The Romney campaign held a conference call this afternoon previewing some of the themes they would explore in a general election against President Barack Obama. Former RNC head Ed Gillespie represented Mitt Romney. Gillespie laid out a fairly comprehensive agenda: attacking Obama’s record on spending and the national debt (a record he said Obama was understandably running away from), proposing solutions to the persistent unemployment and underemployment under Obama, cutting spending without compromising military strength, and ideas for entitlement reform.
But what most striking was Gillespie’s emphasis on the theme of “crony capitalism.” Gillespie said the administration lacked private sector experience, which he argued is why they favor government support for politically advantaged companies over proven private sector job creation.
“In the private sector, they made decisions based on profit and loss and what’s going to create jobs and what’s going to work,” Gillespie said. “When you have this level of government involvement in our economy, Solyndra and the decisions on the auto layoffs, and you don’t have that transparency, you don’t know if there’s political influence — who gets a health care waiver and who doesn’t — they still don’t say how they make those decisions…” Gillespie described crony capitalism as “rampant” in the Obama administration.
It’s also clear that the layoffs forced by the Obama administration under the auto bailout will be a big part of Romney’s counterargument to the Bain charges. But the crony capitalism angle from a Republican venture capitalist is interesting. I wrote about the Obama administration’s crony capitalism in the April issue of the print magazine.