Washington (CNN) - In a blast email sent to supporters nationwide, the Obama presidential campaign went after Mitt Romney Friday as "a corporate raider" who profited from the nation's economic crisis, leaving "devastation" in his wake, and playing by a "rulebook for those at the top."
A memo from deputy Obama campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, previewed what's likely to become a central general election theme should Romney become the nominee. She argued voters need to know that when Romney was at Bain Capital job creation was never his goal, earning money for investors was.
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"Mitt Romney has staked his entire candidacy on one claim: that his 'real world' experience in the private equity business uniquely qualifies him to lead our economy and the nation. Much as he did when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, Romney argues that his business experience would translate to more jobs for Americans. (In Massachusetts, it didn't. During his term there, the state fell to 47 the in the nation in job creation.) But in fairness, Romney's objective in business was never job creation. As one of his colleagues recently told the Los Angeles Times:
'I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,' said Mark B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain, who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. 'The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.'
To achieve that end, Romney closed over a thousand plants, stores and offices, and cut employee wages, benefits and pensions. He laid off American workers and outsourced their jobs to other countries. And he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars while taking companies to bankruptcy."
She also challenged Romney's claim to have created 100,000 jobs and argues that Romney supported companies that outsourced both as governor and in private equity.
The memo detailed outsourcing at a Bain controlled factory closing in South Carolina – the site of the next GOP primary. And quoted Warren Buffet saying "I don't like what private-equity firms do in terms of taking out every dime they can and leveraging (companies) up so that they really aren't equipped in some cases for the future."
In an interview on CBS, Mitt Romney recently defended his practices at Bain saying, "In the general election I'll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business."
The Obama campaign tells CNN they believe there's no comparison between the two because the President's "goal was to save 1.4 million American jobs and a hallmark of American manufacturing" and Romney's "did it to make a profit the goal was not job creation." A campaign official and the Cutter memo both point out Romney already made clear he wouldn't have extended the loan that saved Chrysler and GM.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.