Outsourcing report continues to ignite campaign
July 2nd, 2012
10:17 AM ET
6 years ago

Outsourcing report continues to ignite campaign

(CNN) – A report first published more than a week ago detailing Bain Capital's record of sending jobs overseas continued to roil on the campaign trail Monday, as President Barack Obama's team contested a fact-check that called into question their attacks on rival Mitt Romney, who headed Bain for more than a decade.

The original article, published in the Washington Post on June 22, said 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."

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The report sparked an onslaught of attacks from Democrats, who have been criticizing Romney for weeks on his role as a private equity executive. David Axelrod, the president's campaign senior adviser, knocked Romney as an "outsourcer in chief," and Obama himself told a crowd in Florida the country didn't need an "outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office."

For their part, Romney's campaign pushed back hard on the Washington Post article, saying it failed to draw a distinction between "domestic outsourcing" and "offshoring."

Outsourcing, the campaign argued, 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.

The distinction didn't stop Obama's campaign from releasing a series of campaign ads attacking Romney for his role at Bain, using the "outsourcer in chief" line and citing examples of companies acquired by Bain that send jobs overseas.

Those ads were the subject of scrutiny from FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan group affiliated with the Annenberg Public Policy Center. FactCheck said in a 4,000-word report the Obama ads carried some claims that were untrue, and other assertions that only had thin supporting evidence.

FactCheck responded to the Obama campaign's argument Monday, saying it was "weak and non-existent."

"The Obama complaint claims we erred in saying Mitt Romney gave up active management of Bain Capital in early 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics, insisting we were then wrong in saying Romney was not responsible for shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

"In fact, if the Obama campaign were correct, Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.

"And after reviewing evidence cited by the Obama campaign, we reaffirm our conclusion that Romney left the helm of Bain Capital when he took leave of absence in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics–as he has said repeatedly–and never returned to active management. The Obama campaign's recent ads thus mislead when they point to investments made by Bain, as well as management decisions made by companies in which Bain invested, after that time."

FactCheck's report acknowledged that Bain was involved in "some companies that helped other companies outsource work and that some of that work went overseas," but questioned whether those companies could be linked to Romney.

FactCheck's report concluded: "We found no evidence to support the claim that Romney – while he was still running Bain Capital – shipped American jobs overseas."

They point out "two examples cited by the Obama campaign occurred after Romney left Bain."

That argument – that Romney left Bain before the outsourcing took place – was the subject of a six-page letter Monday, addressed to FactCheck's director and deputy director, from Obama's deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter.

Cutter wrote that FactCheck's assessment of the timing "is not a fact at all, not by any fair reading of the record, and yet it appears to be central to your position."

She cited an interview Romney gave in 1999, when he said he would still offer "input on investment and key personnel decisions" at Bain, and similar interviews with his wife and lawyer expressing similar outlooks for his involvement with the company.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. racegirl1

    I wonder does FactCheck get their non partisan "checks" from the right. This is a group you don't take with a grain of salt, but a pound of salt if you believe them on everything they say.

    July 2, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Blake

    The Administration is playing politics with Bain Capital outsourcing. In a big way it's fair attack because of the way Romney is twisting his record at Bain to make himself sound like a great job creator. If Romney is going to constantly take credit for the "millions of jobs he created there," with 90% of those jobs being created after he left or after Bain had no hand in said companies, then by his logic he should take credit for the outsourcing of jobs in those numbers.

    So again one can say that Romney has left himself logically open (even if this is a logical fallacy), to this line of attack. It could be a trap in the debates where Romney tries to take the President to town, only to have Pres Obama use it to point out the fallacy in his job creation record at Bain.

    July 2, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. sonny chapman

    Outsourcing v. offshoring. RomneyCare only works in Mass. Where are all of the Repubs. who went nuts when Clinton tried to parse the word "is" regarding a sex act ? Hypocrites !

    July 2, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Say_Nothing -Do_Nothing_Flip_n_Flopper VULTURE CAPITALIST

    When his Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe ever gonna MAN UP like his daddy and take credit for his accomplishment; that he OUTSOURCED AMERICAN JOBS TO INDIA & MEXICO as a CEO @BAIN, and that ROMNEYCARE is OBAMACARE, and that he also championed this healthcare law & "Individual Mandate" as a model for the whole United States in 2008 and even while he was MA gov.; and that he even championed the Arizona Immigration Law as a model for the whole United States and promised to veto the DREAM ACT!!!!

    When is the real Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe gonna stand UP?...he has flip flopped so much mitt's spine is now looking like that of a snake!!!

    July 2, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Dean

    Fact: Obama has a lousy record.

    July 2, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. sonny chapman

    Fact: The American Economy lost 400,000 Private Sector jobs in Jan.2009.

    July 2, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. Michael B.

    Obama lies? What? This isn't news, he's from Chicago

    July 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Investment Advisor

    Twist and turn this anyway you like...the Obama campaign is beyound stretching the truth on this one. This is deceitful and the majority of the dems will accept this into their arsenal without doing their homework.

    July 2, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. GL

    According to a Boston Herald interview with Romney at the time, “Romney said he will stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions.” ("Romney looks to restore Olympic Pride” Boston Herald 2/12/1999)
    When Romney did finally surrender control in mid-2001, the Salt Lake Tribune reported the following: “In so, he gave up control over all of Bain Capital’s voting stock,
    dividing the shares between the two dozen directors. The divestiture had no financial ramifications, Romney said, affecting only the management and control of the company.” (“Romney Plans to Pursue Public Service” Salt Lake Tribune 8/21/2001). In other words, prior to 2001, Romney exercised control and participated in management–just as he said he would do in 1999.

