Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday finally noticed the Obama campaign's sketchy attacks against Mitt Romney for supposedly being an outsourcer while running Bain Capital. Stephanopoulos actually pressed Obama strategist David Plouffe, highlighting Factcheck.org's assertion that there's "no evidence to support the claim that Romney, while he was running Bain Capital, shipped American jobs overseas."
Stephanopoulos even forced Plouffe to respond to Republican talking points, reminding, "The RNC chief is going to be in Iowa today making that case, basically calling you all a liar." In contrast, on the July 1 World News, Rick Klein uncritically touted the Obama outsourcing attacks: "Democrats are definitely breaking through by calling into question what Romney wants to be his biggest strength."
When Stephanopoulos reiterated, "That's not what Factcheck.org says," Plouffe snidely commented that "people who've looked at this closely" don't agree with the website. Journalists often get rather irritated when a Republican attacks the media. Isn't that exactly what Plouffe and Team Obama has been doing by assailing Factcheck?
But after reviewing numerous corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, contemporary news accounts, company histories and press releases, and the evidence offered by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas.
CNN, by comparison, on Sunday called the Obama ads "false."
During the segment, Stephanopoulos appeared worried about the recent downturn the Obama campaign has suffered, fretting, "...Are you really worried that this fund raising edge will give Romney a victory?...They could beat you?"
A transcript of the July 10 segment can be found below:
7:07 a.m. EDT
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, to the White House, with the president's top political strategist, David Plouffe. David, thanks for joining us this morning. Let's pick up where Jon Karl just left off. That money haul by Governor Romney and his allies is pretty stunning. They’re on a pace to outspend you by a wide margin. And your campaign put out an email last night that said we could lose if this continues. Is that just a fund raising ploy? Or are you really worried that this fund raising edge will give Romney a victory?
DAVID PLOUFFE: Well George we assumed all along that Governor Romney and the RNC would out raise us. The real new dynamic in this race is obviously the Super PACs. And we have three or four republican Super PACs at any given time spending tens of millions of dollars aimed at the president. And so that's what’s really new in this election cycle.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And they could beat you?
PLOUFFE: Well, listen, money matters in politics. We're running a great campaign. We have millions of volunteers out there registering voters. Donating twenty-five or fifty dollars. But you have to have enough money to run and win your campaign. And our big concern is these Super PACs. Who are, you know, you have a few very wealthy people lining up trying to purchase the white house for Mr. Romney. And we’re going to have to have everybody out there who wants the president to continue in a second term to step up here and help the campaign.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, there's something else interesting in the poll. It shows that if voters are focused on what President Obama did during the first term, you lose. But if they’re focused on what he plans to do in his second term, you win. So that creates a real puzzle. How do you get voters to focus on future promises instead of past performance?
PLOUFFE: Well we obviously are continuing to talk George about what the president accomplished under very tough circumstances to help stabilize the economy and an economic philosophy and policies focused on the middle class. But there's no doubt elections are about the future. And we're beginning in the battleground states, in particular. And there's only eight or nine of them this time. To really educate voters about the choice in this election. What the president wants to do in terms of rebuilding an economy, built on the middle class. Cutting taxes for people, who are hard-working americans out there, under $250,000. Focus on education and innovation. These are what's going to build our economy with some resilience and durability in the months and years to come. Governor Romney wants to return the country to the same policies that caused the recession in the first place. It didn't work then. It's not going to work now. And that's where I think more and more voters are going to center their attention. Is what are each of these candidates saying they’re going to do over the next four years.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your campaign has also hit Governor Romney hard on his tenure at Bain Capitol in the private sector saying he's an outsourcer in chief, sending jobs overseas. The Republicans are hitting hard on that. A website video came out last night saying the "Obama campaign has launched provably false attacks about outsourcing. But President Obama turns out to be the real outsourcer in chief." The RNC chief is going to be in Iowa today making that case, basically calling you all a liar. And Factcheck.org does say that there's no evidence to support the claim that Romney, while he was running Bain Capital, shipped American jobs overseas.
PLOUFFE: That's just not true, George. "The Washington Post" did an exhaustive look at this. By the way the Romney campaign sent a phalanx of their staff in to try and get them to pull back the story and they refused to do it cuz it’s accurate. It’s very simple.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that’s not what Factcheck.org says.
PLOUFFE: Well, listen -- people who’ve looked at this closely- First of all, one fact. Mitt Romney wants to continue tax breaks for companies that ships jobs overseas. He would do that as president. This president’s led an effort to put the focus on insourcing and wants to get rid of those tax cuts and reward those that ships jobs overseas. Mitt Romney, it's clear, in his private sector experience, when he was governor, is someone that practiced in outsourcing. Now as president, he wants to say to companies that ship jobs overseas, we're going to reward you for that. What the American people want us to do is keep jobs here, bring jobs back. One of the silver linings in the economy is a rebirth of American manufacturing. We really have to focus on insourcing in this country not outsourcing and I think that’s a big difference in the race