Romney Needs To Get A Backbone

The Obama campaign has been in full attack mode these past few weeks insisting Mitt Romney release tax returns for at least the last eight years. The president’s surrogates have made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows emphasizing how Mitt’s father, George Romney, was the first candidate to release 12 years of returns as if his father’s actions somehow dictate what Mitt should do.

Let’s first examine why the Obama attack machine wants Romney to release his returns. Could it possibly be that Obama’s minions are praying there’s something in Romney’s returns that will be embarrassing, demonstrating what we already know about Mitt? Let’s face it folks, Mitt Romney is a very successful businessman that’s made millions of dollars. No surprises there. Or is it because Obama wants to ratchet up the anti-success message he’s spreading across the country?

Romney in Pennsylvania

Obama wants the discussion to be about anything but the miserable failure his presidency has been. If playing the class warfare card will get people to look the other direction, it suits his purposes; magicians call this slight-of-hand; a minor distraction that causes a dupe to be unaware of what’s actually going on. Wake up America, you’re Obama’s dupe. Sadly Mitt Romney is playing right into the president’s hands.

Many on the GOP side, like Haley Barbour, have come out to encourage Romney to release the tax returns and put the issue behind him. While Gov. Barbour might be widely respected in political circles, he too is failing to see the objective of the Obama campaign: distract and delude. If Romney released a dozen years of tax returns it wouldn’t change the dialog one iota. After release of the returns the next Obama speech is already written:

“Look, while you all were suffering, Mitt Romney was raking in millions of dollars, hiding funds in foreign accounts and shipping American jobs overseas.”

Does Gov. Barbour think for one second that Obama has any intention of allowing Romney to focus the conversation on his mismanagement of the economy?

If Romney doesn’t release the tax returns, Obama and his suitors will simply continue posing the question, “What is Mitt hiding?” It’s a damned if you do; damned if you don’t scenario. Unless Mitt stands up for himself there is no way to return focus to what this election should be about: the next four years.

So you may ask why this article is entitled: Why Mitt Romney should not release his tax returns? Simply said, and listen up Mr. Romney, you might learn a thing or two: you need to control the battlefield. Allowing your opponent to choose your battles and playing rope-a-dope paints the picture of a weak leader and we’ve already got one of those. Romney promised to release two years of tax returns and he should stand by that commitment.

Here’s the speech Mr. Romney should be giving:

After graduating college, and using not a single dime from my father’s fortune, I made my way in the business world and was quite successful. I co-founded Bain Capital, a private equity firm that helped struggling companies return to profitability. Sometimes those companies could not be saved despite our best efforts. Yes, we were compensated for trying, but not nearly as well had we been able to turn them around. When we couldn’t save a company jobs were lost and that was always a difficult and somber affair.

On many fronts we were very successful. A struggling company in my home state trying to build an office supply business had serious funding challenges. At Bain we helped that company and that company went on to flourish adding hundreds of thousands of jobs. There are many examples both positive and negative: this is the nature of the business world. If Mr. Obama had any experience with this he would not be using one of the keys to building employment, private equity, as a tool for personal destruction. Sadly the president doesn’t understand how business works as demonstrated by the anti-business pro-government approach he’s taken in the White House.

I will not release documents the president is pressing for only so he can demonize my success and that of other successful businessmen. I will not allow the president to tar hard work and risk taking with his class warfare rhetoric. Yes I’ve made a lot of money; that is not news. I earned that money, something the president finds distasteful for others while making millions on his book deals. If I invested money overseas to reduce the overbearing cost of government taxation though still paying hundreds of thousands in taxes at home, I suggest the president take the same measure of his large-dollar donors. Of course he won’t, because he believes in one set of rules for those who share his political beliefs and one for those who do not.

I am proud of my accomplishments as all hard-working Americans should be. I take pride in the efforts of my team at Bain, even when we didn’t succeed. I will not allow this president to distract from what should be the choice in this election nor will I play into his attempts to demonize those who’ve been successful and delegitimize the American Dream.

Should the president choose to ask, ‘What am I hiding?’ my response is simple and direct: I’m taking from you your means of distraction and will not allow you to play your ‘Occupy the White House’ tactics upon the voters and avoid the true issues of our times and your proven incompetence.

There is virtually no chance that Mr. Romney will actually stand up and draw a line in the sand. Romney will likely limit his responses to weak and ineffective defense tactics, waiting upon the president’s next attack to wage a defense; it’s a recipe for defeat that unfortunately appears to be what’s in store for the Governor.

Take pride in your accomplishments Mr. Romney; get on the offensive and off the defense. If you continue to wage this battle on Mr. Obama’s terms, you will surely lose and subject the nation to another four years of economic mediocrity. You, Mr. Romney, owe this country a full measure of your commitment, not another weak-kneed John McCain campaign that gave us Mr. Obama in the first place.

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