The Debate on the American Economy - "Believes"

As the economic debate plays out, the Obama camp continues to focus on Governor Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. Recent investigation has shown that under Romney, Bain Capital pioneered the concept of “outsourcing,” when businesses contract certain goods or services to outside suppliers at lower costs. While firms acquired by Bain during Romney’s time there didn’t outsource to foreign countries, Bain’s practices essentially spurred a decades-long trend toward moving certain business activities abroad.

Obama’s most recent ad, “Believes,” criticizes Romney for his role in expanding the practice of outsourcing and sending American jobs overseas.

The ad draws a distinction between Romney’s experience with outsourcing and the President’s policy of “insourcing,” which rewards businesses that create jobs in the US. The ad frames the election as a choice between a candidate who supports sending jobs overseas and one who will create jobs at home. Amidst record high unemployment and domestic anxiety over losing jobs to developing countries, this kind of message has the potential to resonate very well with the American public. It also makes it more difficult for Romney to use his experience at Bain and the private sector in general as his single most important credential in running for president.