Bain mindset could work in Washington, says Issa
May 28th, 2012
06:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Bain mindset could work in Washington, says Issa

(CNN) – Rep. Darrell Issa, a Mitt Romney supporter, on Monday said the experience of closing failing companies and trimming excess waste as a private equity executive could help the presumptive Republican nominee if he becomes president.

Issa's comments came after several weeks of attacks from Democrats, who have painted Romney as a job killing corporate raider for his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, the firm he founded in 1984. President Barack Obama's campaign, along with his aligned super PAC, both aired television commercials featuring workers at companies that were closed after being taken over by Bain.

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Issa was asked by CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta whether Romney could better communicate his record at Bain to voters.

"You're going to have some casualties, but that's exactly what we need in Washington and why I'm so delighted to support Gov. Romney," Issa said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "He understands that our government has gotten too big, there are agencies that need to be reformed, closed, combined, something the president has talked about but hasn't done."

Romney has not stated publically if he would close any federal agencies as president. According to NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, he told supporters at a campaign fund-raiser in April he would make the Department of Education "a heck of a lot smaller" and would consider eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also said he would cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On Monday, Issa, a Republican who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said there were numerous other places in the government a president could look to make cuts.

"There's got to be a way to take money out of GSA and other agencies that are throwing fancy parties and make it available for the essential services that the American people want," Issa said. "It's not nice, it's not easy to lay people off, but it's the right thing to do if you've got a bloated government. That's what Gov. Romney promises to do."

Issa said Romney, whose tax returns indicate a personal wealth in the hundreds of millions, should not be disqualified in voters' mind because of his fortune.

"We have had wealthy people who have served our country in the past," Issa, himself worth more than $200 million, said. "The American people want successful people, people who know how to create wealth. Remember, America's greatness is based on creating wealth like the rest of the world has never known, and then making sure it's shared throughout a middle class and even the underprivileged. That's what makes America special, anyone can go from the middle class or even poorer and ultimately end up like Mitt Romney, a successful person running for president and giving back."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Also see:

Gingrich's presidential advice: Raise money

Wisconsin recall's a 'test run,' DNC chair says

Giuliani gets over ego and praises Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Darrell Issa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Curt

    Lets get real here. Issa says anyone can become rich, we all know thats not true. If Romney's Daddy was not rich would he be where he is today? What about Trump who's Daddy set him up. Did Rep. Issa succeed all on his own? There's lots of Americans that don't stand a chance in hell of ever being rich. Lets be honest. And the comment about America's greatness based on creating wealth and sharing it with the middle class and poor. Is that why 137,000 people die a year because they have no insurance or why people go to bed hungry everynight. When are these politicians going to realize that any person of any intelligence does not beleive a word they say.

    May 28, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Dee

    Romney will do whatever he is told and certainly he is not going to explain Baine, show his taxe, and tell us about his money in Swiss banks etc. There is only one reasone the money was placed there to evade taxes and he is setting a good example by running for the President of the US.

    Keeping company with Donald Trump is crazy why should he be a consultant to a candidate for the Presidency? He has filed for bankruptcy so many times maybe Mitt can help him or he will use him for some of Bain's capital.

    Wake up America

    May 28, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Eric

    His Bain experience did not do much for Massachusett. Forty seven out of fifity when one state which Massachusett was ranked higher suffered from a severe hurricane. What a fix-it, job creator. This nation would be full of –it to vote such an incompetent person.

    May 28, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. The Contentious Otter

    The reason the President hasn't closed and combined agencies is because Republicans in Congress -Mr. Issa among them- have to approve those measures and those morons disagree with anything the President does, even if it's something they are saying themselves needs to be done.

    As far as Romney aka "Dubya-2", his plans to deregulate everything and suspend all enforcement of financial regulations will probably have the exact same result as it did under the Bush/Cheney White House.

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Right now the Republican Party is the poster child for legislative insanity.

    May 28, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. B

    "It's not nice, it's not easy to lay people off, but it's the right thing to do." I guess under a Romney administration, there must be the sacrifice of some for the greater good. I would hate to be one of the sacrificial lambs.

    May 28, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. steve

    "You're going to have some casualties." Hmm, I wonder who that might be?

    May 28, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Maybe... I think that we ought to experiment with outsourcing congress as a first step. Could probably get a bunch of squawking hens that would get as much accomplished and it would be a lot cheaper. We should start with Darrell... Of course HIS replacement hen would need to lay a lot of eggs and foul a lot of nests to keep up appearances...

