Bain mindset could work in Washington, says Issa
May 28th, 2012
06:36 PM ET
2 years ago

Bain mindset could work in Washington, says Issa

(CNN) – Rep. Darrell Issa, a Mitt Romney supporter, on Monday said the experience of closing failing companies and trimming excess waste as a private equity executive could help the presumptive Republican nominee if he becomes president.

Issa's comments came after several weeks of attacks from Democrats, who have painted Romney as a job killing corporate raider for his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, the firm he founded in 1984. President Barack Obama's campaign, along with his aligned super PAC, both aired television commercials featuring workers at companies that were closed after being taken over by Bain.

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Issa was asked by CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta whether Romney could better communicate his record at Bain to voters.

"You're going to have some casualties, but that's exactly what we need in Washington and why I'm so delighted to support Gov. Romney," Issa said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "He understands that our government has gotten too big, there are agencies that need to be reformed, closed, combined, something the president has talked about but hasn't done."

Romney has not stated publically if he would close any federal agencies as president. According to NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, he told supporters at a campaign fund-raiser in April he would make the Department of Education "a heck of a lot smaller" and would consider eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also said he would cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On Monday, Issa, a Republican who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said there were numerous other places in the government a president could look to make cuts.

"There's got to be a way to take money out of GSA and other agencies that are throwing fancy parties and make it available for the essential services that the American people want," Issa said. "It's not nice, it's not easy to lay people off, but it's the right thing to do if you've got a bloated government. That's what Gov. Romney promises to do."

Issa said Romney, whose tax returns indicate a personal wealth in the hundreds of millions, should not be disqualified in voters' mind because of his fortune.

"We have had wealthy people who have served our country in the past," Issa, himself worth more than $200 million, said. "The American people want successful people, people who know how to create wealth. Remember, America's greatness is based on creating wealth like the rest of the world has never known, and then making sure it's shared throughout a middle class and even the underprivileged. That's what makes America special, anyone can go from the middle class or even poorer and ultimately end up like Mitt Romney, a successful person running for president and giving back."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich's presidential advice: Raise money

Wisconsin recall's a 'test run,' DNC chair says

Giuliani gets over ego and praises Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Darrell Issa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Issa is right! Change Congressional pay to minimum wage and take away their health care benefits and pensions would be a great start towards the Baining of America. Then our elected representatives would be paid what they are realy worth.

    May 29, 2012 05:42 am at 5:42 am |
  2. Dave in Arizona

    Difference being, if something doesn't work in the government you can't just kill it and move on to the next. You have to deal with the consequences of killing it, such as finding a viable, effective replacement.

    When you have the money to buy and sell companies you'll sell or close those that aren't working and call it a day. The fallout of people getting fired or there being a power vacuum in the market really isn't your problem, anymore. The POTUS doesn't have the luxury to look the other way.

    The sooner Americans see these things, the sooner they'll realize that business experience in the free market is a completely different perspective than that of the POTUS, and if the POTUS acted like a rich investor, we'd all feel the fallout.

    May 29, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Europe has proven austerity doesn't work, so naturally and GOBP cultist like Issa would embrace a failed policy, seeing as how that's the only kind he and his fellow GOBP parasites support.

    May 29, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  4. larry5

    I hope people can see through all the mud Obama is starting to throw. I wonder if the media support for Obama should be charged against his campaign, that and the jet airplane that we the taxpayers supply for Obama's campaign trips. I know that Obama pays an offsetting amount when he gets stuck admitting that he is campaigning but if that's true then taxpayers should be able to rent his airplane for the same amount. As Obama would say, it's only fair.

    May 29, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  5. JimfromBham

    The key is whether Romney matches the mood of the independent voters in the 8 to 10 swing states in November. Sadly, the Tea Party got "hijacked" by "values conservatives", but there are a lot of social moderates who are also fiscally conservative inn both parties.

    May 29, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  6. asm_ith

    No one could really disagree with trying to eliminate waste or closing down programs which are no longer needed or have failed. However, the Bain experience is more than that. I don't think we want to do to the country what Bain did to some of the places it closed, such as where they walked away with $100million and left the employees without pensions or benefits which had been earned; Bain could have walked away with a measly $80million and left something for the employees. Do we want the government, in order to maximize how much it could cut, throwing people onto the scrap heap like Bain did?

    May 29, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  7. Antwoine

    It is jaw-dropping to hear a career politician like Issa speak so casually about the ruined lives of the American worker as he refers to them as "casualties" It was those Casualties that put you in office. Why is the private sector at war with blue collar labor?

    May 29, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. Anonymous

    We need a leader who is genuinely committed to cutting the bloated bureaucratic waste, streamlining necessary agencies, services, etc. and turning this stagnant economy into a reflection of a productive American citizenry. Romney is the guy to do it. Obama had his chance; controlled Congress, couldn't pass an acceptable budget, etc. His amateur hour must end.

    May 29, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. rika33

    Yes – shut down education and environmental protection and give that money to DOD so they can spend it on the free market for overpriced equipment and consultants. The sooner we get the average American down to an ignorant peasant – the sooner we can have a free market like the 1700s.

    May 29, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  10. maine liberal

    Issa we will start with you. Voters love to fire politicians

    May 29, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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