The Boston Globe is out with a potentially significant story today, suggesting that Romney had more control over Bain Capital between 1999-2002 (when, the Obama team argues, it outsourced certain jobs overseas) than publicly acknowledged. But FactCheck.org, in scrutinizing those charges earlier this month, found Romney's remarks over his Bain timeline to be accurate. Meanwhile, the Washington Post ran a front-page story in June arguing Mitt Romney outsourced jobs overseas when at Bain, while the paper's fact-checking unit subsequently raised doubts about the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney that were based off the story.
It's enough to make your head spin.
Thursday morning, the campaigns were in full gear trying to maximize fallout from the latest developments. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul flatly argued the Globe story is inaccurate: "As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point." The Obama campaign organized a conference call this morning to amplify the Boston Globe's charges.
The rapid response from the campaigns, over the precise timing of when Romney left Bain, shows how politically potent the argument over outsourcing is - regardless of the validity of the competing claims. The Romney campaign understands how the issue resonates with the working-class voters he's trying to win over. Talking tough on China, an unconventional tack for a candidate whose background is in business, is a regular part of his stump speech for good reason.