Club for Growth: Lay Off Romney Over Bain

Influential anti-tax, small government group stands up for Romney amid attacks from Gingrich.

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An influential small-government advocacy group is sticking up for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney over attacks that he was responsible for hundreds of layoffs as a partner at the Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had lead the charge, blasting Romney for his role in some of the company takeovers, engineered by the firm which Romney co-founded.

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Gingrich continued to blast Romney Sunday for layoffs associated with Bain Capital. "Those of us who believe in free markets and those of us who believe in the fact that the whole goal of investment is entrepreneurship and job creation, we find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1,700 families without a job," Gingrich said, according to the New York Times.

But Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, thinks attacking Romney for his time in the financial sector should be anathema for any self-described "Reagan Conservative."

"Newt Gingrich's attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital are disgusting," Chocola said in a statement from the organization. "There are a number of issues for Mitt Romney's Republican opponents to attack him for, but attacking him for making investments in companies to create a profit for his investors is just wrong." Chocola also demanded that Gingrich apologize for his comments.

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The Club for Growth has been known to back conservative primary challengers against Republicans it deems to be insufficiently committed to the cause of lower taxes and smaller government. But in the Republican primary, it has so far declined to make any endorsements, instead making comments about each of the candidates. The organization found both Romney and Gingrich to be promising but flawed conservatives. The Club for Growth took issue with Romney's healthcare overhaul in Massachusetts and with Gingrich's brief support for some type of government action to battle climate change.

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