The online battle over Bain Capital
As with many other debates during this presidential election, Twitter and YouTube have become the primary battleground. The latest topic has been Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital, a private equity firm he cofounded in 1984.
Romney has often used Bain as an example of his job creating background, claiming to have turned around companies on the brink of closure. Yet, according to ads spun by Barack Obama’s campaign, Bain’s success came with a cost: laying off hundreds of Americas.
All of it has become fodder for numerous Web ads and Twitter apologies in recent weeks.
The latest flap came from Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday and said he was frustrated with negative ads coming out on both sides, calling Obama's attacks on private companies like Bain “nauseating.” When people started to pick up on the comments, he quickly took to YouTube and Twitter to clarify what he said and note that he's still a strong supporter of Obama.
The video quickly became one of Booker's most popular, following a short about marriage equality and a series of skits about Conan O'Brien.
But it didn't take long for Republicans to jump on what Booker–a rising star in the Democratic party–said, launching numerous ads about Obama losing support among those in his own party. Republicans even went as far as buying promoted ads on Twitter, according to Politico. They created the hashtag #IstandwithCory.
Meanwhile, Booker kept trying to clean up the mess by taking to Twitter with the #IstandwithObama, and tweeting: “If you stand w/ me you would stand 4 making college education affordable & accessible 2 hardworking students.”
It wasn't just the Republicans who were trying to turn their opponents against each other, though. A pro-Obama Super PAC started running a Web ad featuring Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and other GOP politicians who lost long ago in the primary. In the video, all of them attack Romney and Bain Capital.
How is all the talk of Bain actually affecting the two candidates? Of course, it's hard to get poll numbers so quickly after a story breaks, but Twipolitco, which uses Twitter to figure out how the candidates are doing, showed both candidates were taking hits in their popularity this week.
While Romney was on the rise overall, he was falling on Wednesday evening. Obama, on the other hand, was on the rise but falling overall.
Of course, the Bain flap is just one of the many things that will affect the upcoming election season—one that is sure to drag on and drag out at the ballot box and online.
Photo via Mitt Romney/Facebook