Mike Huckabee's "Leftwing Argument Against Capitalism"

Mike Huckabee's "Leftwing Argument Against Capitalism"

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In recent days, Fox News personalities have been defending Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital. Joining the chorus, Fox News host Mike Huckabee sent a message to his email list attacking Republicans for going after Romney's time at Bain and embracing "that leftwing argument against capitalism." Huckabee stated, in part:

Romney has come under a lot of fire for Bain Capital's investments in some companies that were then scaled down with layoffs to become profitable. That's been demonized thoroughly by the media as corporate raiding, But it's surprising to see so many Republicans embrace that leftwing argument against capitalism. It's terrible for the workers who lose their jobs, and nobody likes to see viable companies looted and destroyed. But if downsizing can turn around a failing company, then at least it prevents all the jobs from being lost, and it sets up a stronger company that can grow and start rehiring. The term for this among people who aren't hostile to capitalism is "creative destruction." Bad companies have to die to make way for stronger companies, in the same way that old trees fall over to make way for new trees.

However, as a candidate running against Romney, Huckabee himself brought up concerns about Bain Capital. During a January 13, 2008, interview on CBS' Face the Nation, Huckabee attacked Romney's business record, especially with regard to layoffs:

HUCKABEE: You know, what Mitt Romney did is admirable in some quarters, but in some ways, there are a lot of people who lost their jobs when his company would take over, restructure a company, lay a lot of people off. Lot of times, the CEOs and the people at the top got some pretty huge bonuses and made a lot of money. A lot of people went home without a pension and a paycheck. I'm not sure that's what Michigan's looking for.

A January 24, 2008, Associated Press article also reported that Huckabee "criticized" Romney's record at Bain Capital:

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee criticized rival Mitt Romney's past as a venture capitalist Thursday, saying some workers lost their jobs as a result.

In 1983, Romney founded Bain Capital, a firm that developed a reputation for turning around ailing companies and earned him millions of dollars. Asked about Romney's experience, Huckabee said the former Massachusetts governor's success came at the expense of workers.

"If that's the turnaround, a lot of Americans would not want to see their lives turned around like that," the former Arkansas governor told reporters before running with a group of supporters about four miles along sun-drenched Fort Lauderdale beach.

During a January 27, 2008, interview with Huckabee on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace told him: "I understand that you are not quite so impressed by his [Romney's] record in the private sector." Huckabee replied, "Well, not only not as impressed with the record in the private sector, but also think that it's more important to be able to run the public sector to run a government, which I did longer than anyone running for president, Democrat or Republican." Wallace later noted that Huckabee has "been critical of Romney for the fact that he laid off people when he was at Bain Capital."

Dave Weigel and ABC News noted that in 2008, Huckabee campaigned as being someone who reminds people of "the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off."

From Huckabee's email newsletter:

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Mike Huckabee
2012 Elections
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