The Corner

Romney Should Rally at Staples Stores

My best friend, Mr. Brett A. Shisler, made his TV debut last Wednesday. The Manhattan financier appeared on CNBC to discuss a recent article about Bain Capital, which I wrote with his priceless research assistance. We found that Bain generates healthy returns for many organizations that entrust their money to the private-equity company that Mitt Romney founded in 1984, including, among others, the Ohio Teachers Retirement Fund, Columbia and Harvard Universities, and the Ford and Oprah Winfrey Foundations. 

This is President Obama’s base. 

How ironic: Liberals excoriate this Romney-launched company as the quintessence of economic Darwinism. And yet much of the Democrat Left actually selects Bain to incubate their nest eggs into healthy returns that fund government-sector pensions, college scholarships, academic research, and foundation grants. Rather than thank-you notes, however, Romney and Bain get middle fingers.

Romney should convert months of dreadful ink on Bain into a huge positive. He should illustrate the fact that Bain Capital provided much of the money needed to turn small and struggling start-ups into thriving companies that now employ thousands of Americans.

Romney should hold rallies in the parking lots of such businesses as Staples, Guitar Center, and Sports Authority in battleground states. With pride and enthusiasm, Romney should celebrate his years at Bain and educate Americans on his track record there. 

#more#“Romney really could turn the negative rhetoric around, particularly in key battleground states such as Ohio, where the teacher’s pension fund has invested over $750 million in Bain since 2000,” Shisler explains. “I think if Romney went wide on this story, it would put a wedge between union bosses and the employees/retirees who now think that private equity means outsourcing jobs and getting white folks bigger yachts, rather than earning the money to pay for their retirement checks.”

Imagine the scene as Romney addressed an electrified crowd outside of a Staples in, say, Sarasota, Fla.  

“No, Mr. President,” Romney might roar. “You didn’t build this business. Government didn’t build this business. The hard-working men and women of Staples built this business, and they got some early help from me and my colleagues at Bain Capital. We offered the seed funding to get this company off the ground. Since 1986, it has grown to some 90,000 employees at 1,575 locations across the lower 48 states, including Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin — to name just a few places off the top of my head. Some of the profits that Staples generated returned to the investors in Bain Capital. Who were these investors? Well, they included the pension funds for retired teachers in Ohio, the savings of former police officers in Iowa, and the individual accounts of firefighters in Nevada — all of whom have completed their diligent public service.”

“We built this, Mr. President,” Romney might continue. “This is how we create jobs in America: Through private capital backing private companies in the free market. Jobs go to men and women who need them. And the wages they earn help them care for themselves and their loved ones. And some of the money that these companies make winds up in the retirement and investment accounts of regular Americans whose assets Bain Capital and similar firms nurture and grow.”

“I will take this approach to economic growth any day over President Obama’s government-led model,” Romney might add. “Obama’s disastrous formula plows your hard-earned taxpayer dollars into crony-led ‘green’ boondoggles, at least ten of which have taken government cash and then gone bankrupt. President Obama handed Fisker a $529 million loan guarantee. When Consumer Reports took the Fisker for a spin, it died on the test track. Now nearly 1,400 Fiskers are being recalled after a couple of them suddenly burst into flames!

“What a perfect symbol for the choice that Americans will face at the polls.” Romney might state. “On the one hand, never-ending high unemployment while President Obama sets taxpayer dollars literally ablaze or, on the other hand, my solution, which is to rely on a reinvigorated private sector to grow the economy and create jobs by the hundreds of thousands, as my colleagues and I did at Bain Capital, at enterprises like this Staples store, Bright Horizons day-care centers, Brookstone, and other successful ventures all across America.”

“I ask for your vote on November 6,” Romney might say. “If we prevail, Americans can look forward to far fewer places like Solyndra, with its abandoned factory floor and padlocked front gate. Instead, together, we will build many more places like this Staples store and other enterprises like it, many of them not yet even imagined. They will be filled with energetic Americans, glowing with pride, optimism, and joy. They will smile that smile we see on the faces of people who are thrilled to regain their self-confidence. These will be the smiles of people who have gone back to work.”

“That is the America we miss and the America we want back,” Romney might conclude. “With your help, we will restore the America we love, starting on Tuesday night, November 6.”

“Thank you. God bless you and God bless America!”

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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