Gwen Ifill of the PBS Newshour hosted Jonathan Martin of Politico and Molly Ball of The Atlantic magazine in a left wing cuddlefest that bashed Romney over Bain, his taxes, and Solyndra on July 16. Ms. Ifill was not the least concerned that this story is mere fodder for the Obama campaign to pivot away from its abysmal economic record, but nevertheless, started off the shooting gallery by asking Jonathan Martin to "help us explain this Bain back-and-forth."
"At the end of this weekend, was there any more clarity about when he left and if he left Bain?" Ifill asked:
Next, Ifill decided to ask Ball, "what are the Democrats trying to do with this kind of multi-pronged attack on who Mitt Romney is and how much he earns, how much wealth he has?" Way to segue into the class warfare narrative. Alas, it arrived to that juncture when the discussion about the taxes returns became the focus of attention with Ball stating "when Romney did put out a year of his tax returns before, there was a lot of stuff in there that was damaging. There was the Swiss bank account. You know, there was the tax shelters in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands. And so -- and that information was damaging to Romney."
JONATHAN MARTIN, Politico: Well, no.
And I think that is part of the reason why there's still questions out there about what exactly his status was at that company. Now, look, the Romney campaign wants to say this is purely a matter of President Obama's desperation, his attempt to divert attention from the economy. But in politics, when you're defending, when you're explaining, you're losing.
And for the last week, he has been doing just that. And it is a remarkable turnabout. Consider this. A week ago, we were talking about the second straight month of dismal job numbers. A week later, we're talking about Bain and income tax returns. So the Obama campaign has had a nice run here keeping Romney on his back foot.
Last time I checked, Swiss bank accounts were not responsible for killing jobs or depressing economic recovery.
Ifill then had the temerity to ask "why isn't the cronyism charge, why isn't Obama-Solyndra the same as Romney's Bain? Why doesn't that seem to stick in the same way?"
Martin decided to answer this question by comparing Romney to fictional character Gordon Gekko saying
Oh, I think because the question about Romney and what he did and how he made his money is slightly more exotic. It's easier to sort of portray Romney as the sort of Gordon Gekko because of what he did, whereas I think on the Obama question about Solyndra, there are certainly clear-cut questions there that remain for the president that could ultimately be damaging. But I don't think it cuts the same way to the average voter, who just sort of sees, well, politicians giving contracts, it just isn't quite as vivid as Cayman Islands, Swiss bank account for Romney.
Is that why Congress is trying to remedy the Solyndra problem up on The Hill? However, Ms. Ifill stated on her show that "the cronyism argument.. seems to be an unusual pushback." Molly Ball reiterated the press conference Romney had in front of Solyndra last May, but "the problem is, it is a pretty transparent attempt to change the subject." Yes, crony capitalism is certainly not comparable, a concern, or doesn't "cut" the same way as having an account in the Cayman Islands. The problem is the latter isn't considered felonious activity.