Obama campaign hits Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'
June 22nd, 2012
12:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama campaign hits Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign seized on a new report Friday that claims Mitt Romney's former private equity firm was heavily involved in sending jobs overseas.

The campaign's senior strategist David Axelrod blasted out an email with the Washington Post story, saying it exposed "breathtaking hypocrisy" by a candidate who frequently calls for the need to return American jobs to the United States.

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The Washington Post story says that Bain Capital, a firm Romney co-founded in 1984 and left in 1999, had invested in multiple companies that "specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India."

"(Bain) owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission," the report said.

Based on the newspaper's investigation of Bain's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the private equity firm held shares in companies like Stream International Inc.–a firm that "became active in the growing field of overseas call centers"-and Modus Media, a company that opened up manufacturing locations on four continents.

In a conference call with reporters Friday, Axelrod knocked Romney as an "outsourcer in chief" and asked whether the presumptive GOP nominee's business experience is the kind of philosophy needed in the White House. He especially questioned Romney's ability to "stand up to China" on trade.

"It's particularly egregious when you try to repackage yourself as someone who's going to be tough on countries that you sent jobs to," Axelrod said on the call. He later described the report as a "significant moment in this campaign."

Romney's campaign, however, called the report a "fundamentally flawed story," arguing it fails to point out the difference between "domestic outsourcing versus offshoring."

Outsourcing, the campaign argues, is a common practice and can occur domestically without sending jobs overseas. Offshoring, on the other hand, involves shifting work out of house and overseas.

"Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul in statement. "As President, he will implement policies that make it easier and more attractive for companies to create jobs here at home."

Romney's corporate career at Bain has come under heavy scrutiny this cycle, first by his Republican opponents during the primary, and now by Democrats, who have aggressively used Bain as a way to frame Romney as an out of touch businessman whose claims as a job creator are baseless.

A spokesman for Bain Capital also responded to the report Friday, simply pointing to its successful ventures since its founding.

"Bain Capital's business model has always been to build great companies and improve their operations," the company said in a statement. "We have helped the 350 companies in which we have invested, which include over 100 start-up businesses, produce $80 billion of revenue growth in the United States while growing their revenues well over twice as fast as both the S&P and the U.S. economy over the last 28 years."

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. wolfpackbob

    .."breathtaking hypocrisy"... Good soundbite, Mr. Axelrod. Can you and the President start working on some "breathtaking transparency"?

    June 22, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Valentina

    Funny thing... nothing that Obama throws at Romney sticks. I wonder why that is! Perhaps the nations lost all trust in this President as he has shown the empty suit that he has always been.

    June 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. tony

    I had a lot of venture capital connections at the time and we knew he absolutely exported all the jobs he could, if it meant he could make even a single buck more profit.

    June 22, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. Bill

    Thankfully, Mittens will never be president.

    June 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. NFL1

    Outsourcing vs. off-shoring...for those with US jobs shifting abroad, I don't see any difference...semantics!

    June 22, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. NFL1

    The nothing sticks to Romney...perhaps they've heard so much during primaries that no one is listening? OR they don't care enough to even retain or spend energy getting mad at Romney...wait till the real campaign heats up and we start to "really" get to know Romney – yes, we haven't yet, despite so many campaigns...there is a clear choice.

    June 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. California Gary

    Bain helped 350 companies that they invested in........helped them how? By sending jobs overseas to cheaper labor markets as reported? That's the whole point.....they helped themselves and investors to create wealth, but it was at the expense of U.S. workers and the U.S. economy. To claim now that he, and his rich investor friends are "job creators" is hypocrisy at its worst. Romney has no soul when it comes to his politics.

    June 22, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    Valentina

    Funny thing... nothing that Obama throws at Romney sticks. I wonder why that is! Perhaps the nations lost all trust in this President as he has shown the empty suit that he has always been.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Only in your mind Valentina. Only in your mind.

    June 22, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. WiredweirdinSF

    Do you think the liberally biased mainstream media will dig in to this with a "fact checker" like they would a Republican candidate. No. Did you anyone see the story about the gay activists invited to the WH by the most incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady president we have ever had, being photographed flipping of the portrait of Ronald Reagan. Don't you just love the hypocritical behavior of democrat liberals. If Bush had invited conservatives to the WH and they did the same thing with a portrait of Clinton, the corrupt democrat liberal Congress would have called for his impeachment and it would have been all over CNN and MSNBC, with live coverage from Dan Rather.

