Pro-Obama super PAC brings back Bain
June 10th, 2012
05:17 PM ET
6 years ago

Pro-Obama super PAC brings back Bain

(CNN) - Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting the president's re-election campaign is bringing Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's former private equity firm, back into the spotlight this week with a new ad.

The 30-second spot, "Donnie," was released Sunday and features an interview with a former worker of GST Steel, a Kansas City company that went bankrupt and closed in 2001, eight years after it was purchased by Bain.

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Romney left Bain in 1999, but has continued to benefit through GST Steel. His campaign has noted that Romney's finances are held in and managed by a blind trust.

In the ad, the ex-worker, Donnie Box, lambasted Bain by saying the company shut down "entire livelihoods" and claims the company reneged on its promise to provide health care packages and retirement programs.

"This was a booming place, and Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard. Just making money and leaving," Box says in the ad. "They don't live in this neighborhood. They don't live in this part of the world."

As the ad closes, text on the screen reads: "If Mitt Romney wins, the middle class loses."

The video reflects tones from similar Priorities ads released last month that also featured former workers of shuttered plants bought by Bain.

Priorities' senior strategist Bill Burton told CNN the new commercial is part of an ongoing $7 million ad buy and will air in five battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

The commercial comes a couple of weeks after the Obama campaign largely turned away from its Bain offense, which went on for much of the month of May, to instead focus on Romney's record as former Massachusetts governor.

"For voters across the country, profiting from failure and breaking promises to employees illustrates that Romney would not stand up for the middle class as president," Burton wrote in a memo Saturday. In his note, Burton pointed to results from two recent focus groups that show the Bain attacks may be having an impact, in favor of the president, on certain key voting blocs.

The focus groups consisted of so-called Wal-Mart moms in the battleground states of Nevada and Virginia. All the women identified themselves as independents or as undecided, and the Nevada group included only Latino women.

CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, who watched the focus groups take place, wrote that the women gave Romney credit for being a businessman and a family man, but expressed concern after watching attack ads against him and his corporate career from groups like Priorities and the president's re-election campaign.

"When asked to use one word or phrase to describe Romney, the words or phrases they used included 'Don't know that much about him,' 'selfish,' 'businessman who is concerned with making himself some money,' 'concerned about the wealthy,' 'can't be trusted,' 'scares me,' and 'lackluster' - again, echoing some of what is being said in the Bain ads around the country," Cardona wrote in an op-ed.

The debate over the fairness of the Bain attacks took center stage last month, as some notable Democrats disagreed with their own party on the idea of using Romney's career as a knock against him. President Barack Obama even weighed in, firmly deciding that because Romney uses his business background to court votes, then the attacks were fair game.

Romney's team, however, has consistently defended the candidate's time at Bain, arguing that the president was taking aim the free enterprise system. His campaign, as well as Bain itself, highlights the fact that a strong majority of the businesses purchased by the firm went on to become successful, though some did not fare well.

During a tele-townhall last week, the candidate hit back against the Democratic-led notion that Romney was simply in the businesses of making profits, not hiring people, and therefore should not use his Bain record as a credential for creating jobs.

"It's like well, I have to tell you, that's sort of what business is about. The free enterprise system is about people taking a risk to earn a return, to earn a profit and if they do, they're able to hire more people," Romney said. "Profits and people go together if you're talking about creating new jobs."

As Priorities has stepped up its ad effort in the last month, the group is also trying to ramp up its fund-raising. Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is meeting with potential donors to Priorities on Monday to help it beef up its coffers.

Also see:

Axelrod weighs in on Obama's private sector comments

Romney video goes after Obama's comments on economy

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

McCain: Obama responsible for leaks, Holder has no credibility

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    And with "No Middle Class" we have an Aparthied Government and if you don't know what that means look it up and read about Nelson Mandela.

    June 10, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. GonzoinHouston

    Romney's people claim that by attacking Bain, Obama is attacking the entire free-enterprise system. I disagree; in an economy with the size and diversity of ours there will be both good and bad organizations. It all depends on the nature of the people in charge. Bain, and there are others, is proof that you can make money either by building companies up or breaking them down.

    One thing is apparent, though. Romney is being very selective in what he lets the people know about his activities there. That should tell you something.

    June 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    Venture capitalist = Someone who invests his/her own money into a start-up company with the goal of growing it and helping it succeed. Note: Mittens and Bain did this very rarely.

    Private equity = Someone who invests OTHER people's money into establish companies and then boost the value on paper (by laying off workers and cutting benefits), borrow against new "value," take a huge fee, then abandon the company to try to survive with huge debt. This is what Mittens and Bain specialized in and how Mittens made his fortune.

    Please keep in mind the following: 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

    June 10, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. California Conservative


    Obviously Obama is disconnected from America.

    June 10, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    the Obama campaign may want to try another mode of attack on Mitt because I think this Bain deal is going to be a dry well pretty soon. Seems like those who support Romney will overlook it and those who support the president will do so no matter what happened at Bain. Those on the fence though may get turned off by it pretty soon. I support the president and I admit I'm getting bored with it as well.

