The Rachel Maddow Show | August 02, 2012
>>> what's a good second career if your first had involved tragically mismanaging a foreign koun industry? thanks to the second career of paul bremer , this is not a theoretical question. you might remember him in iraq at the start of the u.s. occupation of iraq in 2003 and 2004 . he was the administrator of the coalition provisional authority . the transitional government that we set up in iraq after we invaded. among other things, paul bremer saw the dissolving of the iraqi army and the prisoner abuse scandal. but now bremer has moved on to something new. water color . yes, painting. mostly landscapes. the folks at foreign policy took time out for a where are they now piece in which they highlight some of his latest works. there's one that's even a nude. this one is called nude with matise colors he painted in 2009 . paul bremer making abstract nude water color paintings is actually kind of great, if you think about it. in the sense that way too many people with horrific foreign policy experience fail upwards, right? they keep getting foreign policy jobs. but not paul bremer . had did not fail upward. he is not doing american foreign policy anymore. he is quietly painting landscapes and the occasional tasteful nude. yea. that's more yea than we can say for the other guy most closely associated with the coalition provisional authority experience in iraq . the spokesman for the u.s. in iraq after the invasion, dan senore. the guy telling reporters everything is fine here. that guy is not painting landscapes in vermont. he is now serving as mitt romney 's top foreign policy adviser. and of course the romney campaign is not dumb. they knew that would be a liability to have their most visible foreign policy guy be one of the most visible foreign policy guys from the iraq war . but you make a calculation, right? you make a calculation in politics against the spokesman for iraq thin. on the other side of the ledger about hiring dan senore, maybe they like his ideas. it was one of his ideas that palestinians have an inferior culture to israelis. which is why they're more poor. it is that idea romney expounded on a trip this week. to lots of fanfare. lending ideas like that to mr. romney , the campaign saw as enough of an asset to outweigh his iraq war baggage. i would maybe not have made that call, but that apparently is the kind of calculation the romney campaign made. you have to make a calculation. what do you gain and what do you lose? similarly there's what they made against the latest attack against the obama white house . the romney campaign is accusing president obama 's campaign manager now of improperly using a personal e- mail address for white house business. this is a new attack they have not made before. on the plus side of this attack is that this is definitely not about mitt romney 's tax returns . it's not about anybody's tax returns . thap is a plus for the romney campaign in deciding whether or not to use this. always going on offense. that's good. they're trying to turn the page . and it's about mr. obama 's campaign manager who's an anonymous guy who doesn't get attacked. maybe they think that will rattle him and thereby rattle and hurt the campaign. those must be things the romney campaign is thinking they stand to gain from launching this attack. those are all pluses. on the minus side, bringing up the idea of hiding your e-mails if you're the romney campaign does run the risk of reminding people he's the guy whose top aides bought their government hard drives at the end of his term as governor of massachusetts leaving the e-mails wiped from a government server. they took the hard drives with them when they left the governorship. that's a story that really hasn't been in the news all that much. it is a known thing about mr. romney . he admits that they did it to avoid letting politically damaging information out into the public sphere . it's a liability for them and nobody has made much hay about it until now. but now his campaign has people talking and thinking about proper e-mail use because of this attack they launched on the obama campaign this morning. again, it's a calculation. that's the risk. the calculation that the campaign has to make. you bring up the issue of hiding away government e-mails, maybe that's a good attack for you. it does risk people remembering your record in office which is a liability. choices weighing the pros and the cons. these calculations. campaigns make these every day. about attacks, about political movements of the candidate, about personnel. here's a new one. the romney campaign we learned today has hired a lobbyist. a new person who has not yet been involved in the campaign, to help them craft a political response on the attacks to what is supposed to be mitt romney 's greatest asset. his time in the private sector . they thought that was going to be the basis on which mr. romney was running for the presidency. they wanted to run on his being in business. but if you look at the poll numbers right now on how people view mr. romney in terms of his business experience, it is not looking like his great ens strength. new swing state polling out this week, the polls quote, found that more voters say mr. romney 's experience was too focused on making profits at bain capital rather than the kind of experience that would help create jobs. so now the campaign has hired a new lobbyist to help them out on this subject. which they thought was going to be great for them and is turning into a liability rather than an asset. again, even hiring this lobbyist, every campaign move is a calculation. when they were drafting what must have been their pros and cons list about what to make this higher. they knew it would get attention. there was surely a lot of things in the don't do this column. a lot of things in the con column. the woman they have hired her name is michelle davis . she is something from the george w. bush administration . and that is always problematic. you do not want to remind america of the george w. bush administration or brag on how many people you are bringing over from that administration to what you're promising for the future. she was also in the exact wrong part of the bush administration during the exact wrong time period in terms of the politics. michele davis was the right hand woman to the treasury secretary while the economy was falling off a cliff at the end of the bush administration and when they came up with t.a.r.p., the big bailout. in the bush administration she was part architect and spin doctor for selling the bailout. selling t.a.r.p. so much so that in the movie about the bailout, the too big to fail movie, a famous actor portrays her. cynthia nixon plays her. neat. that's a liability. that's a problem. from the transition from the bush administration to the obama administration, michele davis is on record saying she was pleased with the new choice for treasury secretary to succeed hank paulson . she was pleased barack obama picked timothy geithner . mitt romney of course attacks tim geithner all the time. this new person he hired was into him in a on the record way. and there is this problem.
