Sununu: Bain critics 'attacking American way of life'
May 22nd, 2012
11:42 AM ET
11 years ago

Sununu: Bain critics 'attacking American way of life'

(CNN) – Opponents calling into question Mitt Romney's tenure as the chief executive of Bain Capital are "attacking the American way of life," according to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a top surrogate for Romney's presidential campaign.

Speaking on a conference call Tuesday, Sununu said he was outraged Democrats would attack Romney's track record at the private equity giant.

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"I am amazed at listening to President Obama and Vice President Biden attacking free enterprise in general, and their specific attacks on Bain," Sununu said. "The free enterprise system is the American way of life, and when you attack free enterprise you're attacking the American way of life."

Over the past week and a half, Democrats have used web videos and television ads to paint Romney as a job killer during his tenure at Bain. They have focused on companies that were acquired by the company and later went bankrupt. Representatives for Obama's campaign have been careful to add they aren't attacking private equity as a whole, but rather trying to assess the "lessons and values" Romney learned while in the business.

Sununu did concede that Bain was "fair game" in the presidential campaign, but said Romney's record at the firm needed to be presented in its entirety, not in bits and pieces.

"I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game," Sununu said. "What you have to do is do an honest evaluation. The Bain record is about 80% they were able to save jobs at companies, and 20% when they invested in companies that were in such bad shape they weren't able to save jobs."

Sununu's assertion echoed a response from Bain Monday, which released a statement decrying the recent ads and touting the firm's successes.

"Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested," the statement read.

Obama's campaign was quick to pounce on Sununu's claim, releasing a statement calling it "dishonest."

"John Sununu's dishonest attacks ignore the reality of Mitt Romney's record in the public and private sectors: his focus wasn't on creating jobs, it was about creating wealth for himself and his investors, no matter the cost to workers, companies or communities," Danny Kanner, an Obama campaign spokesman, wrote.

Sununu said the Romney record at Bain was "certainly better than the batting average in trying to save jobs in alternative energy," referring to the Obama administration's role in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar energy firm that received millions in federal subsidies. Sununu pointed to that company as evidence of failed White House job creation policies. The constant attacks on Bain are simply cover for a poor record on economic growth, Sununu said.

"This administration has been a failure," Sununu said. "The Obama administration has been an abject failure. What you see with the attacks on Bain is an effort of President Obama to hide his failed presidency from the voters of America. I think it's a disgrace for him to pretend that his attacks on Bain are anything else but character attacks on Gov. Romney."

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soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Mr. 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" would outsource the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    "attacking the American way of life,"

    for the 1%.

    May 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Is Soo Plastic he Makes Mannequins Looks Real

    Bain critics 'attacking American way of life'....So "American way of life' is to give credit to BAIN for gutting companies and shipping American jobs to CHINA & MEXICO!

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney must be really that's RICH!!!!

    May 22, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Rick 7809

    "I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game," Sununu said. "What you have to do is do an honest evaluation. The Bain record is about 80% they were able to save jobs at companies, and 20% when they invested in companies that were in such bad shape they weren't able to save jobs."

    A republican that is interested in an "honest evaluation". The GOP is only interested in an "Honest evaluation" when it comes to them and relies on sound bites out of context when it comes to their opposition. If they were interested in being "honest", Faux News woul dbe out of business.

    May 22, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Some Democrat Guy

    Mr. Fearless Leader Preident Obama – please just run on the economy. Everyone knows how good you are doing with the economy. The polls say the economy is wonderful. You should focus on running your campaign on the economy.

    May 22, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. JerseyBill

    To bring some civility to the campaign, both candidates should avoid topics they know nothing about. Thus, Romney should keep his mouth shut on community organizing and Obama should shut his trap on creating jobs.

    May 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. T. E. Lawrence O. A.

    It is NOT an attack on "Free Enterprise" and absolutely NOT an attack on 'American Way of Life' – these Ads are specific, factual and are solely about the ABUSE of Free Enterprise, the ABUSE of Capitalism, etc.

    Purchasing a Company – a 'going concern' – and chopping it up into valuable parts, selling those parts for a profit while eliminating all jobs at the Company is NOT Free Enterprise. It represents a distortion and corruption of true Free Enterprise and is antithetical to the American Way of Life, whereby workers who are producing enormous value for their Company receive only a small fraction of that value they produce – AFTER already taking into account the fact that the wealthy business owners deserve to retain much of the worker-produced value because they basically set the entire thing up, risked their money, etc.

    FREE ENTERPRISE and THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE are actually about regular American Citizens having the opportunity to get far ahead in life through their hard work, education, job training and working to produce Value for the given Company. They are NOT about the wealthy acting solely to increase their own wealth by eliminating Jobs, chopping up going concerns and actually REDUCING the opportunities and available 'Enterprise Value' represented by these companies being chopped up for profit, etc.

    May 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    From Sununu's point of view, I am sure that the Bain attacks are attacking a way of life. People are supposed to listen and obey, not question their overlords. First of all, Bain Capital is not being attacked. It is Mitt Romney's claims of what he did at Bain that is under attack.

    I guess he must believe that Mitt Romney can say anything he wants, and is not required to offer in proof of his claims of "I created 100,000 jobs *while at* Bain Capital," when asked to do so. The easiest way to defend against these "Bain attack ads" would be to simply offer up some proof that Republicans and conservatives keep claiming is "out there" for anyone to see.

