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Mitt’s photo-op neglects a little detail

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POSTED May 2, 2012 1:14 a.m.

Poor Mitt Romney. He might have the picture-perfect Hollywood looks of a president, but he keeps stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling along the campaign trail like he’s in a Three Stooges slapstick comedy.

He recently traveled to Elyria, Ohio, for example, for a carefully staged photo-op meant to cast him as an economic heavyweight, while simultaneously portraying President Obama as a pratfalling economic lightweight. To give Romney’s show a powerful punch, it was set in a closed drywall plant owned by the National Gypsum Company. This starkly vacant scene, plus Romney’s dark vision, delivered the desired message: Obama’s policies equal abandoned factories and lost jobs.

A boffo performance! Except for one detail omitted in the candidate’s script: National Gypsum’s plant was shuttered in 2008, when Republican President George W. Bush’s disastrous financial deregulation policies caused such a complete collapse in the housing market that the homebuilding industry still can’t recover.

But that’s Obama’s fault, groused Romney, right on cue. “If the president’s economic plans worked [this factory] would be open by now.”

Even though he owns three homes and is presently tripling the size of his California beach house, Mitt apparently doesn’t know that drywall is a product used chiefly in homebuilding. With home construction in the dumps, so is demand for drywall. That – not Obama’s policies – is why National Gypsum’s plant remains closed. And guess who has truculently blocked even modest proposals by Obama to stop foreclosures and put more capital into homebuilding? Republican congressional leaders and Wall Street lobbyists, cheered on by Mitt!

Now, guess who’s proposing to return America to the failed laissez-faire de-reg policies of Bushonomics? Yes, the star of the staged “farce in Elyria.”

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