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. Maxx

    Romney doesn't want to give details on Bain or his single term as governor (34% approval rating when he left), wha t again are his qualifications? Oh yeah, he's rich. Made money on other people's misfortunes. Wants to cut his own taxes. real man of the people.

    July 2, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Dave

    Another biased CNN article. Romney's record of taking broken businesses is impressive. He created jobs in the US and elsewhere. In contrast, we have had over 40 straight months of 8% unemployment (and much higher underemployment) along with debt and deficits under Obama. For anyone with a brain, the choice is clear. Romney 2012.

    July 2, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. MittenFlops

    @Ray G – Obama. Simple answer. I'll be better because people making capital gains will still HAVE a tax on them, unlike if mittens gets in, and makes it $0.00/$1. made. Think about that. You work 40 hours, you have 25% taken from your check every week, then you might get 4-5% of your overall salary. At the same time, your neighbor only invests his money. He pays 15% on anything he makes. He sits home. You look for a second job. Now someone comes along and says that you'll still be paying 25%, but your neighbor will be paying NOTHING on what he makes.

    Sorry, but where is the equality on this one? Investors don't get fired, so that same neighbor has no chance of losing his job. He might lose his investment, but even so, he only pays taxes when he makes money, so he's only out some of his own spending amount. Frankly, the investor isn't a job creator as much as a money lending individual. So, frankly, why should they get to play with their money and not pay taxes but I'll have to work for mine, and pay in more. That's not how to help "create jobs". Sorry, but it isn't.

    July 2, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Phil Thomas

    Folks take your anger out on Congress these clowns have been in office for decades and caused this. It takes longer than 3 years to fix what they created but don't reward them with another term. To say its all Obama's fault is really an uneducated statement and proves you just listen to right wing talk. Step away from the situation and use Logic 20 to 30 years vs 3, republicans have had control for over 11 years. Use common sense, you have nothing in common with an RNC member if you make less than 100K they are not voting for your interests at this point. its sad and its something i came to realize I voted for plenty of folks on the right but not any more

    July 2, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Dave

    Obama spent billions on GM and it still went bankrupt. People we laid off. Same thing with Solyndra. I would take Romney's record of success anyday.

    July 2, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. annie s

    The point remains that a Romney presidency will result in the same activities as Bain's – cut services, cut jobs, send them overseas or to lower wage states, do anything you need to do to ensure that the rich get richer. Not for me, please, I'll take a President who wants to help ALL Americans, not just the chosen few.

    July 2, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. harvey 60

    Why don't you print the job descriptions and salaries of the job opportunities created by bain while Romney was at the head in the companies his campaign touts all the time: Domino's Pizza and Staples. Everyone wants to work there, they pay such high salaries and benefits. Wow, Domino's pays assistant restaurant managers $26,000 a year. Try supporting yourself, never mind a family, on that salary. Fact Check the jobs he created, get a list of the jobs that he and his campaign can't release because there is no list, and publish the salaries and benefits of the jobs. That's the only way to put the screws to this cunning, manipulative demon who wants to destroy all semblance of the middle class in this country.

    July 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. rs

    -Four and The Door-

    What integrity of Mr. Romney (or the greater GOP?). Neither can tell the truth. The GOP told us their "personal mandate in the ACA was unconstitutional, and that Arizona's SB 1070 would also meet legal challenge (last week was a bad week for the GOP).Mr. Romney meanwhile can't keep his lies straight. Four- don't forget in our federal sysyem, what the President can do alone is limited. When the GOP intentionally stalles the work of America, the ability of the President to complete their agenda is limited.

    But hey- we did get health care reform! Good enough for my vote!

    July 2, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. phoenix86

    Had Bain not stepped in to companies undergoing financial distress, the companies would have followed the Obama record into oblivion, with the jobs permanently lost and invested capital vaporized. Obama's losing record on the economy, his history of job destruction in the US is what this election is about. This election is not about a private company a candidate worked at over a decade ago. It IS about what Obama is doing with the US economy.

    Thus the democrats can only run on increasing unemployment, increasing inflation, increasing deficits, and a massive tax increase to the poor and middle class..

    July 2, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    More of the "heads I win, tails you lose" Willard thought pattern. Jobs created after Willard no longer at Bain: Willard did it; jobs lost after Willard left Bain: not Willard's fault. Check.

    By the way Chuck Todd just twisted Eric Fehrnstrom (of the etch a sketch fame) into another pretzel gaffe. According to Eric and Mitt, the mandate is NOT a tax, it's a penalty. GOP just lost another talking point. Thanks for bringing the Heritage Foundation's language back into it, Eric. And good job Chuck getting him to admit to it.
    Strike the tax talk from the GOP playbook of lies!
    GOP may try to re-primary Willard in Tampa. Dude is toast, burnt toast; no butter.

