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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Finally, Newsmax Lets Kessler Do Some Romney-Fluffing
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is a huge Mitt Romney fanboy -- he touted Romney incessantly in the runup to the 2008 presidential election, engaging in some creepiness toward Romney's wife in the process. Kessler hung with Romney, repeatedly bashing John McCain, until McCain clinched the Republican nomination (after which Romney fell in line and embraced McCain).

This time around, though, Kessler has been less vocal about his love of Romney, largely because he spent much of 2007 distracted by his infatuation with Donald Trump. Kessler penned only a couple of love letters to Romney, and none in the past few months; the one he did try to post mysteriously disappeared shortly afterwards, presumably because Romney wouldn't commit to taking part in Newsmax's ill-fated Republican debate hosted by Donald Trump.

Now, finally -- as Newsmax has dialed back its promotion of Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire after going all in for him in Iowa -- Kessler has been allowed to fluff Romney in the midst of primary season.

Kessler's Jan. 9 column is typically Kessler-esque bit of Romney-fluffing, complaining that "the press once again is ignoring those qualities in the leading Republican candidate that anyone would focus on when hiring a new employee." He recycles an anecdote from his 2007 profile of Romney about how Romney helped locate the teenage daughter of one of his Bain Capital partners after she disappeared following a "rave party" where she had "become high on ecstasy" -- "The fact is Romney saved the young girl’s life," Kessler declared.

Kessler goes on to tout Romney's business experience:

Few voters know that Mitt Romney holds degrees from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. Few know that as a founder of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, Romney decided to invest in Staples when it had not yet opened its first office supply store. Thomas G. Stemberg, its founder, told Bain Capital that companies spent more on office supplies than they realized. He also cited the growing number of self-employed people who work at home and would patronize a discount stationery store.


Today, Staples employs 70,000 people. Besides Staples, Romney’s Bain Capital started or acquired such companies as Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, and Sports Authority, helping to create jobs for literally millions of people over the years.

Contrary to the spin by opponents, Romney’s Bain Capital represented capitalism at its best.

Kessler concludes with a final fit of Romney-fluffing:

Instead of Bain Capital’s more than a hundred success stories that put food on the table for American families, you will see articles on the handful of instances when Bain had to shutter the doors of companies it acquired because they were losing money.

By ignoring such signs of character and competence in the Republican front-runner, the press does a disservice to the American people.

Romney's company created jobs for "literally millions of people over the years"? Even Romney himself has never claimed creating more than 100,000 jobs, nearly all of which were at two companies, Staples and Sports Authority (and even then, Romney is overstating the facts).

And the Bain Capital record is not "more than a hundred success stories" versus a "handful" of failures. According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 77 companies Bain invested in while Romney headed it, 22 percent of them ultimately closed or filed for bankruptcy, and an additional 8 percent ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.

Now that Newsmax has finally unleashed Kessler, expect more factually challenged Romney-fluffing like this for months to come.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EST

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