Dems end week where they began: Bain
May 18th, 2012
10:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Dems end week where they began: Bain

(CNN) – On Monday, President Barack Obama's re-election team revived criticism of Mitt Romney's tenure as a private equity executive. On Friday, the attack continued with a web video collecting news coverage of the story – omitting reporting on questions about the strategy's effectiveness.

In the video released Friday, the Democratic National Committee spliced together clips of television newscasts reporting on the Bain story, including interviews with top members of Obama's re-election team questioning Romney's claim that he created 100,000 jobs while he was chief executive of Bain Capital in the 1990s.

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"What we're doing is challenging him to stand up to the central premise of his campaign, which is somehow his business experience means that he knows how to strengthen our economy, and there's nothing about his business experience that seems to suggest that," Obama strategist David Axelrod says in one clip.

In a second, Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter reiterates a point she's been making all week: "Mitt Romney's business experience wasn't about job creation. We knew that. Mitt Romney finally admitted that. It was about wealth creation."

Friday's video comes after an aggressive push from Democrats to highlight Romney's experience at Bain. On Monday, Obama's re-election team announced they were running a 2-minute television ad linking Romney to the now-shuttered GST Steel.

The ad caused a stir – the last time Romney was attacked for his time at Bain came during the Republican presidential primary, when Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry piled on the GOP frontrunner for profiting while middle class workers lost their jobs and pensions. Perry even labeled Romney's former line of work "vulture capitalism."

An ad tracking source later said Obama's campaign was spending less than $100,000 to air the ad in five battleground states.

Obama's campaign also battled back questions about the plant featured in the spot. GST Steel was acquired by Bain Capital in 1993, when Romney was acting as the firm's chief executive. The firm declared bankruptcy in 2001, after Romney had ceased day-to-day oversight of Bain.

Democrats are eager to point out Romney was still listed as Bain's CEO in 2001, despite having left the company to head up the Salt Lake City Olympic organizing committee. Obama's campaign also argues decisions Romney made as the head of Bain led to the company's downfall.

Two other Bain-acquired companies highlighted by Democrats this week – American Pad and Paper (Ampad) and Dade Behring – also went bankrupt after Romney left day-to-day operation at his firm.

On a conference call Wednesday, Cutter said featuring the companies made sense since Romney was still profiting.

"My understanding of the situation is that the deal that was cut with Ampad, and the structure of the management at Ampad, was done while Mitt Romney was at Bain Capital and he had a hand in it," Cutter said. "He did take a leave of absence for the Olympics, but he was still listed as president and CEO of that company, and was still making money off that investment."

Romney called the Bain attacks "character assassination" on Thursday, telling reporters that Democrats were skewing the reality of his time at the company.

"His efforts to look at my work at Bain is to try to characterize me in a way that isn't accurate," Romney said in Florida. "My effort at Bain Capital, as you know, was in every case designed to make the enterprises we invested in more successful, to grow them. There's this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that. I sure don't."

Also see:

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Third party effort packs it in for 2012

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)

    Willard will hear abut Bain all the way up to election day. The vulture capitalist is a job killer, not a job creator. Everytime I think of Bain Capital, that picture of Willard and his corporate raiders with money coming out of their mouths and pockets comes to mind. Do those guys look like they care about creating jobs????

    May 18, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. NVa Native

    Well Bain is RoMoney's only major for-profit accomplishment; the only other accomplishment is his liberal mandated healthcare program from when he was a pro-choice liberal governor (the one Obama modeled his on).
    So let's hear all about it, mixed in with all his weird and awkward utterance for the next four months or so. Along with all the vicious bigotry spewed by “blind-with-hate” GOPTee-party ~ it will be great theater.

    May 18, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Lizzie

    Democrats can't run on their record for the last 5 years so the have to destroy the opposition no matter what.

    May 18, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  4. Ancient Texan

    If Romney produced as many as 5 jobs, that's more than Obama has produced. There are fewer people working today thanb at any time since 1981.

    May 18, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. Jerry

    "Change That Matters"?! I am still waiting!!!

    May 18, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Greg

    Hmm, didn't know what he was doing. Guess he's just lucky I guess.

    May 18, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. dmallard49

    I think it is also important to look at the quality of the jobs Mr. Romney created or lack there of. I would like to know how does the Middle class survive on Sports Authority, Domino's and Staple jobs? We need careers which means health benefits, 401k, vacation time and etc. Say what you want but the word JOB means just over broke. When did quanity become a necessity over quality especially in business. I welcome all challengers.

    May 18, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. MTATL67

    I know there are many fascists to business but I have never heard anything positive about corporate raiders or raiding. Did Bain create actual jobs that put people back to work? What tangible evidence is there that this company created employment and bettered a community?

    May 18, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Eric

    There's this fiction that some have that somehow you can be highly successful by stripping assets from enterprise and walking away with lots of money and killing the enterprise. There may be some people who know how to do that. I sure don't."

