WaPo's Pearlstein Insists Romney Guilty of Outsourcing, Despite His Paper Debunking Such Claims

Appearing on Wednesday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, Washington Post financial columnist Steve Pearlstein accused Mitt Romney of being responsible for Bain Capital outsourcing jobs, even after leaving the company: "...they were doing it because that was the company that Mitt Romney had set up. I'm not saying that's bad. But for him to say, 'Well, not on my watch,' is – is, you know, a little silly."

Actually, what's "silly" is Pearlstein apparently not reading his own paper's fact checking of Obama campaign attacks on Romney as an outsourcer – attacks which the Post's Glenn Kessler gave four Pinocchios to for their dishonesty. Kesseler explained: "Regarding the outsourcing claims, we have frowned on these before. The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital."

It's important to remember that Pearlstein wasn't always a columnist. He used to be a reporter and deputy business editor for the Post, yet now we see that he prefers his political prejudices to his paper's own fact-checkers.

Ironically on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell billed her exchange with Pearlstein as a "Fact Check" segment.

After hitting Romney as an outsourcer, Pearlstein labeled the GOP as"crazy" and "hypocritical" for daring to point out that President Obama's green jobs stimulus program led to outsourcing of American jobs:

You know what's really, though, crazy these days is to hear the Republicans complain about Obama as an outsourcer....for a candidate and a party that has been in favor of globalization, in favor of free trade, in favor of letting companies do whatever they want to do to move work around the world without having to pay penalties or taxes or give notice to workers, for a party that is in favor of allowing corporations to pay lower taxes overseas on their profits overseas, for this party now to complain about Obama being an outsourcer is sort of – is sort of ironic, if not a little bit hypocritical.

Perhaps Pearlstein was reacting to former Republican Senator John Sununu's take-down of Mitchell on the outsourcing issue on Tuesday's show.

Here is a portion of the July 11 exchange:

1:22PM ET

(...)

ANDREA MITCHELL: What about Bain?

STEVE PEARLSTEIN [FINANCIAL COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST]: Bain – look, Bain, like every other private equity firm is in the business – was in the business of buying companies, fixing them up by making them more efficient, and selling them for more. That's how they made their money. A lot of that involved outsourcing, whether it was in the country or off-shoring, and Bain was part of that just like all the others were.

And you know, for Mr. Romney, to say, 'Well, I wasn't there in April of 2000 or I wasn't there in December of 1999 because I was busy on whatever, the Olympics.' Look, he owned the company, he started it, he hired all the executives, he set up the culture, he set up the parameters by which people got paid and compensated and rewarded. If they were doing it in 2000 and 2001 and 2002, they were doing it because that was the company that Mitt Romney had set up. I'm not saying that's bad. But for him to say, 'Well, not on my watch,' is – is, you know, a little silly.

You know what's really, though, crazy these days is to hear the Republicans complain about Obama as an outsourcer. Just before I came in the studio, you showed a slide that said he had a five – Romney had a five-point economic plan. Number two on the plan: expand trade. Well, how do you think you expand trade? You expand trade, in part, by outsourcing things. So for a candidate and a party that has been in favor of globalization, in favor of free trade, in favor of letting companies do whatever they want to do to move work around the world without having to pay penalties or taxes or give notice to workers, for a party that is in favor of allowing corporations to pay lower taxes overseas on their profits overseas, for this party now to complain about Obama being an outsourcer is sort of – is sort of ironic, if not a little bit hypocritical.

MITCHELL: Hypocrisy in politics? Steve, thank you very much for puncturing all of that. We appreciate it. Good to see you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC