Undermining the ‘competence’ theme

Undermining the 'competence' theme
Undermining the 'competence' theme

Mitt Romney’s campaign, eager to attack the Recovery Act that pulled the economy back from the brink of collapse, thought it had come up with a brilliant idea. The former governor would go to New Hampshire and mock the 19th century Sawyer Bridge, which was restored with public funds, but which is closed to traffic.

It’d be a new “bridge to nowhere” that proves the stimulus was wasteful. Obama spent a quarter of a million dollars on a bridge no one can drive on? Outrageous, right? Wrong.

Romney’s attack on the $288,000 bridge restoration will run into several immediate challenges: Funding for the project was overwhelmingly supported by state Republicans, including a significant number who have now endorsed Romney for president. The infrastructure project created much-needed jobs during tough economic times. And it left behind a public park enjoyed by Granite State residents who take great pride in their early-American and colonial history – and who will be casting critical, swing-state votes in November.

It’s a curious breed of conservatism that would find offense in the job-creating conservation of a stone arch bridge that is one of the earliest examples of dry-laid masonry vaults in New England.

The project was championed by 28 New Hampshire Republicans who now support Romney’s presidential campaign.

This guy really needs a new research team.

Last month, Romney blamed President Obama for a closed drywall plant in Ohio, but the facility was shut down during the Bush era. This week, the Romney campaign released a video showing a closed Electrolux plant in Iowa, but the company has added more American jobs than it had lost.

Then it released a video of a steel plant that benefited in part from an investment by Bain Capital, but which thrived thanks to government assistance Romney opposes. Now it’s new evidence of wasteful spending that isn’t an example of wasteful spending.

These are amateurish unforced errors that undermine the “competence” theme the campaign is so fond of.

(Image: oliva732000/Flickr)

Mitt Romney

Undermining the 'competence' theme