Romney camp counters Bain attack with their own steel video
May 14th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney camp counters Bain attack with their own steel video

(CNN) – Hours after President Barack Obama's re-election team launched an attack on Mitt Romney's role in a now-bankrupt steel plant, the likely Republican nominee released his own web video touting another steel company that's now thriving.

Romney's team pointed to Steel Dynamics in the web video, which is thriving more than a decade after an investment from Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded and ran in the 1980s and 90s.

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The video features workers calling Steel Dynamics "the perfect entrepreneurial story," and noting the company has more than 6,000 employees. The company's success can be traced to Romney, one worker asserts.

"SDI almost never got started," the worker in the ad says. "When others shied away, Mitt Romney's private sector leadership team stepped in."

Romney and Bain's investment led to greater social mobility for Steel Dynamics employees, one man says in the spot.

"One of the hardest things to do is move up a socioeconomic status in a generation. I said because of this company, I'm able to do that with my family," a worker says.

The Romney campaign web video comes after Obama's team began a multi-pronged assault on the Republican's time as chief executive of Bain, highlighting GST Steel, which didn't fare as well as Steel Dynamics.

Workers featured in a 2-minute Obama ad claim Bain and Romney gutted the company for a profit, and left it to go bankrupt.

"They came in and sucked the life out of us," one worker said in the Obama ad. "It was like watching an old friend bleed to death."

GST Steel went bankrupt in 2001, after Romney had given up day-to-day involvement in Bain's business dealings. He remained the company's CEO, however, and continued to profit from its investments.

Romney frequently used Steel Dynamics, along with Staples and Sports Authority, to defend himself against attacks of his Bain record during the Republican primary. At the time, he was weathering attacks from GOP rivals who said his time running Bain was indicative of a reckless attitude toward American workers.

A Los Angeles Times report from January indicated Steel Dynamics enjoyed millions of dollars in government subsidies and tax breaks from the state of Indiana and the county where the company is based.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has a history of using government bailouts to make his success. From the winter olympics to getting government bailouts in his business ventures, he is a welfare entrepreneur.

    May 14, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Chandra

    What you talkin bout Willard?? You created more jobs for China than China. PLEASE!!!

    May 14, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Crook County IL

    And while Obama's campaign criticizes Romney's ties to private equity firm Bain, ABC news reports: "On the same day his campaign launched an attack on Mitt Romney‘s record in private equity, President Obama is attending a big-dollar fundraiser at the Manhattan home of one of the industry’s top figures. Hamilton “Tony” James — the president of the Blackstone Group, the nation’s largest private equity firm — is hosting a $35,800-a-head dinner for Obama, with 60 Democratic allies expected to attend, according to a campaign official. Many in attendance are expected to have ties to the private equity sector." Hypocrites much????

    May 14, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. cali girl

    And just how much money did Robmey make off of this deal? I am sure it was a boat load since he would not let a business go under if he would losemoney on it.
    And how much business are they doing? To most business' that need steel, they are still turning to China for it. You know, those other jobs Robmey shipped over there.

    May 14, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. judy

    well ol mitt is lying again but repos don't care they will vote for this clown anyway. Obama 2012

    May 14, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. PaulCat

    That's right Mitt, continue to follow Obama's lead. This tells us your're no leader, just a follower.

    May 14, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Good counter to all the lies Obama and his professional liars put out there.

    May 14, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Truth001

    Romney got so much money he walks funny!

    May 14, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "A Los Angeles Times report from January indicated Steel Dynamics enjoyed millions of dollars in government subsidies tax breaks from the state of Indiana and the county where the company is based"

    Just like Solyndra. You win some and you lose some with that kind of policy, but it's a necessary one to get some fledgling businesses and industries off the ground. Steel Dynamics should be thanking uncle sam, not Bain. Of course, welfare is ok for republican run corporations...those are "people"...but the unwashed masses, the middle-class, the poor, the vastly lopsided representation of minorities among the poor? The GOPers/Teatrolls simply don't see those as "people."

    May 14, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. bill

    Anyone but uhbama, 2012.

    May 14, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    "The company's success can be traced to Romney, one worker asserts."

