Opinion

Joshua Green

Romney needs to defend capitalism

MITT ROMNEY is in a position he probably never imagined he’d find himself: struggling to win the GOP presidential nomination and under sustained attack over his business career. The trouble began after the New Hampshire primary, when Rick Perry accused him of “vulture capitalism’’ and allies of Newt Gingrich released a film attacking his career; it continued on Tuesday, when Romney’s tax rate of 13.9 percent became public, and both President Obama, in his State of the Union address, and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, in his rebuttal, delivered speeches that took on elements of Romney’s career. Obama’s entire speech implied that Romney held a set of values at odds with those of the broad middle class. Daniels underscored his tax problem by saying that government should “stop sending the wealthy benefits they do not need.’’

Romney’s leadership of Bain Capital was supposed to be the basis of his candidacy, something that would present him as an attractive alternative to a novice president struggling to right the economy. Instead, it has become a glaring liability.

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