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By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
(CNN) – President Barack Obama and his campaign supporters have gone to the Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich playbook big time to try to weaken Mitt Romney.
At issue is Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, the venture capital firm.
Like Perry and Gingrich camps, the president’s re-election campaign and the pro-Obama super PAC are pointing to the loss of jobs at some companies purchased by Bain Capital. The stories of the people who suffered are painful and dramatic.
This strategy has a long history of being used against Romney. It has a mixed record.
It helped the late Ted Kennedy in 1994 when he faced a Senate challenge from Romney. Kennedy, the Democrat, highlighted those heartbreaking stories in the Massachusetts general election.
But it didn’t work so well for Perry and Gingrich during the Republican primary season.
The question now is whether it will work for Obama over the next six months.
Anyone who watches the pro-Obama videos of the workers who suffered can’t help but be moved.
But Romney and his supporters point to the other side of the story - the many successful companies that Bain Capital helped get off the ground.
Tens of thousands of people are now employed by those companies, including Sports Authority, Staples, Domino’s Pizza and Bright Horizons, a child care company.
Still, by putting Romney on the defensive, the pro-Obama camp hopes to shift the focus of the campaign.
Republican strategists say they understand what the pro-Obama team is trying to do. For Obama, they say, it’s better to force Romney to defend his record at Bain than force the president to defend his record at the White House.
In the end, all this probably will be a sideshow. The real battle between Obama and Romney will be over the economy and how they plan to deal with it. I’m already looking forward to their three presidential debates in October.
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