>> well, i think you know that fannie mae and freddie mac were a big part of the housing crisis we have in the nation. speaker gingrich was hired by freddie mac to promote them to influence other people throughout washington, encouraging them not to dismantle these entities. i think that was an enormous mistake. instead we should have had a whistle blower, not a horn tooter.
>> a horn tooter. step off. during the republican primary , when newt gingrich was just destroying mitt romney on the issue of bain capital on his business sector career, mitt romney joiner to that was newt gingrich was a lobbyist for freddie mac . mitt romney would like to blame freddie mac and fannie mae for the financial collapse. this person he has just hired to help him out with messaging on his business career was a lobbyist for fannie mae . so the campaign has to make a calculation about whether or not to hire this person. and all of these things on the don't hire her side, all of these things on the not pro but con side, these are frankly just such flaming political bags of poop on the doorstep. there must be something really great on the other side of the ledger. there must be something great about this hire that outweighs all those things that are downsides. well, the other salient thing in her background that she's more well known than having cynthia nixon portray her about being a lobbyist for the thing about destroying the economy, the thing she's more famous for is this. she was in charge of trying to make bp look good in the wake of the bp oil spill . that's how mitt romney just hired to make his bain record look better. remember when the guy who was the head of bp did that really ornate apology? it was like a japanese style apology that that was going to ab solve him. but everybody still hated him and they had to fire him anyway. that pr move apparently was hers. michele davis was at brunswick group when bp hired them to salvage their image in the wake of them causing the worst environmental disaster in the history of the united states . now, the trade press in the pr industry at the time was scathing about how big this job was but how not great it was being done. if ever there was a pr agency , look at this, tasked with putting lipstick on the metaphorical pig. given that bp 's crisis communications is disastrous. it leading newscasts and brunswick has been painted as the villain. it's not different to michele davis , that's who mitt romney just hired. a lead on the bp crisis. before joining the agency she worked at the department of the treasury and before that worked in the white house on foreign policy during the latter stages of the iraq war . when she sat down to do an interview with advertising aides from bp during the sixth week of the oil spill , when asked how many people do you have on the ground. meaning bp ? her answer was i'm not going to get into that. when asked how hard is it to get a client in a situation like this to take your advice? her answer was no comment. advertising age actually did a poll of people in the ad agency at the time of the oil spill saying would you take this job? if bp wanted you to shine up their image while the gulf of mexico was hemorrhaging their oil, would you take the job? 48% said for ethical reasons they would not take that job. but michele davis , that's who took it. and that's who mitt romney has h hired. some of them have ethical constraints on what jobs they would take. but some don't. this firm was also hired by the gap in 2007 to clean things up for them after it was discovered that gap clothing was using 10-year-old slaves in india.
>> the pictures could not be more embarrassing. kids as young as ten in a sweat shop in india. the photos got immediate response from gap's president.
>> i am grateful that this investigative reporter found this. because we can do something about it.
>> good answer. when the gap needed some good answers when they wanted to clean up, not necessarily that problem, but the image problem created by their child slave labor problem, they hired this pr company called brunswick group. they also got the call when bp befouled the gulf coast with the spill. brunswick was who bp called not to clean up the problem of the oil but the image problem created by the oil. now mitt romney has hired the lead person from brunswick who was in charge so they can apply those same cleanup skills to his career at bain capital . why is this okay? i mean, it's not even why is this okay for mitt romney to do this. maybe the most important part for mitt romney here is he sees his career at bain capital not as an asset but akin to the bp oil spill . that's romney . but more broadly, why is it okay to team up with, to bring out the corporate clean up my image disaster mercenary memory hole diggers and bring them into our politics? why is it okay for politicians to pull that most morally repellant indefensible thing out of culture and put it into the arena of public service ? when did the crisis management industry which is what they call themselves, when did these people -- when did they prove themselves? a way in terms of their worth and contributions to us as a society that they get to do crossover duty at the highest levels of our democracy? it is not just about romney or a party thing. there are politicos at the same firm from which he hired to clean up the bain report. when hillary clinton was running for president in 2008 , her top strategist was a guy who split his responsibilities between her campaign, between the top role he played in her campaign and running a pr firm which perhaps more than any firm epitomizes this open sewer that runs through american corporate culture . it's not just mitt romney . it's not just republicans. but it is as disgusting now as i have been saying for years now that it ever has been.
>> who's burston marstelor? when they were killed in baghdad, they called them. when there was a nuclear meltdown at three mile island, they called burston marstelo. romanian dictator, burston martelor. the military that overthrew the government of argentina in 1976 , they dialed them. the government of nigeria accused of genocide, burston martelor. silicone breast implants , burston marstelor. do you remember auk qua dots? beads with something converted to date rape drug when they put the beads in nar mouths and ended up in comas? even the aqua dots people called burston marstelor. when evil needs public relations , evil has them on speed dial . that's why it was creepy when she had mark penn .
>> now following this great bipartisan disgusting tradition, mitt romney does not hire them. he hires the person who was hired to make bp look better after this. in order to try to make him look better after bain . it's disgusting.