The bigger Bain backfire: Priorities USA sees Romney's exploitation of Booker and raises him a Palin

After this Sunday's "flap" on Meet the Press by Mayor Cory Booker, they went out to celebrate, popping open the champagne. "Have you had enough of President Obama's attack on free enterprise?" asks a Romney campaign video in defense of Bain that quotes Mayor Booker, among a couple of other Democrats. Priorities USA Action has just released their response, flanked with prominent Republicans - including Mr. Romney's primary rivals and the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee - taking on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital.

That's gotta sting. Hell, if I didn't know any better, I'd almost say that Cory Booker set the Republicans up. I mean, I don't know that he did, but if there was a plan to set up Mitt Romney so that the president's side could bring out all the GOP heavy hitters' words against Bain, this is exactly what they'd do: they'd send out a surrogate to purposely go "off message" so that the Republicans would jump on his comments to try to use them against Obama, thereby making it fair game for the Obama campaign to drag out every prominent non-Romney Republican's words about Mitt Romney's vulture capitalist record at Bain.

Not that I'm saying that's what happened. Maybe it's just one contingency that Priorities USA prepared for. That is probably what it is. But if it were a setup, I doubt they could have done it any better.

At the very least, though, it shows how well prepared the campaign to expose Mitt Romney's Bain record is. Every step Mitt Romney and the GOP takes to counter it turns out to be the catalyst for yet a more forceful side of the expose. There is no doubt that the GOP's exploitation of the comments from Mayor Booker was meant to take away Bain as a weapon from President Obama and his supporters. It's turning out to be just the opposite. If Mitt Romney wants to talk about what a few Democrats have said about Bain, fine. We are going to talk about what prominent Republicans and ultraconservative superstars have said about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

Bottom line, the President and his supporters are not ready - not by a long shot - to give up on exposing Mitt Romney's record at Bain. If Mitt Romney wants to run on his private sector business record - and he does - then the American people deserve to know just what he did as a businessman. If Mitt Romney wants to run as a job creator because of his past as a corporate buyout specialist, then we're going to find out just what he did to sacrifice jobs at the alter of high profits. If Mitt Romney wants to run on the risk-and-reward system of capitalism, then we're damn well going to find out how he made a business model that almost always walked away with cash, regardless of whether companies Bain invested in succeeded or failed.

Seriously, come on. Did the Republicans really think that exactly this wouldn't be the response to their singing and dancing around Booker's comments? This is the big leagues, Mr. Romney. This ain't your Republican primary.

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