    May 28, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    Here's a hot flash for ya, Mr. Issa, government isn't supposed to function like business! they are two totally different things with totally different purposes. that's like saying an orange squeezer should be good for cooking a steak. government is supposed to do FOR the American people what they cannot do for themselves. business is to make money. government done right, not the republican way, does that. the trouble with republicans is they think government should be run like a business. the only similarity should be efficiency. that's it! but not to the point that essential services are cut so multimillionaires can keep getting richer without lifting a pinky.

    May 28, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Sorensen

    Obviously, Mr. Issa has absolutely no idea about neither sophisticated businessmanagement nor indeed politics.

    May 28, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. B

    Romney has been so evasive regarding his plans to turn the economy around. But, Issa has just let the cat out of the bag about how Romney is planning on eliminating jobs, programs, services, and departments to pay for the tax cuts for the rich.

    May 28, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Rep. Darrell Issa,
    The guy who gave us Arnold the failure as Governor.

    This guy won't be happy til the world is a strip mall , come out to Vista Ca and see your future !

    May 28, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. R.Merrell

    Darrell and his committee of constant witch hunters is a huge expense we could do without – along with congressional pensions, perks, and all of the other expenses we, the taxpayers, pay for to keep Issa and his ilk in office. Congress is the biggest socialized society in the U.S. outside of the military. When was the last time anyone in Congress complained about the cost of their healthcare, their salaries, their perks? Crickets....

    May 28, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. bobden

    Excessive waste? Most all executives are excessive waste. If the CEOs of most companies were to vanish one day, how many weeks would it be before anyone noticed?

    May 28, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  14. mcskadittle

    Please don't forget mass was 47th in job growth when he actually tried governing

    May 28, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    wonder if Issa said the same thing when Newt, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum were attacking Romney on Bain? I kind of doubt if he did. The GOP keeps hoping American have short term memories and that Obama started all of this attack, so far the president has said nothing that the GOP 2012ers had not said once them selves.

    May 28, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  16. Sydium S. Washington

    It's a way to run the gravy train.

    May 28, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  17. n

    Another thief praising another thief. Wake up America these politicians are bankrupting America

    May 28, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  18. marty

    Darrell Issa said, "You're going to have casualties, but that's exactly what we need in Washington", referring what he calls a
    bloated government. He's looking in the wrong direction for his cuts, the bloated part of goverrment is right there in Congress and he's part of it. High wages that automatically increase, enviable health care for life, perquisites from free hair cuts, dining, travel, access to a state of the art gymnasium where he can preen and buff, are just a part of his life in the D.C.loop. He'll probably find time to write a book also.

    May 28, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Randy, San Francisco

    Rep Issa is like a heartless character out of a Dicken's novel.

    May 28, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Joseph

    So Romney's ability to buy assets cheaply and liquidate them to line his own pockets is a benefit? The last former superpowre to do that was Russia – they sold off assets cheaply to connected individuals and created multibillionaires overnight. So now Romney wants us to be like Russia?

    May 28, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. DDanny1

    Keep in mind every single Republican politician will tell you Social Security is a "failing company". Voting Romney in will give them a "mandate" and "political capital" to turn over social security to private, for profit firms.
    Hey, but maybe those companies won't care about maximizing profit.
    Good luck with that.

    May 28, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. papafritz57

    Advice from the biggest crook in the Congress, giving America advice. Wow, why isn't Issa in jail and who did he pay off to beat the rap? Small fry went to jail, Issa got off. how did that happen? The Congress bulging with men and women on the take and trying to make our President look bad. What colossal hypocrites. Romney couldn't care less about the rest of America as long as he can maintain his great wealth and park it offshore to avoid paying taxes and setting up trust funds so his sons can avoid paying taxes and avoid any military service, this is what the Republicons are ballyhooing. Rotten crooks tryng to foist a conman like Romney on us. Didn't lil Bush do enough damage to last a lifetime?

    May 28, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. Jay

    Hey Issa. It was Obama who went from rags to riches to President, not Romney.

    May 28, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  24. Greyman

    Given how the size of government has grown under the last three Republican presidents, and the GOP consistently protects subsidies for oil companies and demands ever-increasing military spending, am I still supposed to take this spiel about 'small government' seriously?

    May 28, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  25. DJ Reality

    Boy you want to talk about what is wrong in Washington you don't have to look any further than Daryl Issa. I think this guy is one of the biggest crooks in D.C. I mean just how did this guy get so rich while he has been in Washington. Come on we all know he didn't do it through hard work. He's a politician for Christ sake This is one of those guys I just don't trust at all. He's the one who should be investigated..

    May 28, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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