Donald Lambro

That's a strange accusation coming from someone who was paid nearly $2 million by Freddie Mac, the federally funded home mortgage giant that was at the center of the subprime mortgage scandal and was eventually bailed out by the taxpayers to the tune of $153 billion.

While Freddie Mac was spiraling into a bottomless pit of debt, Gingrich and his firm were profiting handsomely from what his critics say was a lucrative lobbying job to connect the agency with key conservatives in Congress.

During one of the Republican presidential debates, Rep. Ron Paul suggested that Gingrich was, in effect, being paid with taxpayer bailouts.

For 25 years, Romney pursued a successful career in business before he seriously plunged into politics, pooling venture capital in the private sector and seeking out good investment opportunities that created a lot of jobs.

It's not clear how many jobs, because Bain did not keep records on the number of jobs its investments created. It was in the business of bankrolling companies that would grow and provide Bain with a good return on its investment. That's how capitalism works, Newt.

Romney freely admits that not all of Bain's investments succeeded, but most did. A Wall Street Journal study of 77 businesses that Bain invested in when Romney headed the company between 1984 and 1999 showed that 22 percent of them failed within an eight-year period, but the rest succeeded, rewarding Bain with between 50 percent to 80 percent yearly gains over this period.

Gingrich's campaign, with the help of a $5 million check he received from a billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul, is preparing a barrage of TV ads in South Carolina, featuring workers who lost their jobs at companies financed by Bain Capital. The strategy is right out of Sen. Teddy Kennedy's political playbook when he faced a surprisingly aggressive re-election challenge from Romney in 1994.

But Gingrich's political attack on Romney's jobs record is just a sampling of what Romney can expect from President Obama's campaign strategists. Insiders say they are also preparing an all-out offensive against the former governor's work at Bain if he's the GOP's presidential nominee.

Obama's dismal job approval rating has risen to the mid-40s lately, in large part due to last month's 200,000 increase in new jobs, cutting the national jobless rate to 8.5 percent. But the real unemployment rate is about 15.2 percent if discouraged job-seekers who have dropped out of the workforce, and part-timers, are factored in.

Despite last month's job numbers, the unemployment rate in nearly a dozen states is still 10 percent or higher.

Romney will be pounding away at the jobs issue this fall if he wins the GOP nod, and the Obama campaign will do whatever it takes to raise new doubts about his own touted record on job creation.

Romney can blunt the Gingrich/Obama demagoguery on this issue by running ads showing the people his job-creation investments have employed. He can compare that record with the corrupt Solyndra solar panel scandal that the president promoted and sank half a billion tax dollars into, despite warnings from his own advisers that it was a bad investment on the brink of collapse.

Solyndra went bankrupt last year, 1,000 workers lost their jobs -- and the taxpayers are footing the bill.

Romney has a great story to tell about his success as an investor and the lengthy line of successful businesses and good-paying jobs he helped to create. It only takes a belief in the power of free enterprise and free markets and getting government out of the way.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.