Obama Outsourcing Ads Campaign Spin

Monday, 02 Jul 2012 09:50 AM

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The Obama campaign has launched a series of ads attacking Mitt Romney for outsourcing based on a story by The Washington Post, but a fact check of the ads by the paper finds there is “little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”

The article has created a stir in the campaign since the Post published it last week. The Romney campaign has charged it is inaccurate and demanded a retraction and the Obama campaign has seized on it to attack Romney. The Post, meanwhile, has refused to retract it and is standing by it.

The Post’s fact checker, while not examining the article itself, notes that “both campaigns have seized on a news report in The Post, and both are describing it inaccurately for their own political purposes. The Obama campaign has even made the report the centerpiece of its current ad campaign.”

The article appeared online June 21 with the headline that said: “Romney’s Bain Capital Invested In Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas.” The print version carried the headline, “Bain’s Firms Sent Jobs Overseas.” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod quickly released a statement claiming that Romney “made a fortune advising companies on how to outsource jobs to China and India.”
“The actual article, in fact, does not say that transfers of U.S. jobs took place while Romney ran the private equity firm of Bain Capital,” the Post wrote. “(Since Romney kept an ownership stake in Bain, he may have still benefited from transactions, but “advising” is another matter.)

“Instead, the article says that Bain was prescient in identifying an emerging business trend — the movement of back-office, customer service and other functions out of companies that were willing to let third parties handle that business. Several of the companies mentioned in the article grew into major international players in the offshoring field today.”

In conclusion, the Post wrote, “The Obama campaign moved quickly to define what the article said, claiming that this transfer of jobs took place while Romney ran Bain. That’s not what the original article said.

“Yet the campaign clearly seized on this report because their interpretation fit with a long-term ‘outsourcing’ attack they have waged against Romney. One of their outsourcing ads before the article ran, in fact, earned Four Pinocchios. These new ads would not fare much better; there is little in the Post article that backs up the Obama campaign’s spin.”


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