September 30th, 2012
02:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Bain executive: Attacks against company are 'hyperbole'

(CNN) – An executive at Bain Capital, the private equity firm where Mitt Romney's was once CEO, described the attacks against his company this election year as an expected exaggeration.

"Hyperbole has been part of elections since the days of John Adams," Steve Pagliuca, a Democrat, said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria, GPS." "I think from Bain Capital's perspective, people discount that hyperbole. They know it's hyperbole."

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Democrats have targeted the company as a dark piece of baggage for Romney, using his former firm to portray the GOP nominee as a greedy, self-interested businessman. Romney founded Bain in 1984 and served as CEO before leaving day-to-day managerial duties in 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supportive of President Barack Obama, in particular made Bain a focus of attack this year. The group spent $20 million on a television and online ad campaign that featured laid-off workers from companies that went bankrupt after being purchased by Bain.

The firm has responded to the attacks by pointing to its 80% success rate.

"It's a misnomer out there that private equity profits by shrinking companies," said Pagliuca, who serves as Bain's managing director. "In fact, it's just the opposite. Private equity creates value by growing great companies."

Pagliuca's history with Bain and politics runs deep. Along with being the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Pagliuca ran for his party's nomination in the 2010 Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. He lost in the primary to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who then lost in the general election to Republican Scott Brown.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Pagliuca has given tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and committees in recent years.

But the Bain executive didn't hold back in his praise for Romney in the interview Sunday. Pagliuca said Romney gave him his first job at another firm - Bain and Company - before Romney co-founded Bain Capital.

"He's an incredible family man. He's got a good sense of humor. It sometimes gets him in trouble, but he's got a great sense of humor, and he's a very smart person," Pagliuca said. "So I'm really heartened by the fact that this is an election where we have two fantastic candidates. I worked with President Obama as well."

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Filed under: 2012 • Bain Capital • Mitt Romney • TV-Fareed Zakaria GPS
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    Tell that to McKinsey, BCG and Adventure!

    September 30, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Ashley

    I think that Romney isn't going to win because people seem to like Obama's sayings and votes and rights more than Romney's.

    September 30, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    People still feel the pain inflicted by Bain - I know my high-paid job was out-sourced by them in 1995 and I'll never forget.

    Mitt should never be put anywhere near our White House. He is mentally un-stable (his wife's words, not mine).

    September 30, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    These people have NO moral compass!
    OBAMA 2012!

    September 30, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. 1608

    Steve it's not bain it's Mitt, wake up.

    September 30, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Excuse me, it was during the Republican primary debates that Romney's own fellow Republicans attacked him on Bain, it wasn't Obama and it wasn't a Democrat, so let's not try to change the facts. It is what it is, Republicans were the first to attack Romney on Bain, FACT.

    September 30, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. B.

    You can certainly thank Romney for all of the negative fan-fare towards Bain for obvious reasons.
    The man has a record of ruthless actions involving thousands of innocent working people tossed to the sidelines in his business transactions over the years.

    It is clear to most, that people are not a important consideration in his business concerns, just the money.
    He just made it perfectly clear where he stands with working people, Contempt!

    He is not the right person to be a Uniter of All People in the country that have to pull together as one country.

    Obama is the right person and we all understand that now.

    September 30, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    The bad press payback is little comfort to the thousands of American workers forced onto the unemployment line by the greed of Bain Capital.

    September 30, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. myviewis

    Hyperpole is correct, Bain is just being used to distract from Obama's bad job performance and inability to handle the job of president. Seriously, did Democrats really think that people were not going to be aware that Bain Capital has been run by a Democrat, Jonathan Lavine, Obama's friend and campaign donor and this other Democrat is the managing director.

    Either the Super Pac failed to do its homework and were not aware of Democrats running, working for Bain or the Super Pac decided to ignore facts in hopes to deceive the voters. Deceive the voters is probably they way they chose to go.

    September 30, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that Romney comes off as stiff as Al Gore in 2000. I don't see that he is going to get any more lose than the stereotypical accountant. I don't think that there is any chance of that changing any time soon.