    June 10, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. smartone

    What Bain did isn't free enterprise..
    Bain bankrupted compaines and walked away with millions of dollars in profits
    and The TAXPAYER had to clean up the mess

    June 10, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Hammerer

    Not according to Clinton, Summers, Corey Booker and a whole host of Dems. They say Obama is out of touch with reality.

    June 10, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. hmm...

    It is called "Trickle Down" economics like the fall of 2008, the GOP plan for 2013. Its "Greek" to me, but making it rain in Spain, falls mainly on the pain. No jobs program, no real housing foreclosure program, and the Congress answer is let it trickle down.

    June 10, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Myviewis

    I think it's good to bring back Bain because slowly people will see that Gov. Romney has created jobs which is why employees of Bain Capital were able to contribute monies to the Obama ads, because they have jobs with Bain Capital. It is so logical that these argument of Bain keeps showing that Romney created jobs. I think the only thing left for Romney to do is actually visit all the companies that Bain Capital owns and show the thousands of people with jobs. It is hard to believe that the Latino women is well informed and as Maria Cardona knows being that she is a Columbian that the Latino/Latin American women as well as men usually are misinformed because they care more to watch the Spanish news of what is taking place in their countries than our country, this is because Latinos/Latin Americans have a loyalty to their countries not ours, their interests do not represent our country, they are 100% members of their countries not our communities, they are about what is good for Latinos/Latin Americans and their countries and what can the USA do for them to take to their countries. The Latino/Latin American Vote is about their countries, about them not the USA and if tomorrow they have to chose between our country and theirs, they will choose their country.

    June 10, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Profits and people go together?!?! Then why do folks in upper management get bigger bonuses for laying people off? Seen it many times... Why do they get big bonuses for outsourcing jobs? Profits and SOME people go together! Usually the kind of people that would sell their own mother for a buck!

    June 10, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  11. getu

    mitt, let me ask you.How can you create jobs in America when you send your investment profits overseas

    June 10, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Chipster

    Bain and Romney made millions by loading businesses with debt and then bankrupting them. Creditors got nearly nothing; employees got nearly nothing or nothing at all. Executives walked away with their bonuses and golden parachutes. Is that the "bold new plan" he has for the nation?

    June 10, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Ancient Texan

    Obama has done more to damage and destroy the middle class than any president ....ever!

    June 10, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  14. King

    this global market is about buying and selling, China is pouring millions into mittens campaign because they know mitten business background, they know he will create free trade with them, and pit American middle class with China slaves labor, a competition American workers will lose every time. mittens will make things even more worst when he cut our middle class workers even more. there is no stopping the Exodus of American businesses, because mittens would have cut the incentive to keep business here.

    June 10, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. fred 37ify

    What a bunch of tripe ! Bain Capital saved 73% of the companies they took over ! Barracks record is dismal by comparison !

    June 10, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. Blindersoff

    " Romney said. "Profits and people go together if you're talking about creating new jobs." Not True, look at the lay of the land, private sector companies are sitting on tons of cash from record profits since Obama took office and still they are not hiring. Why should they? Cheap overseas labor, no unions, tax credits, loop holes and the good old Bush tax cuts. That's right america, Romney does not care about you, Lord, he don't even know you from Adam, we are just a means to him becoming president . . . Not on my watch, how about on your watch?

    June 10, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is part of the Romney record. We should be able to hear about when he was there and in charge. If he made money from it, that should be part of the record but be clear as to what it is.

    June 10, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. Mike in Texas

    If we truly had a free enterprise system we wouldn't have child labor laws, minimum wage laws, work hour laws, etc. Free enterprise means no government rules or regulations. Those with power and money would control everything.

    June 10, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  19. mark

    I have not decided either and I don't care about partisan garbage – but if Obama can be accused of not bringing the hope and change promised, then Mitts weakness might end up Bain. Very mixed thoughts on either man.

    June 10, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. Larry L

    Bain shows Romney's true character. He is a preppy – grown to become a vulture capitalist. Not grown to become the President of the United States – responsible for all of our people.

    June 10, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. luke,az

    Gov Romney is the perfect candidate for the 1%, he'll do exactly what he is told. He is at best a mediocre manager. And by the way the private sector must be doing just fine, the highest salary in Arizona in 2011 is $82,000,000 and is being paid to Richard Adkerson of Freeport-McMoran a mining company.

    June 10, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. Prariedoc

    Please! Bain Capitol is a bonafide issue and should be exploited. After all, Gov. Romney is always touting his business acumen and how he knows the economy and how to create jobs. This is no time to be meek or to waffle on any issue that shows Romney for what he is, a puppet for Wall Street and an agent for banks and large corporations. Any person who thinks that, "....corporations are people too." is not concerned with the folks who work for less than $100K per year let alone the poor or disadvantaged.

    June 10, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  23. Harry Wreckdom

    "If Mitt Romney wins, the middle class loses".

    Enough said.

    June 10, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  24. georgewashington

    That headline is a true statement. Please don't be so foolish to test it.

    June 11, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. sonnie3

    To bang over and over and over on BAIN is to admitt the dems have darn little else to harp about. Why don't they tout their record of the last 3.5 years obama has been wrecking our economy, and standing up to unions that are but blood sucker on society.

    June 11, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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