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. Woman In California

    Willard creates jobs sure – but not here in the U.S. His business experience is no more than that of a "hit man". He targets, aims and hits then afterwards sits down to enjoy a steak dinner with his family. No remorse, no shame and definitely no ethics. America doesn't need a hit man in the Oval Office or a breeder and we need to stick with the tried and true leader Barack Obama.

    June 22, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Michele Bachman and Rick Perry, Hermann Cain all Republicans that debated Mitt Romney left a road map of ads attacking Romney. So don't blame Democrats they're just repeating what Republicans believe and said about Romney.

    June 22, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Iyke

    yes romney is a job creator...in india and china!!!

    June 22, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. g

    romney,s first 100 days would be america,s last 100 days

    June 22, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Betty J.

    For Tea/Republicans America does not come first. Profit does.

    June 22, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Steve- Illinois

    It's almost funny how they rip Romney for his business success, while promoting the President who has zero experience in the private sector!!

    June 22, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. ted

    Romney is a moron. Limbaugh said it the best – venture capitalists are all about making money and not caring how gets hurt. So Romney is a greedy SOB and does not give a rats rear end about the 99%. Keep in mind that he thinks GM and Chrysler shoudl not have been saved, but he was all about supporting giving the banks taxpayer money to keep going so that they could pay the bonuses for trashing their banks and the economy with disastrous results.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 22, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. coy4one

    Companies continue to send jobs overseas in mass amounts. Even the company I work for has sent thousands to Mexico, Central America, and India and within the next couple of years, they will send thousands to the Phillipines. Why? People in the Phillipines are paid on average, $9,700 per year. Until this outsourcing "bleeding" is stopped, we will not see jobs being created in the USA. And just because the news have a story from time to time about companies bringing jobs back to the U.S., I assure you three times as many jobs are still going international.

    June 22, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney has just as much of a legitmate claim to being a "job creator" as the CEO of Chase Bank.

    June 22, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Ted van Tol

    Obama wil end in his second term the second unfunded war.
    He dismantled Al Qaida en provided health care for millions Americans.
    The world economy is down to the bottom and America blames a President
    who would do eveything to keep the USA out of this world disaster.
    The Republicans and a part of the democrats wil do enything to obstruct him and
    his policys. Hate and fear in a Christian country that claims imoral supriority.

    June 22, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    We don’t want Bush years again under Mitt Romney

    June 22, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Mike

    So the Romney campaign complaint is that he is accused of outsourcing when he should have been accused of offshoring?

    June 22, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. wgf

    Outsourcing and off-shoring are not mutually exclusive. In Romney's case he outsourced to off-shore locations.

    June 22, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. CanadaONE

    Why di Romoney invest in China? doesn't he believe in democractic countrIes?

    June 22, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Cryos

    If all the leftist windbags took your supposed ideals to the cash register we wouldn't have the offshoring problem.

    However when you choose to go to Walmart and buy the cheapest Chinese junk possible so you have money left over for other Chinese junk then what do you expect?

    Business costs are not based off of fuzzy ideals spouted in blogs.

    June 22, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. Larry L

    But Romney's a "job creator"! Oh I get it... he creates jobs in India and China – plus a few banking jobs in the Caymans and Switzerland. He's a "poverty creator" here in America.

    June 22, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    I love the spokesperson's line: "Romney understands that jobs come and go...." Wow, that is breathtaking hypocrisy. Obama will chew this guy up one bite at a time. Mitt, release your tax returns. Mitt, we poached our health care reform from the law you signed as Gov of Mass. Mitt, stop stammering. Mitt, what do you understand about creating jobs, NOT sending them overseas and taking the profits for your time and trouble? Mitt, what do you understand about the lives of the average American worker? Romney is stuck. It's going to be fun watching him squirm as the days get bigger.

    June 22, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. Michael JP

    Amercia doesn't want a President Ronmey sending jobs overseas. Say no to Ronmey

    June 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. margo

    All Romney has to do is start a bleeding heart campaign and keep using the mantra, "I'm for the middle class", "I'm for the middle class", "I'm for the middle class".......guess they are the only poor in this country.

    June 22, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Steve

    The hemoraging has begun for Romney and will continue until mercifully put to rest in November.

    June 22, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. marieee

    Romney does know how to make jobs and end them, that;s how he made his millions, on the backs of Americans, firing them and hiring China to make our products. How can anyone take him seriously. Let's stay with Obama at least we know what we have. Maybe as soon as the election is over they will finally pass the jobs act and put America back to work because they don't want to help Obama and our country right now. Let's show congress that this tactic doesn't work and vote them out next election.

    June 22, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Hugganoak

    Everybody post how many years YOU have spent in the "real world" economy. Me, about 40 years.

    June 22, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Republican loser

    Romney going to lose in landslide. Romney want you just quit the race. The hispanic going to come out strong for president Obama.

    June 22, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    This from an Obama administration that laid off over 10,000 people when they took over GM, then has a track record of leaving over 2,000,000 people unemployed?

    Only fools believe what Obama says now.

    June 22, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    "Obama doesn't know when to outsource jobs" – Mitt Romney 6/12

    June 22, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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