Obama campaign: Romney a corporate raider
January 13th, 2012
09:47 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaign: Romney a corporate raider

Washington (CNN) - In a blast email sent to supporters nationwide, the Obama presidential campaign went after Mitt Romney Friday as "a corporate raider" who profited from the nation's economic crisis, leaving "devastation" in his wake, and playing by a "rulebook for those at the top."

A memo from deputy Obama campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, previewed what's likely to become a central general election theme should Romney become the nominee. She argued voters need to know that when Romney was at Bain Capital job creation was never his goal, earning money for investors was.

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Cutter writes:

"Mitt Romney has staked his entire candidacy on one claim: that his 'real world' experience in the private equity business uniquely qualifies him to lead our economy and the nation. Much as he did when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, Romney argues that his business experience would translate to more jobs for Americans. (In Massachusetts, it didn't. During his term there, the state fell to 47 the in the nation in job creation.) But in fairness, Romney's objective in business was never job creation. As one of his colleagues recently told the Los Angeles Times:

'I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,' said Mark B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain, who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. 'The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.'

To achieve that end, Romney closed over a thousand plants, stores and offices, and cut employee wages, benefits and pensions. He laid off American workers and outsourced their jobs to other countries. And he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars while taking companies to bankruptcy."

She also challenged Romney's claim to have created 100,000 jobs and argues that Romney supported companies that outsourced both as governor and in private equity.

The memo detailed outsourcing at a Bain controlled factory closing in South Carolina – the site of the next GOP primary. And quoted Warren Buffet saying "I don't like what private-equity firms do in terms of taking out every dime they can and leveraging (companies) up so that they really aren't equipped in some cases for the future."

In an interview on CBS, Mitt Romney recently defended his practices at Bain saying, "In the general election I'll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler – closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers – he did it to try to save the business."

The Obama campaign tells CNN they believe there's no comparison between the two because the President's "goal was to save 1.4 million American jobs and a hallmark of American manufacturing" and Romney's "did it to make a profit the goal was not job creation." A campaign official and the Cutter memo both point out Romney already made clear he wouldn't have extended the loan that saved Chrysler and GM.

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also see:

Santorum begins S.C. push by contrasting with Obama

Gingrich hits Romney for speaking French

Colbert for president (again)

South Carolina GOP Chairman defends free market amid Romney attacks

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Corporate raider or not, he still isn't eligible for president. He hasn't shown us his birth certificate to prove he's an American citizen. After all, his father was born in Mexico.

    January 13, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. A former republican

    A corporate raider is a job killer by definition. Is this what republicans want; a wealthy elitist who believes the rich should be able to profit by trampling all over the middle class in the United States? That appears to be the republican mantra!

    January 13, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. nagrom

    Being from Massachusetts I can vouch that every word in this article about MITTENS is true! He did the same in Massachusetts. Caused the closure of many health agencies as a result of Romneycare. Was in bed with the insurance companies not for the welfare of the sick, indigent, and dying. He has a heart of coal and a temper to be reckoned with. He even abandoned his Lieutenant Governor when she ran for office resulting in her defeat in the race for Governor. Romney is as Romney does. For his and his alone.

    January 13, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. Jparker77

    This article is right on. His minions no doubt will blame the liberal media for this. Romney would be a disaster for this country. A Romney presidency would just as bad as Bush if not worse. Romney is in Grover Norquists pocket.

    January 13, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. Luke Brown

    I accept that what Bain Capital was doing is a necessary and sometimes ugly part of capitalism. However, it is for sure NOT about job-creation.

    January 13, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    Romney is a corporate raider, and he's the best the GOP has to offer? Unbelievable. I wrote on a thread here yesterday how my husband and I were at the receiving end of one of these vulture capitalist companies. Their involvement rendered our shares worthless, they gutted the place, sold it off, and fired a lot of hard working Americans. And it's legal. Unbelievable.

    January 13, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    True Centrist wrote:

    I'm taking the net +100,000 jobs Romney has given to be fact. I haven't seen any data to prove otherwise.
    Aside from reading Romney's lips, you haven't seen any to data to prove it, either. That is what all of the criticism is all about. Mitt has walked into the bowling alley, claimed to have a 250 league average, and won't produce any proof.

    January 13, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Jay

    GOP to GOP primary candidates," Please do not attack Romney, attack each other but not Romney."

    January 13, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    Annie, Atlanta
    Romney is a corporate raider, and he's the best the GOP has to offer? Unbelievable. I wrote on a thread here yesterday how my husband and I were at the receiving end of one of these vulture capitalist companies. Their involvement rendered our shares worthless, they gutted the place, sold it off, and fired a lot of hard working Americans. And it's legal. Unbelievable.
    Sounds like you worked at General Motors before Obama threw $30 billion of taxpayer money at it just to see it go bankrupt anyway. There are plenty of you out there who lost on that deal. Unbelievable?

    But GM is doing well again and is aggressively creating thousands of new jobs. In China. They are putting $250 million into a new corporate research center in Shanghai. They plan to double the sales in China over the next 3 years to 5 million cars. And build every one of them in China.

    January 13, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I hate to bust Obama's perception of economics, but the fact is companies do not go into business with the primary focus of creating jobs."

    Neither do corporate raiders, which is exactly what Mitt Romney's job at Bain was. To cut and run. With as much profit as he could get for he and his handful of investors. Then go on to the next company, repeating the process, leaving nothing but disaster in his wake. All in all, he's not quite the job creator he pretends to be, no matter how you and others try to spin it. Bain employees admit they weren't in the "job creating" business. Why Romney chose this line for himself is obvious. How well it plays out is yet to be seen. There was no product he was producing other than millions of dollars for himself and his crony friends. Be that as it may, it's how he made the profit which is driving the conversation. Very few have the lack of character necessary to pursue this particular line of business. Those that do ought to be honest enough to admit they do it for greed of power and money.

    January 13, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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