    June 22, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. ddblah

    Yes. It's time to call him out!

    June 22, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. TomInRochNY

    Valentina, It's sticking with me. I have absolutely no doubt that if Romney becomes president our economy will crumble.

    June 22, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Triple A

    Invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception took the oportunity to stand in front of Reagans picture at the White House to have their pictures taken giving Reagan the middle finger. So these are the type of votes the President of the United States is now trolling for? This is the class of people that the President of the United States Accociates himself with? This is now the type of expected behavior condoned by the President of the United States at the White House?

    June 22, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Cryos

    Is rehashing former attacks really the best they can do to try to distract from Fast and Furious and Obama's executive privilege? Guess they'll fool the rubes.

    June 22, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    Triple A

    Invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception took the oportunity to stand in front of Reagans picture at the White House to have their pictures taken giving Reagan the middle finger. So these are the type of votes the President of the United States is now trolling for? This is the class of people that the President of the United States Accociates himself with? This is now the type of expected behavior condoned by the President of the United States at the White House?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    This is the first I've ever heard of the alleged incident. Can you please provide a credible link to a story about the alleged incident? No? Didn't think so, but thanks for playing!

    June 22, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Ancient Texan

    NFL1- When will the "real Obama" be exposed? He spent millions to hide his past and now throws every devisive diversion he and Axelrod can dream up out to throw the public's attention away from the real issues of this election.

    June 22, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper

    "produce $80 billion of revenue growth in the United States"....which means profits for the corporate raiders CEO's and Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe which he conveniently parked in SWISS BANK Accounts and the CAYMEN Island!!!

    Just where is Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe BAIN CAPITAL production in terms of creating jobs in the United States?....YEP, the OUTSOURCE ALL those AMERICAN JOBS to CHINA & INDIA at the expense of the AMERICAN WORKERS!!!!

    June 22, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    I guess now we know where those 100,000 jobs Mitt Romney claims to "have created while AT Bain" are located. Over there.

    June 22, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. obama victim

    out sourcing helps companies improve profits and dividends.....I own many stocks.....works for me

    June 22, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. georgewashington

    Go after Romney on his record as governor. Tell everyone that he says one thing and does another. Tell everyone that he is not evil, just the wrong man for the job. Explain his priorities are out of sync with American values of helping the underdog. Romney chose his profession and apparently did it well. He had an obligation to make money for the company. The average voter is not going to understand 'carried interest".

    June 22, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. ART

    Please tell Robme and his wife that what ever they do please don't put their olympic horse on top of the air plane on its way to London

    June 22, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. DG

    Romney created jobs allright, for China, India, Mexico, Phillipines, etc. etc. and, after doing so, he has a sterling record of creating wealth for himself and his investors. Moreover, to add insult to injury, he wants to give the wealthy an even bigger tax cut than Bush did. The tax rates on the wealthy should be where Clinton had them. That's when we had 23 million new jobs created, a huge record surplus, $1.30 gallon gas, a very solvent social security trust fund, etc. etc. Just don't vote those evil Republicons into office please.

    June 22, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. sonny chapman

    Mitt is a "Job Creator" ! It's just that like his other Rich, sorry, Job Creator Friends, the jobs he created came from America & went to China & India. "This is Pushtan, calling about your Bank of America mortgage".

    June 22, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Gurgyl

    Yes, this idiot OUTSOURCED jobs to INDIA, CHINA. Even Call-centers jobs too....idiots are talking. Country men/women drive these GREEDY GOP Animals out. Yes, on OBAMA12. Period.

    June 22, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Indy

    "Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul in statement.

    The above statement is a flat out lie,borrowing money for profit is not the same as creating products or services and in the real world jobs are created by the innovators who concieve ideas for products and services not the lenders. If Bain is a job creator you better thank all the banks first as they would be the single largest job creators in the world.Mitt Romney did not create jobs he borrowed money to job creators so that he could profit from them,and there is nothing wrong with that but make no mistake Bain was a blip on the map compared to banks borrowing money to business owners.

    Malory Archer,
    The link you are looking for is Fox News and Lies, so you are 100% correct there is no credible source to back up the conspiracy theory from Triple A

    June 22, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    How out of touch is Mitt Romney? Remember a couple of months ago when Mitt Romney was on a college campus talking to students about student loans, and the challenges they faced getting them today. He said something what went like this....

    "If you cannot get a bank loan, borrow $10,000 from your parents."

    ...and shrugged as he said it as if to say, "See how easy that was?"

    June 22, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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