Mitt Romney essentially offers the American people one reason why they should elect him president and deny a second term to President Obama.
This is the reason: President Obama hasn’t a clue as to what it takes to run an economy and I do.
And why should we believe Romney is better qualified to manage the economy than Obama? There’s only one reason for that claim, too: Romney became fabulously wealthy running a company named Bain Capital.
Obama doesn’t buy the argument. He’s going around saying Bain specialized in outsourcing American jobs overseas and that, while his tenure in private industry may have been very, very lucrative for Mitt Romney, there is no reason to believe that his experience offers much to American workers.
In fact, the Obama campaign suggests, one reason Romney got rich was that he screwed the employees of the companies in which Bain invested.
Now, I’m not sure this is the most fruitful debate candidates for President of the United States might engage in, but it is the debate they are engaged in and the terms of that debate were set by Romney.
So, I find it puzzling that Romney is so flabbergasted by the demands from Democrats and the media that he become more forthcoming about his tenure at Bain and about the nature of the fortune he amassed.
He does seem flabbergasted, however.
When The Boston Globe unearthed documents suggesting Romney was in charge of Bain two years longer than he claimed to be – a time when the company encouraged its component companies to ship American jobs overseas – Romney replied glibly that everyone knows a man can own a company and still not run it.
And when the newspaper and others found statements by Romney saying he really was running Bain even while running the Olympics, the GOP presidential candidate just shrugged and said those statements were inoperative. One of his spokesmen said over the weekend that Romney retired "retroactively."
Now, given the fact that Romney’s real qualification for the presidency is that he is rich (in a sane world, he might cite his experience as governor of Massachusetts, but he has disowned his record there), why is he surprised that not only Democrats but Republican leaders want him to disclose his income tax returns – something every other presidential candidate for generations has done?
Romney’s response is that he is doing what the law requires, has released one year’s return and plans to release a second return but certainly has no intention of releasing his tax returns for any other years, including those years covering all the controversy.
In other words, his attitude is "elect me because I am rich but don’t think I’m going to tell you how I got rich or what I did with my money."
Does this guy really want to be President?
Actually, Romney reminds me of most corporate CEOs I have ever met. He really doesn’t feel he has to explain himself to his underlings and he most certainly doesn’t see the press as having any standing to ask him impertinent questions.
It’s not going to work. The Democrats will hammer him like a piñata. The press will dig out every half-truth available and headline it. Sooner or later, Romney will release the information.
Who knows? Unless the economy improves, Romney may actually win the election. But the attitudes he has displayed in running for the office don’t give me much comfort in anticipating the kind of government he would run.