Mitt Romney believes his background in the private sector is an asset. Rick Perry sees it as a liability—and in a new ad tries to portray Romney’s venture capital work as a job destroyer.
It’s the most aggressive ad, which also paints Newt Gingrich as an influence peddler for hire, that Perry has unleashed against Romney yet.
The ad, titled “Three Streets,” plays off a Los Angeles Times article last month that detailed Romney’s 15-year tenure work at Bain Capital. The paper found that while the firm expanded some companies it purchased, it also sometimes shaved jobs off companies it purchased in order to maximize returns.
Romney, intones an announcer in the ad, “made millions buying companies and laying off workers,” while Gingrich “got rich, made millions off of Freddie Mac.”
It’s all part of Perry’s late-game bid to finish strong in Iowa by billing himself as separate from the Washington political establishment. Perry has also launched an advertising blitz in the state, although the Perry campaign said that the “Three Streets” ad is not yet scheduled to run on TV.
The Texas governor is in the midst of a bus tour of the state. According to ABC News, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal campaigned with Perry on Tuesday in Maquoketa, Iowa.
Gingrich hit Romney over his Bain work last week (before he declared he was running a positive campaign) -- and Romney defended himself on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.
"We helped create tens of thousands of jobs. I'm proud of the private sector," Romney said. Bain, he added, "invested in over 100 different businesses, and in those businesses many were successful, added lots and lots of jobs. Some were not successful. That is the nature of free enterprise."