The first hint of trouble came early this morning, when Mitt Romney’s campaign team told journalists there would be no questions for the candidate today. (One reporter responded, “Isn’t that our decision?”)
But the problem intensified when the Republican appeared in Miami, and relied on staff and volunteers to physically prevent reporters from approaching a rope line and asking the candidate questions.
As a rule, media professionals don’t respond well to heavy-handed tactics that prevent journalists from doing their jobs.
It’s worth noting that some reporters were able to work their way to the candidate anyway – Romney ignored all questions – but why in the world would the campaign suddenly get so aggressive about shielding the candidate? Perhaps because of headlines like this one, which ran on the Miami Herald’s website this morning.
Of course, if I had a private-sector background like this, I might not want to take questions from reporters, either.
In advance of Mitt Romney’s fundraising swing through Florida [Wednesday], Democrats are highlighting one of the business ventures of Bain Capital while Romney was in charge: Dade Behring, which, saddled with debt, wound up shuttering two medical technologies facilities in Miami. Some 850 jobs were lost, while Bain walked away with $242-million – an 800 percent return on its investment
The Dade Behring case has been well-documented, but here’s a new wrinkle: The company under Bain’s leadership sought and received millions of dollars in tax breaks for creating jobs in Puerto Rico - shortly before closing it’s facilities, costing nearly 300 jobs.
The company in 1997 received a $3-million federal tax break aimed to promoting job creation in Puerto Rico. It also received a $4.1-million tax exemption from Puerto Rick in 1997 in the name of job creation. Dade ceased its operations in Puerto Rico in the first quarter of 1998.
Romney can try to restrain journalists, but the questions aren’t going away.