    One Worker?
    Is that the one Worker who gets benefits and a honest day's pay (and reports the other workers should they take longer than a 10 minute break, talk about Unions, or go to the bathroom clerarly outside their scheduled bathroom break)?

    May 14, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. kate

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and caring a cross.
    Sinclair Lewis

    May 14, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    Millions of dollars in government subsidies & tax breaks. Sounds like what he did when he was bailing out the Olympics. He went running to the government with his hands out. He's a bloodsucking leach. Compare his private sector job growth to his public sector job growth. Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation under Willard. That's a failure!!!

    May 14, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. livingston

    Romney's response ad is nothing more then the old – 'pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Look! Over here! Squirrel!'.
    Sorry Romney but we are now checking all facts on our own. We aren't listening to either side's talking points anymore. Your 'facts' and character aren't smelling real good anymore.And all the finger pointing, purposeful distractions and screaming in the world won't change that.

    May 14, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Kris Craig

    @Crook Uhhmmm I think you're missing the point. This isn't about Mitt being associated with a "private sector" business. Believe it or not, most of us liberals don't actually believe that the private sector is inherently bad or evil.

    This is about Romney running a company whose sole or primary purpose was to "suck" money from struggling companies until they went bankrupt and left thousands of workers out of their jobs. As far Ias I konw, Blackstone Group did not engage in that sort of sleazy activity.

    May 14, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |

    Two items: government subsidies and tax breaks.

    You fail, Mitt.

    May 14, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Truth001

    He created steal dynamics with a lot of help from the Government.

    May 14, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Just to make sure this is clear: government funding, tax breaks and what the GOP/Teatrolls call "corporate welfare" and "the government picking winners" is ok when Deputy Doublethink is making a profit off it, but not ok when it's a black Dem POTUS trying to help a fledgling industry get off the ground so we can catch up to and compete with China for market share in what is universally expected to be a quickly growing, immensely profitable and ultimately necessary industry that will create thousands and thousands of jobs.

    Gotcha. IOKIYAR. Yawn.

    May 14, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. Steel worker

    GST steel was a dinosaur that went extinct. Steel Dynamics, Nucor, CMC Steel and new steel without unions are thriving. In the private sector, businesses will succeed or fail based on the economy not on government handout or the union. Vote for what America was built on, the chance to succeed based on what you do, not on what handout you receive. Anybody but Obama.

    May 14, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Hey, and on top of it all, when you look at the two firms, GS and Steel Dynamics, keep in mind which one failed and which one didn't...and compare that to which one was union and which one wasn't. GS was targeted, period. Bain even underfunded their pension plan by $44M, diverting the money elsewhere (i.e., raided the pension plan essentially) and requiring the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to step in. Even so, people lost approximately 25% of their pensions...and when it comes down to brass tacks, Mittens' pockets is where part of that went.

    May 14, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. 2020

    When was the last time you find something made in USA at Staples?

    May 14, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. richard

    It seems silly to me that people would think that Romney and any investment firms for that matter, love to "suck the life out of businesses." because that's not really how they work. When a private equity firm invests into a business, they do so with the hope that the business will succeed and that they will get a nice return on their investment. To that end, these firms typically do everything that they can to make sure that the firm they financed succeeds. Laying off workers and closing down a plant would be considered a last resort measure because it really doesn't benefit a firm when they are forced to do that. Firms such as Bain benefit when they help businesses SUCCEED, not fail.

    May 14, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Governor 47th in Job Growth

    With a huge assist from Uncle Sam. There goes Willard again leeching off the public.

    May 14, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Bain used Mitt Romney as their "Hatchet Man" for company profit, employees were no more than 'Collateral Damage" and if you closely listen to Romney today that's his plan for you if you're not rich.

    May 14, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Really, you would hold a child to the same standards as an adult?!?"

    Keep in mind that your average GOPer/Teatrolls has the mental age of a 2nd grader. Surrounded by people who never intelelctually graduated from their prepudescent years, they are likely acculturated to believe that the same standards apply to adults and children because, well, there are no true adults among them.

    May 14, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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