    July 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. No Republican

    Romney might send my job to china or india..I will never vote for Romney.
    President Obama I am going to vote for you in November.

    July 2, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |

    Romneys going to lose bigtime in Nov .

    July 2, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  13. Joi Gibson

    You tell 'em Stephanie!!!! I read another article regarding what Factcheck deduced from their research, and each issue basically began by saying what the Obama ads said were true, but . . . taken in context Factcheck took exception.
    And BTW, is Factcheck checking on anything Willard says – for instance – he has always believed his healthcare law was only for Massachusetts and not a model for the nation.

    Politicians do flip flop and some simply change their positions, Willard is truly a flip flopper depending on who he is running against. The man has no core when it comes to politics. Anyone who signs the Grover Norquist pledge has no backbone.


    July 2, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens was so bent on outsourcing jobs, he even outsourced MA government overseas.

    July 2, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. phoenix86


    You are describing Obama perfectly.

    July 2, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Let's give a big shout out to all of the "middle class" jobs that Mitt Romney "created" at Staples, Dominoes, and other businesses that offer part time jobs without benefits.

    Herman Cain said it best, "If you are not rich, it's your own fault." That sounds like a rather ominous warning of things to come to me.

    July 2, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Oh and Willard would not lie about his and Bain's role in Stericycle's business operations with abortions, would he? Hmmmmm.

    July 2, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Under our president, we have seen an increase of over 4 million jobs while Bush and the GOPers lost 8 million in the last three years of the Bush regime. While big corporations are sitting on over $2 trillion that they refuse to reinvest, they and the GOP in congress have hampered further private sector job

    July 2, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Oops. At any rate, this election is about the track record that Mittens has. Outsourcing at Bain and outsourcing of government jobs in MA.

    July 2, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Keeping it Real

    Under the Obama administration, I've witnessed a huge increase of tech jobs being shipped overseas. I've seen nothing by the Obama administration to help in this area. His unfriendly policies toward business in the country have made the choice by businesses an easy one.

    July 2, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. tykl

    This sounds about right – Democrats and Obama challenging facts. Independent fact-checkers are used throughout the campaign season and Obama and his team challenge them on their ruling on the facts. I guess it depends what your definition of "is" is.

    July 2, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. lolo

    No matter what is true or not about Mittens the wimp'the right wing will not believe it. They are all concentrating on one thing and we all know what that is. If you told them the sky was blue they would argue that is is green. Those who do their research with an open mind will see the truth and that is Romney is not Presidential material and him being rich does not make one qualified for the presidency. He will only be a puppet for The Koch Brothers, Limbaugh, Rove, Norquist and the other evil hypocrits. They need to realize that the good old boy network is loosing its grip of lying and putting fear into the American people just to keep the power. I did not realize that the republican party was so ignorant. They act just like chicken little. They are willing to vote for a man with no convictions, can't think on his feet and is so out of touch just to get rid of the black man in the white house. They know this is true, but will not admit it. The GOP is just a shameless party and the people who truly care about the United States are not accepting their childish games anymore. GOP keep working on your oldest memebers of your party, because they are the only ones who believe the BS you are throwing out there in the media.

    July 2, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    phoenix86 wrote:

    Had Bain not stepped in to companies undergoing financial distress, the companies would have followed the Obama record into oblivion, with the jobs permanently lost and invested capital vaporized.
    Can you give us some examples of these rescues? Romney can't. He doesn't even want to talk about it. Only right wing mouth pieces brag about his job creation record. Romney is silent on it, and has been ever since he claimed to have "created 100,000 jobs while at Bain." People asked him where are these jobs and he always replies, "Pres. Obama has made things worse."

    July 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. rs


    If what you say about Mr. Romney is true, please explain the disaster of Mr. Bush's administration. Under Mr. Obama (since Bush), the stock market is up by about 100%; weve had nearly 3 years of ongoing economic growth; unemployment has gone down over that same period; housing sales are up. Face it under Mr. Obama things have improved. Mr. Romney wants Bush III: no social safety net, more tax cuts for the rich, and stupid wars his boys won't fight in.

    July 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Indy

    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.

    Wow you are really gullable ! Romney has integrity ? That is a flat out barrell of laughs.If you think Romneycare is going to help Mitts get elected you are quite gullable,when it comes to healthcare Obama will have the middle class covered so no doubt Obama is on the right side of Romneycare/Obamacare.Mitts short stint as Governor will be crumbled by Obama and that won't be hard with Romneys 47th in job creation and low approval rating and the fact that he has been trying unsuccessfully to buy himself and elected position ever since.It takes a lot of integrity to wipe out the computer system that voters and taxpayers have a right to see.

    July 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
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