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. kakaraka

    This clown defends the indefensible. Romney keeps saying he's a business man who have created jobs through Bain Capital. But it turns out Bain Capital engaged in vulture capitalism by destroying jobs, screwing creditors, filing bankrupcity and get away with millions of dollars in profits. That's the practice of the company developed by Romney in the first place. Whether he was there or not, Bain was his company. So why are you lunatic saying he can take credit for Bain but cannot take a blame for the same Bain? Totally no sense from Pawlenty. As long as Romney keeps saying he created jobs with Bain, the criticism of him killing, destroying with Bain will always follow him. It's better that he stops saying that he is qualified to be president because of his vulture capitalism record at Bain Capital. It;s a loser argument. The more he's saying it the more people will know him in a negative way. Get a life Pawlenty.

    May 15, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Chumlee

    Little Timmy is in no position to talk about financial responsibility. The State of Minneosta's economy speaks for
    itself. Timmy failed. Go away little guy, you are a loser

    May 15, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Sniffit

    GOP/Teatroll redux: "Even though Bush's and GOP's policies are still in effect and are unquestionably the largest contributor to the vast majority of the debt and deficit, and even though we've prevented as much of it as possible from being repealed or rolled back, Bush and the GOP are not at fault because Bush isn't in office anymore."

    Timmy Polenta redux: "Even though Mittens was in charge and set the policies and made the management decisions and plans/strategy that eventually led to that company's demise and all the horrible problems it caused for peoples' retirements, pensions, salaries, and families, Mittens isn't responsible because by the time the crap hit the fan, he'd already gotten out of Dodge."

    May 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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