This might just be the bourbon talking, but if the Romney campaign had managed to turn the outsourcing/offshoring distinction into anything but potato/potatoh, oysters/ersters, I’d probably be sharpening the razors and drawing a hot bath. Let’s look at the guts of the Post story that they were trying to discredit:
Bain’s foray into outsourcing began in 1993 when the private equity firm took a stake in Corporate Software Inc., or CSI, after helping to finance a $93 million buyout of the firm. CSI, which catered to technology companies like Microsoft, provided a range of services including outsourcing of customer support. Initially, CSI employed U.S. workers to provide these services but by the mid-1990s was setting up call centers outside the country.
Two years after Bain invested in the firm, CSI merged with another enterprise to form a new company called Stream International Inc. Stream immediately became active in the growing field of overseas calls centers. Bain was initially a minority shareholder in Stream and was active in running the company, providing “general executive and management services,” according to SEC filings.
By 1997, Stream was running three tech-support call centers in Europe and was part of a call center joint venture in Japan, an SEC filing shows. “The Company believes that the trend toward outsourcing technical support occurring in the U.S. is also occurring in international markets,” the SEC filing said.
See that part in quotes in the last paragraph? That’s Stream (dancing on Bain’s string) doing exactly what the Romney campaign is accusing the Post of doing: failing to acknowledge the delicate, almost imperceptible difference between “offshoring” and “outsourcing”. That’s because “offshoring” is a kind of “outsourcing”–it’s the kind of outsourcing that sends jobs to Mumbai rather than a right-to-work state.
Let’s review the bidding: The Romney campaign is asked for a comment on a completely predictable story about Mitt’s outsourcing past at Bain. Instead of pushing back then, as a prepared campaign would do, they stonewall. After the story’s in print, they come up with a ridiculous, Jesuitical, hair-splitting distinction that they try to use to work the refs. Even the post-orchiectomy Post calls bullshit on that one. This isn’t rocket surgery. Barring a spectacular reboot, Romney’s a stone loser.