[credit provider=”Daniel Goodman / Business Insider”]
As Mitt Romney continues to be the undisputed front runner in the Republican primary race, his rivals have amped up their rhetoric against big banks and private equity firms.Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC is out with an add bashing Bain and the private equity industry in general and the candidate himself is now claiming that Bain ‘looted’ companies while making off with millions.
Jon Huntsman is very strongly reiterating his belief that the biggest banks should be broken up and surging forward in the coming primary.
Rick Santorum has been touting his plan to boost manufacturing, a key issue to New Hampshire voters, for weeks.
An Ron Paul? Well, don’t call it a comeback, he’s been on a populist economic message for years. Against the Fed, against TARP, for the gold standard, etc., etc.
He’s now fighting back and defending his business record.
This daily back and forth is in many ways the worst fears of Republican Party elites come to life.
In November, we brought you a memo from a lobbying firm with very close ties to Speaker John Boehner that was leaked to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. The memo’s key concern? That Republican candidate would no longer defend Wall Street or worse, might actively run against them.
And that, to a certain degree, it what’s happening. Each of the viable anti-Romney candidates is rolling out (or has rolled out) their own brand of economic populism and anti-Wall Street rhetoric.
Cue one of the calmer voices of the GOP, Michelle Malkin, to enter the debate: “With his incessant bashing of how the private equity industry works in the real world, Newt (along with Rick Perry) is morphing into an Occupy Wall Street zealot…Or a David Axelrod…”