    Wow, what a straight up liar. That what he did at Bains and made much money. He approved of organization strippng the assets from companies and walking away with millions. Did he turn down his cut of the profits? Heck no. Even if he left the company for the Olympics but still was the CEO of Bain; then, he is just as responsible for the destructive capitalist approach his company had in laying off people while accumulating tremendous amount of profits. To make it simple, Can Sean Payton claim that he was not responsible for the Saints bounty hunting because he was not on the field playing the game?
    Mitt Romney

    May 18, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Common Sense

    The Democrat change that matters is bankrupting this Nation!! before you know it we have all become welfare state and the government holds us on a short leash!!

    May 18, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. judy

    statements are as accurate as any of yours mitt old boy. The obama cmapaign is going after the fact that mitt has not and never did create 10000. jobs. Another romney lie from mr milk toast himself. People just need to look at the facts for themselves. As fAar as his olympic stuff. He asked for money from the federal government to fix the mess whats so big deal business about that? Obama 2012

    May 18, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. sonny chapman

    The Romney/Bain View of America vs. the Obama/Jobs Matter is THE Debate this election.

    May 18, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Data Driven

    "Omitting reporting on the effectiveness of the campaign's strategy"

    Oh puh-leeze, Liptak. First, you don't provide support in the article for your assertion. Second, is there any reporting on the effectiveness of Romney's commercials? Or are his all Super-Effective?

    May 18, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We need the press to do some digging into the record of Bain capital. I think that it information needs to be when Romney was there as well as before and after. If we know the whole picture, then we can get a better sense of what he was like then and the practices that they did per his instructions.

    May 18, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Cody

    Pathetic and ironic - Obama hasn't a clue on how jobs are created. I'd take somebody who has worked in the real world over Obozo the clown any day. Shoot, I'd take my neighbors golden retriever over him!

    May 18, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well somebody needs to make the money before the Liberals can steal it. After all the democrats and liberals need to steal somebody's money to spread the wealth. no?

    May 18, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney was Bain's "Hatchet Man" who was assigned to cut jobs for company profit and greed. The "character assassination" that Romney refers to wasn't done on him, he assissinated the character of people who had worked years for those companies, invested their retirement and were left with nothing, that's "character assissination".

    May 18, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Marie MD

    That should be one of the main points. The psycho robot likes to fire people, he can't give a little boy a dollar back because he only carries $100 bills, he sits at a table of real unemployed people (fools) and he tells them he is also unemployed, he bullies a gay student, he thinks it's funny to strap his dog to the top of an SUV, his friend in NASCAR (for you rednecks) are the owners of the cars, his wife has two Caddys, he gifted wifey a couple of horses worth, probably, over $35,000 each, he is building a mansion in one of the richest counties in the country in La Jolla, CA and his idea of "just like us" is to have elevators built for his cars. I can go on and on but all of this will continue to come up. He can't hide from every single thiing he has ever said that he now says he didn't say or he didn't mean it or whatever the excuse is he thinks we are going to fall for and most of us aren't as clueless and stupid as he thinks the American public is.

    May 18, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. BeverlyNC

    It is exactly what Democrats should be telling the American People the truth about – Romney has constantly lied about Bain, job creation from it, and how it proves he can run a country. Running a venture capitalist company is nothing close to running a country. Bain bought up companies, sold off their assets for a profit, raided employee funds, and then bankrupted the companies for a profit for themselves and their investors. That is what Bain Capital's business model was. It was how Romney got rich off the back of workers whose jobs he killed. Romney killed manufacturing plants and sent the jobs overseas. Bain even denied GM private money help to survive! That is why President Obama stepped in to save the millions of auto industry jobs and one of our signature industries. And Romney stands there and lies and says President Obama should have let private money save GM – when Romney's own company would not. Now Romney wants to take credit?? for the incredible success our auto industry is now enjoying – record profits, first in the world in sales, millions of jobs saved and even more created. Bain was a destroyer. President Obama is a leader who creates jobs and helps Americans – ALL Americans. He is the real leader, the true man of values, and the real success story. Democrats should keep telling the truth about Bain until Romney stops lying about it.

    May 18, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    P.S. Romney is continuing to "assissinate the character" of those employees by lying.

    May 18, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Let's put this in very clear and easily understood terms:

    The 1% and corporate lputocrat "ruling class" want to hire Deputy Doublethink to do to the federal government EXACTLY what he did to Ampad, GST Steel, Dade Behring, et al. Pillage it for a profit.

    Guess who gets that profit when he's/they are done? Go ahead...guess. (Hint: It's not Medicare or SS)

    May 18, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Sniffit

    And what happens when he turns those "mad skillz" as a vulture capitalist on the federal government? Simple: he will siphon off a large "profit" for the "investors," i.e., those who are spending millions upon millions to get Deputy Doublethink elected (not the people spending $50), leaving nothing but the rotting carcass of the federal government behind. Mission Accomplished.

    May 18, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |