation (via outsourcing, offshoring or automation) or go out of business…which would also have exactly the same practical effect on your friend wrt his job. The only difference is that everyone in his company would have been out of work in that case, plus We, The People would get zero taxes from that company and zero continued benefit at all.

That he should be angry at Mitt, or that he should be angry at his company…or that he should be angry at live and the raw hand he was dealt? Should the folks who used to make buggy whips or manually operate switch boards have been angry when they lost their jobs? I’m sure they they were, and to them for justifiable reasons…that doesn’t mean that we should have protected those jobs just because it was going to be hard on those folks who were laid off when those jobs weren’t necessary anymore. It’s cold comfort when it’s you on the raw end of the stick, no doubt, and there is no way to explain to someone in that position that, overall and collectively we benefit from such things. It’s like how thousands of folks are going to die this year (for sure…no doubt) by driving their cars to work, and many more thousands will be maimed. It sucks for those folks who have that happen to them, it really does…but that doesn’t mean we should give up driving cars or using trucks to transport our goods, because the benefits far outweigh the costs for the vast majority of those of us who won’t die or be maimed this year driving a vehicle.


I said he had a slim chance, even absent this issue. I that that thin chance vanishes to nearly nothing because of this issue, however. YMMV…that’s why I asked in the OP. You won’t derail it if you want to list another issue you think is more important to why he won’t be elected…feel free.


Nice try XT but that won’t work. As Jas09 said cold hard facts won’t work.

As for automation, I know what he would say. He would say that the job doesn’t exist anymore. It would suck but he could accept that. However, his job DOES exist…it just isn’t being done by an American.

Let’s be clear XT. I actually understand the arguments for outsourcing. They might even be true. That is not what we are discussing.

What we are discussing is the should the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA be someone who has a history of outsourcing jobs, making much money off of that, paying low taxes on some of it and hiding much of the rest in overseas tax shelters?

I mean, C’MON man! The PRESIDENT shouldn’t have overseas accounts! He shouldn’t be outsourcing jobs! Who the frack is going to stand up for the common American Joe if the President won’t?

I’m not saying outsourcing shouldn’t happen (though I have much reservations about it) but this guy shouldn’t be president. The President shoul dbe more…Pro-American.


I suspect most people would prefer increased job security and higher wages to less expensive goods. That stuff is cheap is not very useful if you have no income.

After all, we could all just work for free and then goods would be much cheaper. But people still seem to insist on paychecks.

In this case I’m saying they’re an easy target for a specific reason. They’ve absorbed most of the gains a decade and a half worth of increased productivity.

When emotions are engaged they rarely do. C’est la vie. If he wants to blame Mitt because his company outsourced his job to India, well, that’s his gods given right as an American. :stuck_out_tongue:

His job would still exist if they went the automation route as well…except then it wouldn’t be done BY A HUMAN. :eek:

Actually, what we are discussing here is how the Dems are spinning this whole BS meme about Mitt being an outsources/offshorer and corporate raider. We aren’t actually discussing the merits of outsourcing, offshoring or corporate raiding in this thread. We’re not even really talking about the fact that there is little evidence that the Mittster actually IS any of those things. We’re talking about how successful the tactic that the Dems are using is or isn’t going to be in the election.

Actually, what we are discussing is how the meme of him being those things is going to play out in the election.

I disagree that people, including the President, shouldn’t have overseas bank accounts, but that’s neither here nor there. Certainly the President should stand up for the common American, in the aggregate. That’s his job…to try and do the best for the majority, while keeping in mind the fact that you don’t want a tyranny of that majority on various minority positions. It’s a tough balancing act, no doubt…I wouldn’t want the freaking job (not unless it included scantily clad love muffins peeling me grapes while fanning me with palm fronds and passing me cold drinks).