    September 30, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. myviewis

    As usual, Democrats fail to read the article and acknowledge its points such as "Steve Pagliuca, a Democrat........"Pagliuca said Romney gave him his first job at another firm – Bain and Company – before Romney co-founded Bain Capital. Pagliuca, who serves as Bain's managing director."

    And how about "Pagliuca's history with Bain and politics runs deep. Along with being the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Pagliuca ran for his party's nomination in the 2010 Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy."

    Bottom line, Democrats are involved with Bain Capital and Bain and Company and those same Democrats are involved with President Obama. Let's stop being Hypocrites.

    September 30, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. once upon a horse

    @ my views

    you constantly attack the Democrats on Bain but fail to mention your Republicans are the ones that STARTED the attacks. I recall Rick Perry was the one that called him a "vulture capitalist" no? So your last statement is the most correct about Let's stop being Hypocrites. If you're gonna go after the Dems on this topic then hit the Repubs as well.

    September 30, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Sorry bain executive but I used to work with a very good compahy that bain destroyed while you and the twit made money.
    You are a capital vulture with your buddy the bully bishop. How about you coming clean of the fact that the twit was in charge, as he signed documents as president and ceo of bain, from 1999 to 2002 before he retroactively retired!

    September 30, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. R Samson n

    Why are people so caught up on the 47% issue. It is a true statement, people do depend on government and Mr Romney is just stating that there is a group that will vote only for obama , cause do dependency and what can I get for nothing. This is where America is headed. Vote for someone that can help America . Get obama out.

    September 30, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. TAK

    Profiteering from sending American jobs overseas is not hyperbole ... it is economic treason.

    September 30, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Sandy

    myviewis

    As usual, Democrats fail to read the article and acknowledge its points such as "Steve Pagliuca, a Democrat........"Pagliuca said Romney gave him his first job at another firm – Bain and Company – before Romney co-founded Bain Capital. Pagliuca, who serves as Bain's managing director."

    And how about "Pagliuca's history with Bain and politics runs deep. Along with being the co-owner of the Boston Celtics, Pagliuca ran for his party's nomination in the 2010 Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy."

    Bottom line, Democrats are involved with Bain Capital and Bain and Company and those same Democrats are involved with President Obama. Let's stop being Hypocrites.
    _________________

    Who cares if he is a Democrat? Who says all Democrats have to agree? Democrat or Republican, vulture capitalism/leveraged buyouts is the wrong kind of capitalism that should exist in this country. It use to be illegal until lobbyists had the laws changed.

    September 30, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    He destroyed all records when he left Mass., he destroyed all records when he left the Olympics, he gives a summary of taxes and medical records.

    Too many secrets/cover-ups, and too many lies. Don't trust him two feet. He says one thing to his wealthy friends and something totally different in his stump speeches.

    Obama/Biden

    September 30, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    He also resigned from Bain "retroactively" - what was THAT covering up??

    September 30, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  19. Squigman

    Check facts before posting. Many republican sympathizers are misled in their views and look very stupid when trying to justify their views with name calling and verbal attacks. Admit you're biased and leave it at that. Don't try to come off as the great defenders of democracy, if you know not of what you speak.

    September 30, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Pete

    Why don't this supposid executive at Bain answer my question,Romney nore anyone else has come forth with anything viable.If Romney the STENCH is legally retired from Bain as executive,CEO and head share holder ,just who is his replacement if you are as you've said at Bain..Is Bain working with a skeleton CEO,silent partner type or is Romney just masking his real involvement not really retired,just let's say consulting in an executive mode..Uncover and come out with it,he's lying on his taxes because actually they're figured for 9% and if he loses which he will he'll change his contributions to get that lower rate and just where are his taxes,he's been arrogent in avoiding any political faceoffs with reps but he has no choice and it'll show at the polls,how can anyone trust Romney,only the ignorent ,illiterate I guess meaning the republicans,pathedic!!!

    September 30, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |