May 15th, 2012
10:25 AM ET
3 years ago

Pawlenty defends Romney against Bain criticism

(CNN) – One of Mitt Romney's top surrogates said Tuesday that Democratic attacks against the likely GOP nominee over Bain's role in a company's bankruptcy were unfair, pointing out Romney was no longer making decisions at the company when the steel plant in question was shuttered.

"Every third party group who has looked at that attack ad on the Obama election campaign has said it's misleading, false and unfair," Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, said on CNN's "Starting Point."

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Pawlenty made the point as two ads – one from President Barack Obama's re-election team, and one from the super PAC Priorities USA – hit Romney for his time as the chief executive at Bain Capital. Both ads feature GST Steel, a company that went bankrupt and closed in 2001, eight years after Romney's private equity firm purchased it.

Romney left the company in 1999, but has continued to benefit through the company, though his campaign has noted that Romney's finances are held in and managed by a "blind trust."

Pawlenty said on CNN Tuesday Romney had turned his attention to the Salt Lake City Olympics at the time GST Steel went under.

"When that set of events occurred, Mitt Romney had left Bain Capital, two years removed from Bain Capital, and was leading the charge to restore and turn around the Olympics," Pawlenty said. "If you look at his record at Bain overall, it's a story of net job increases, not net job losses."

On Monday, Pawlenty said again he wasn't interested in becoming Romney's running mate, telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune he wasn't putting himself in contention.

"I'm going to take my name off the list, so if ... you're a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list," Pawlenty said, according to the newspaper.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. s

    Pawlety who?? who really cares what you think, has been

    May 15, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Blindersoff

    Weak Pawlenty afraid to eyeball, All mouth, saturated with false bravado. Can you say a passive male, fill in the Blanks! "P.U.N.K."

    May 15, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. Bill

    The attacks are completely fair because they let people know what kind of creep Romney is. If you can not play the game Mittens, get out. Unfair? What a joke.

    May 15, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    "If you look at his record at Bain overall, it's a story of net job increases, not net job losses."
    -----------------------------------------
    Show me the numbers Timmy. The numbers have been changing over the years. Show me some hard, concrete figures Mr. Bobblehead. OMG. This guy must really wants a cabinet position badly. Is this the same T-Paw who left Minnesota with billions in debt?

    May 15, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Donkey Party

    Pawlenty, Rubio = Romney lapdogs

    Hope they get better treatment than Seamus (on second thought, no I don't).

    May 15, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. Is Mitt a Git?

    Tim Pawlenty does not know what he's talking about. If he's one of Romney's top surrogates, then he's just begging for a role in the Romney WH. I don't t hink that's gonna happen. Pawlenty is a has been, do nothing idiot. What Romney did at Bain may have been legal, but it is also not good business. Pawlenty's defence is just pandering and showing how stupid he is.

    May 15, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. ST

    Tim the Pawlenty, your defense is baseless. What happened before and after Romney's presence at Bain carries the same weight. He could not continue benefiting from the company and later disregard the shortfalls of it! It is either he takes the blames or forget everything altogether.

    May 15, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. ThinkAgain

    Mittens' plans for our country are like what he did to companies while working at Bain Capitol:

    1. Hostile takeover (steal the election; he's already proven he's willing to do that with his buying of votes in Maine and other primary states).

    2. Suck out the assets (lower taxes on the wealthy; eliminate capital gains taxes).

    3. Reduce operating expenses to finance the debt (lower taxes means lower revenues means higher deficit; eliminate social spending, cut education, let infrastructure continue to crumble and decay, lay off public employees).

    4. Take his "fees" for his "expert management services" (see #2 above: he and his millionaire/billionaire cronies would benefit the most from the reduced/eliminated taxes).

    5. Leave the company to go bankrupt (our nation would permanently fall into third-world status, with virtually no Middle Class and an uneducated, sprawling poverty class, desperate to work for 50 cents/day, totally dependent on the charity of those few charitable organizations the right deem "worthy" of their donations).

    6. Move on to the next target company (invest in emerging nations such as China and India, where labor is cheap and regulations are minimal; make further millions and billions, lining their own pockets and chalking up their killing of America to the "free market correcting itself").

    May 15, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Time to research and accept the truth about Mittens and all his "experience."

    According to Bill Bain, who started Bain & Company and invited Mittens to head Bain Capital, Mittens initially said no (it was too risky a venture for Mittens).

    So Bill Bain told Mittens that if Bain Capital failed, he'd have his old job back, at his old salary, plus any raises he would have gotten. Bain also told Mittens that he'd provide him with a "cover story" so his (Mittens') reputation wouldn't be damaged by the failure.

    In a nutshell, according to Bill Bain himself, Mittens faced "no professional or financial risk" by going to Bain Capital.
    So much for being some hot-shot business guy.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 15, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. NorthStar

    Explain it to me. Why does anyone care what Pawlenty thinks?

    May 15, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. v_mag

    A misleading political ad? That's mild, compared to the outright lying that is rampant in the Repugnant party. They don't even bother to have some plausible, if thin, explanation for their fabrications (or fib-rications). It's just lie, lie, lie, all the time. Faux News is the lying machine par excellance, and they're just one part of the conspiracy.

    Flip Rob-money = George W. Bush. Nobody in his right mind wants to go back to those days.

    May 15, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Stuffit

    The Obama campaign ad will not point out the jobs saved or created. Perhaps the Republicans shoudl start showcasing the failures of this incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady we currently have. He did not save the auto industry, he saved the unions. He did not stimulate the economy he tried to kill it.

    May 15, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. John

    What Romney can't speak for himself, aw bring him a tissue. Notice how Romney never takes quetions on his time at Bain.

    May 15, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. MTATL67

    After the numerous lies told by Romney. I have to laugh at Pawlenty's comment of "misleading, false and unfair". In fact he's got a lot of nerve saying those words.

    May 15, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. fayse

    Even Rick Perry called Romney a Vulture Capitalist.

    May 15, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. MikeInCarolina

    Let's not be stupid. Romney's entire campaign has been attack, attack , attack. Not one example of a specific remedy for anything. Any fool can do what he's doing. He's simply appealimng to those who didn't want Obama in the first place: many due to basic bigotry. He throws the word failure around while ignoring any good that has been achieved. Romney is a modern day Jesse Helms. He's got two things going for him; Money and hatred. Both can be powerful but both can be overcome.

    May 15, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. yogi

    "Every third party group who has looked at that attack ad"....yeah right, that's easy, who are these groups? The ad is showing the pattern of Romney's strategies. Romney was in this business only for making lots of money, and not for creating jobs, he could care less.
    Obama 2012!

    May 15, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    Did Mitt suffer any losses? Was it heads I win, tails you lose. If Willard is so sure of this, open up Bain to an audit for the public to see: number of jobs created, net job growth, and then what became of the win-win loot he got from shuttering places - did it end up in Switzerland? No, oh must be the Caymans.
    By the way Willard, the success story of the other steel plant? You were long gone by then too...not to mention the millions of govt subsidies and tax breaks it received. Willard would like to take credit for that too. Nice try Willard.

    May 15, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. bcm

    The problem is that the jobs created were not in this country! They were great at creating jobs in India and China. And, of course, we all know that the Republicans would never create a "misleading" ad! Hypocrits!

    May 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The truth is, Romney is unfair and misleading. This man still has not released the tax information that Pawlenty, Bachman, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Paul and everyone else has demanded. Now they are endorsing the very man they said was secretive, dishonest and a vulture capitalist?????

    May 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  21. cardog

    Of course the Romney campaign is going to say that their candidate is all about "Jobs" and that Bain Capital is this benevelent organization that goes around helping companies in distress. Of course the spill the Romney people will give us is that they try to help companies survive that are in financial trouble. Some companies succeed like Staples, but most have their assets leveraged/sold and the monies are pocketed by these Venture Capalists who are in fact "Corporate Raiders".
    Having dealt with a corporate raider directly myself, by the name of Carl Ichan who almost gutted TWA, while making millions himself, Mitt Romney is only this dacades clone of Ichan.

    May 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Thomas

    Let Mitt Romney defend himself !

    Five sons all avoided military service.

    May 15, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. BLKMANinAmerica

    OK................so repuks just continue to play the DENIAL game but can BLAME everything wrong on President Obama. GROW-UP already repuks your all human and you make just a many MISTAKES as everyone else on earth. STOP telling so many flipen LIES.

    May 15, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    One of Mitt Romney's top surrogates said Tuesday that Democratic attacks against the likely GOP nominee over Bain's role in a company's bankruptcy were unfair, pointing out Romney was no longer making decisions at the company when the steel plant in question was shuttered.
    -------------------------
    It is just as fair as Mitt Romney's claims and taking credit for job creation at firms where "Romney was no longer making decisions" at Bain Capital. Where does he come up with that "100,000 jobs created" claim, anyway?

    May 15, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. cali girl

    Robmey wasn't in charge, but still stood as the company CEO. Tell me Pawlenty, how much money did Robmey make off of the sell off to the highest bidder?

    May 15, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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