On Sunday's NBC Nightly News, CNBC chief Washington correspondent John Harwood warned that, unless the Romney campaign succeeds in changing the campaign subject away from Bain Capital, he could be "left out in the political wilderness pretty quickly" if both the Obama campaign and the media press Romney on the subject persistently.
After host Lester Holt asked "why is the question of when" Romney "was actually running things" at Bain Capital "so key," Harwood responded:
(Video can be found here.)
It's important because, the longer they can associate Mitt Romney with Bain Capital, the wider the range of activities the Obama campaign can criticize him for, like outsourcing and cutting jobs. And it goes right to the heart of the experience, as you mentioned, just as the Republicans went after John Kerry on his military exerience.
You know, Lester, when both the, a candidate, and the press get on the trail of a controversy like this, the target can be left out in the political wilderness pretty quickly, unless they can either change the subject or have the news agenda change the subject for them. Hasn't happened yet.
Harwood's allusion to 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam War service seems to suggest that the media took part in discrediting the Massachusetts Democrat's war record, even though the media treated with hostility the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth after the group forced Kerry to respond to their accusations by hurting his poll numbers.