At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, representatives of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign paid a visit to the senior editorial staff of the Washington Post. Their request: that the paper formally retract its June 21st story illustrating how Bain Capital, Romney’s old private equity shop, invested in firms that outsourced American jobs. Their chief complaint: that the Post failed to distinguish between outsourcing—which sometimes refers to a company contracting out to other U.S. firms functions previously done in-house—and offshoring, which by definition means shipping jobs overseas.
On Hardball on Wednesday night, Howard Fineman honed in on the flaw in Romney's push-back: that for many struggling Americans, it's a difference without a distinction.
“The outsourcing, the off-shoring, call it what you want, taking jobs" from here, putting them over there . . . is a really good way to get at the fears and the passion of the people you're talking about," Fineman said.
Fineman hammered home that Americans just want basic economic fairness. "It’s one thing to complain about CEOs getting big salaries . . . not every working class person complains about that. They just want to make sure they’re treated fairly. When you talk about manipulating stocks and all that, it’s a mystery to them. Shutting down the plant down the block" and shifting jobs to India, China, or Indonesia, is something they can see and feel.
The fact is, the Romney campaign can't deny that it moved jobs from Here to There. Performing semantical acrobatics to ignore that is insulting to Americans' intelligence.