    Factchecking is wrong again.

    July 2, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Milton K. Wiah

    Romney receives dividends from his investment from this company he founded in the 90's. And how Romney is
    not connected to this company, he is connected to this company.
    Except Factchecks people have some inner agenda of being Romney supporters to suggest to any thinkable
    person that the Democrats ads dlo not have any supporting evidence that Romney is part of that process.
    How did Romney make $42 million in 2011 if he is not connected to Bain Capital. Let the factcheck find that one out.

    July 2, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The point is that Romney and Bain Capital showed no interest in being an American company. They only showed interest in being a money company. It appears that their only loyalty was to make money and not to keep jobs here in the US.

    July 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. Wake up people

    Yeah right Fact check is non partisan and I'm white. Whatever. They always seem to have something to say when it comes to President Obama but were quiet as church mice when Newt and Sanatorium were saying this very same thing. Outsourcing, offshoring whatever. People still lost their jobs and livelihoods while Robmey got richer.

    It truly amazes me how Robmey could even be close to President Obama in the polls. The President is a hard working, caring, strong man that came into office at the worst time in recent history. Yet and still he is leading us out of the darkness that Bush and crew led us into, yet people don't want to see him succeed even if it means the destruction of our country and are willing to hand the Presidency over to a bully with no core values, that will say and do anything to get into the White House and whom once there will do nothing but allow his billionaire buddies to run our country.

    Either this country has more wealthy people than we thought or most are voting against their own self interest.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 2, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  13. Investment Advisor

    @ Etch a Sketch....The pot calling the kettle black on your ranting here. President Obama has built up his own barrel full of flip flops just within the last two weeks. But of course those don't count because he is your candidate and the 'Blinders" are on. Your accusations are beyond the tipping point....take your meds.

    July 2, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. Ray E. (Georgia)

    WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE, WHEN FIRST WE PRACTICE TO DECIEVE. I have no idea what Bain did or did not do but you would have to look at the whole business model of how many companies outsourced to who did not. A lot of companies have huge operations overseas such as GM, Ford, General Electric, Candy Companies, etc, etc, etc. And some democrats, such as "Slick Willie" himself recogonizes the Sterling Record of Rmoney. Tha Mayor of Newerk, a democrat echoed much the same thing. Now if you waqnt to vote for Obama, have at it, but learn the truth along the way. Who will you be better off with next year??

    July 2, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  15. Four and The Door

    Obama/ Biden 2012 has got 3 strikes against it right away.

    1. Obama's record and results for the last 3 1/2 years.
    2. It is next to impossible to pull off a successful personal attack on a man with Mitt Romney's integrity.
    3. Obama loses on the important issues of 2012. The economy, jobs, debt and health care.

    It is looking really really good for Romney 2012. But sometimes choices really do become easy.

    July 2, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Joe M

    please , republicans give your self a fighting chance. get rid of rommey. the only people in your party that might win GET BATMAN AND ROBIN

    July 2, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  17. Sniffit

    So the long and short of it is that when it comes to "creating jobs," Mittens wants to count all the jobs created at companies Bain acquired when Mittens wasn't there....BUT...when it comes to outsourcing jobs, Mittens wants to claim that he had nothing to do with it if he wasn't there. Gotcha. Mittens wants to have his cake and eat ours too.

    July 2, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. rs

    Just more proof that as a businessman, Mr. Romney worked against the better interests of America. As whatever-he-is-now (multi-millionaire, unemployed political hack), he endorces policies that work against the vast majority of Americans, and is for centralizing wealth in the hands of a very few.

    July 2, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Since Mitt Romney wants to claim credit for jobs created *after* he left Bain, then he is responsible jobs cremated *after* he left Bain.

    July 2, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. v_mag

    Rob-money wants to tout his Bain experience but doesn't want to own up to the consequences of his actions at Bain on the American worker.

    And to Fair is Fair: It actually is 'cut the mustard', not 'cut the muster'. Look it up. The oldest usage has 'mustard', not 'muster'. The fact that it doesn't make sense to you is irrelevant. Lots of reality doesn't make sense to the right wingers.

    July 2, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  21. Beeman

    "FactCheck said in a 4,000-word report the Obama ads carried some claims that were untrue, and other assertions that only had thin supporting evidence."

    As with all things Obama keep lying and if you get caught with factual data just call that data a lie. The Chicago mob is running the White House. Thuggery is SOP.

    July 2, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. RightyTighty

    When your record sucks (obama) you just keep throwing up mis-leading flak and divert attention to your own failures. Lucky that Americans are too smart for the annointed one. See you in November!

    July 2, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Pouring salt into the wounds of those who lost their jobs due to Bain's outsoucing is not a good idea. Whether Romney and the GOP call it outsourcing or offshoring the people who were affected have a right to call it OUTSOURCING, they lost their jobs but that doesn't make them stupid.

    July 2, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Publius Novus

    It is true that a job "outsourced" from a high-wage factory in Michigan remains in the U.S. when shipped to low-wage workers in Tennessee. Our GDP declines proportionately, but the job remains in the U.S. It is also true that an NLRB order prohibiting Boeing from moving high-wage jobs from Washington state to a new factory in low-wage South Carolina does NOT result in the loss of U.S. jobs. It just keeps them in Washington state and the GDP remains the same.

    July 2, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "2. It is next to impossible to pull off a successful personal attack on a man with Mitt Romney's integrity."


    1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

    Yeah, nothing says "integrity" like the balatant self-serving opportunism of changing your past positions on almost every issue under the sun just to pander to your party's base in order to get elected.

    July 2, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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