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Harsh criticism for Mitt Romney from New York Times, New York Post

Published: Monday, Feb. 21 2011 7:42 a.m. MST

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington.

Associated Press

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Relying on little more than innuendo and anecdotal evidence, the New York Times and New York Post both bashed Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Sunday.

Columnist Frank Rich lambasts Romney in a Times Op-Ed piece. Rich sets the stage for his one-sided thrashing of Romney by rhetorically inquiring what consequences will follow for the GOP from the plummeting popularity of conservative talking heads on the far right such as Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

If the right puts its rabid Obama hatred on the down-low, what will — or can — conservatism stand for instead? The only apparent agendas are repealing "Obamacare" and slashing federal spending as long as the cuts are quarantined to the small percentage of the budget covering discretionary safety-net programs, education and Big Bird.

Rich subsequently calls Romney "that great white hope of un-Palin Republicans" and gauges his public image as "an otherworldly visitor from an Aqua Velva commercial circa 1985." Rich's biggest beef with Romney is the quixotic complaint that the former Massachusetts governor didn't mention Egypt during a Feb. 11 address at the Conservative Political Action Conference at a time when Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak hadn't yet resigned and the country's political future was filled with uncertainty.

As noted by Politico, the Post attacks Romney's business bona fides by pointing out that five of the struggling companies bought by Romney's Bain Capital eventually filed for bankruptcy.

(Romney's) fortune — which has funded his political ambitions from the Massachusetts statehouse to his unsuccessful run for the White House in 2008 — was made on the backs of companies that ultimately collapsed, putting thousands of ordinary Americans out on the street.

In typical Post fashion, the article includes no statistics for how many companies Bain rescued or jobs Bain saved between 1992-2001 when Romney owned a controlling stake in Bain Capital.

e-mail: jaskar@desnews.com

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