    If it were that simple, then how come conservatives haven't done so yet? They can't. Most of what Romney and his surrogates have been saying and claiming are lies.

    May 22, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Ronda in Houston,TX

    This coming from a GOP. GOP = Greed Over People.

    Obama/Biden 2012!!!

    May 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans attacked Romney on Bain Capitol during their campaign and there were no complaints. Newt Gingrich was one of the main attackers now he's even saying "it didn't work for him" but now that it's working for the Democrats the Republicans stop the attacks.

    May 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Repubs. are always wrapping themselves in the Flag, Mom, Apple Pie & the Great Free Market System. But Repubs. NEVER fight in the wars they love or pay taxes to fund these wars or worry about who's left holding the bag when their "Investment Genius" turns out wrong & they still want their $$$$.

    May 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. johnmenacherjr

    Well maybe Sununu is right Americans do rape pillage and destroy things just for profit.

    May 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. works for me

    Yes... Lies, greed and collusion... the American way of life?? What a load of bull mitt!

    May 22, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. rs

    The sad thing is that it is in fact "the way of life" that for some to profit, others must lose their jobs. Seeing as that is what Bain and Romney were all about-profiting off of the backs of others all the while closing companies and exporting jobs, then this is certainly "a way of life" worth taking down.

    What will Mr. Romney do to seniors if there are too many on Social Security? Fire them? He is no solution.

    May 22, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Flipper Rmoney Failure Ahead

    "Free Enterprise is what made this Country Great. Without free enterprise Obama will have no Wealth to Spread around. The Cold Hard Facts of Life cannot be held down by the pundents."

    What is it with rightwing extremists and making up strawman arguments based on nothing anyone has said and done? No one has proposed eliminating free enterprise. What people do want is reasonable limitations to prevent free enterprise from destroying itself (and us) through unrestrained greed.

    May 22, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Jules

    I think that everyone for whom vu;ture capital investment is a way of life should vote for Romney and for everyone for whom it is not a way of life should vote for President Obama. Sununu is as out of touch with the American 99% as is the rest of the GOP. Do you really think that this group of people who keeps making such iduiotic statements should really be in charge? You would think with the number of unrealistic, out of touch statements that hve been made by Romney and the GOP they would learn something, but oh no, a new one jumps into the slop everyday.

    May 22, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. beevee

    I can understand why as a republican Mr. Sununu is defending Romney's career at Bain. But the fact remains, that is running a business (whatever it is) cannot be equated to running the fiscal policy of the governemnt where you take care of all the citizens not just the rich who may be paying a bit more in taexs or not. Business on the otherhand caters to the benefit of only a few people, the investors and their profits often come at the expense of cutting jobs and laying off employees or closng down operations altogether. That is defintely not the experience one should have to run the finances fo a country.

    May 22, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Romneys' a record...

    When Romney joined Bain, the objective then was to create profit and wealth for the Investors and indeed Romney delivered successfully..."Then"

    But now Romney wants to use the Bain-Factor as the President of the USA to create jobs, jobs and wealth for all the people and the country and to restore "The American Dream" who is for it..?

    Romney was Bain-successful "Then" and will be White House-successful.."Now....

    May 22, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. s

    Sununu has always been a MORON, rich like romney so screw everyone else. NH back woods

    May 22, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. BLKMANinAmerica

    WOW................yea it is but consider this it's only that 1% of America who is "under attack", everyone else worked for what they got.

    May 22, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. kakaraka

    This guy has no clue of what he's talking about. Romney is not job creator but a wealh creator even if that mean to destroy jobs for workers to make profits for few investors pals. The middle class loss, the big guy capitalists win.

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    Since when is the "American way of life" to break up American companies, lay off American workers, ship American jobs overseas and hide your profits in offshore accounts?

    Sununu is doing what Repubs these days do best: Stir up emotions so their low-information voter base will blindly go to the polls and vote against their own self-interest AGAIN.

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Pam from Iowa

    Well, I guess its official!
    The American "way of life" is now to ship jobs overseas, layoff thousands of American workers, and pay exorbitant salaries and bonuses to CEO's!!

    May 22, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    Let's look at Robmey's record with Bain Capital:

    According to Bill Bain, who started Bain & Company and invited Robmey to head Bain Capital, Robmey initially said no (it was too risky a venture for Robmey).

    So Bill Bain told Robmey that if Bain Capital failed, he'd have his old job back, at his old salary, plus any raises he would have gotten. Bain also told Robmey that he'd provide him with a "cover story" so his (Robmey's) reputation wouldn't be damaged by the failure.

    In a nutshell, according to Bill Bain himself, Robmey faced "no professional or financial risk" by going to Bain Capital.

    And Robmey's "successes"? Breaking up American companies, laying off American workers and outsourcing American jobs.

    So much for being some hot-shot business guy.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    May 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    I'm pretty sure that America wasn't the first to come up with pillaging the helpless for personal gain as a way of life. We just perfected it.

    May 22, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Dagnytag

    "When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot," Obama said.

    Well libs, there you have it. The ultra classic self righteous, arrogant, and hypocritical leftist style ideological dogma. Here, I'll spell it out for you: It's not yours OR B.O.'s "job" to "figure out" what is "fair". puking. Just as repulsive as your mirror-opposites on the Right; wake-up and realize that you and your messiah spew just as much toxic garbage and are just as much a part of the PROBLEM!

    May 22, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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