Pro-Obama super PAC brings back Bain
June 10th, 2012
05:17 PM ET
8 years ago

Pro-Obama super PAC brings back Bain

(CNN) - Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting the president's re-election campaign is bringing Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's former private equity firm, back into the spotlight this week with a new ad.

The 30-second spot, "Donnie," was released Sunday and features an interview with a former worker of GST Steel, a Kansas City company that went bankrupt and closed in 2001, eight years after it was purchased by Bain.

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Romney left Bain in 1999, but has continued to benefit through GST Steel. His campaign has noted that Romney's finances are held in and managed by a blind trust.

In the ad, the ex-worker, Donnie Box, lambasted Bain by saying the company shut down "entire livelihoods" and claims the company reneged on its promise to provide health care packages and retirement programs.

"This was a booming place, and Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard. Just making money and leaving," Box says in the ad. "They don't live in this neighborhood. They don't live in this part of the world."

As the ad closes, text on the screen reads: "If Mitt Romney wins, the middle class loses."

The video reflects tones from similar Priorities ads released last month that also featured former workers of shuttered plants bought by Bain.

Priorities' senior strategist Bill Burton told CNN the new commercial is part of an ongoing $7 million ad buy and will air in five battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.

The commercial comes a couple of weeks after the Obama campaign largely turned away from its Bain offense, which went on for much of the month of May, to instead focus on Romney's record as former Massachusetts governor.

"For voters across the country, profiting from failure and breaking promises to employees illustrates that Romney would not stand up for the middle class as president," Burton wrote in a memo Saturday. In his note, Burton pointed to results from two recent focus groups that show the Bain attacks may be having an impact, in favor of the president, on certain key voting blocs.

The focus groups consisted of so-called Wal-Mart moms in the battleground states of Nevada and Virginia. All the women identified themselves as independents or as undecided, and the Nevada group included only Latino women.

CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, who watched the focus groups take place, wrote that the women gave Romney credit for being a businessman and a family man, but expressed concern after watching attack ads against him and his corporate career from groups like Priorities and the president's re-election campaign.

"When asked to use one word or phrase to describe Romney, the words or phrases they used included 'Don't know that much about him,' 'selfish,' 'businessman who is concerned with making himself some money,' 'concerned about the wealthy,' 'can't be trusted,' 'scares me,' and 'lackluster' - again, echoing some of what is being said in the Bain ads around the country," Cardona wrote in an op-ed.

The debate over the fairness of the Bain attacks took center stage last month, as some notable Democrats disagreed with their own party on the idea of using Romney's career as a knock against him. President Barack Obama even weighed in, firmly deciding that because Romney uses his business background to court votes, then the attacks were fair game.

Romney's team, however, has consistently defended the candidate's time at Bain, arguing that the president was taking aim the free enterprise system. His campaign, as well as Bain itself, highlights the fact that a strong majority of the businesses purchased by the firm went on to become successful, though some did not fare well.

During a tele-townhall last week, the candidate hit back against the Democratic-led notion that Romney was simply in the businesses of making profits, not hiring people, and therefore should not use his Bain record as a credential for creating jobs.

"It's like well, I have to tell you, that's sort of what business is about. The free enterprise system is about people taking a risk to earn a return, to earn a profit and if they do, they're able to hire more people," Romney said. "Profits and people go together if you're talking about creating new jobs."

As Priorities has stepped up its ad effort in the last month, the group is also trying to ramp up its fund-raising. Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is meeting with potential donors to Priorities on Monday to help it beef up its coffers.

Also see:

Axelrod weighs in on Obama's private sector comments

Romney video goes after Obama's comments on economy

Daniels, Walker want Romney to go bold

McCain: Obama responsible for leaks, Holder has no credibility

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Cheryl Jefferies

    I suspect Mitt knows the difference between public and private sector jobs/workers. Obama's latest bright idea to help the PRIVATE SECTOR: HIRE MORE TEACHERS, POLICE and FIREFIGHTERS! Ummmm...I hate to tell him, those are municipal and state workers. GOVERNMENT WORKERS! Their salaries are paid for by TAXES! They are NOT private sector workers and they do not hold private-sector jobs. Is he really that stupid?! Wait. Maybe he's trying to get back on the good side of unions. You know...unions. The people he betrayed and ran from the last month or so in Wisconsin. After getting all that union money from them. Kinda pitiful, though...he may really not know the difference. Oh, wait. I know. He'll blame it on Bush. He'll say that's how Bush explained it to him on the way out the door. Of course. That's it.

    June 11, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  2. Dem SuperPAC lies

    Bain kept GTS Steel going for 11 years longer than it would have otherwise. It provided jobs to people for those extra years and Bain used private funds..... Plus, when GTS finally went under, the CEO of Bain was a guy in the current Obama administration.... (Romney had been gone for 2 years).

    Nice that Obama's campaign and super PAC avoid facts. Can't trust them. Vote for Romney.

    June 11, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Tyler Durden

    There is an idea of a [Mitt Romney]; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.
    -American Psycho

    June 11, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. rosiejones

    This is my biggest fear. If Mitt Romney wins this election, the middle class of America as we know it will disappear. He has shown through actions and words in the past few months that he is completely out of touch with the reality of the middle class. He, as President, will work to protect his peers, rich men and women. There's a reason everyone at Faux News wants him elected, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world want him elected. He will take care of their pocketbooks at the expense of OUR pocketbooks. Can we afford this? No. And yet, many of the very people who claim to hate Obama and try to blame all of our country's current problems on him, are the very people who will be absolutely brutalized by Romney's plutocratic policies. Wake up, America!

    June 11, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  5. BeverlyNC

    Bain is a valid issue since Romney claims it is the reason he is qualified to be President. Bain was no job creator, no servant of the People, no solution for the economy. Bain was a money-making company who bought companies, sold off their valuable assets, raided the employee pension funds, and killed the jobs of all the employees as they bankrupted and destroyed these companies. Bain made money for themselves and destroyed the lives and communities where these businesses were. Romney also destroyed MA as Governor. He all but killed their education system, ran up the state debt, and left the state 47th in job creation. Romney is no leader, not capable of working for ALL Americans for OUR benefit, is a constant liar about everything, is clueless on what issues the country is facing, and doesn't even know what countries exist outside the U.S. He is a loser whose own Party did not want him to be their candidate but now are stuck with him. We the People do not have to accept this empty suit and clueless puppet of corporate billionaires. Stand with the real leader we already have – President Obama- and he has a proven success record and works hard for ALL Americans. Republicans have betrayed us and we need to vote out every single one from every local, state, and national seat so we can take back our democracy from these traitor extremists.

    June 11, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. labman57

    Mitt Romney doesn't worry about the problems of poor people … because there is a "safety net" … which he wants to defund … because people (including single, full-time moms) who depend upon financial assistance such as food stamps lack dignity … because you must be completely self-sufficient to have self-worth … unless you inherited vast wealth … in which case you are inherently highly dignified … because you are a person of power and authority … who gets to enjoy the sheer pleasure of firing people … which Mitt did countless times while running Bain Capital, creating huge profits … for himself and his fellow investors … at the expense of fired workers … who, as a result, often joined the growing ranks of poor people in America … which Mitt doesn't worry about.

    June 11, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  7. Thomas

    I don't care about Bain, there will always be predators and parasites.

    I want Romney to tell me why none of his FIVE sons volunteered for military service.
    And how Mitt can talk so easily about sending other's into harms way.

    Jon Huntsman's sons Volunteered. And I respect them for there service.

    June 11, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  8. scott

    Pay me thousands of dollars and I will say what ever they want me to say. If people really believe these ads on Bain then this country is worse then I thought.

    June 11, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  9. trex runs ads about Obama's decisions in his life................and the Dems must run ads about Mitt's decisions in his life. One is pro people and those with LESS, and one is pro MONEY at all costs. You pick...........................

    June 11, 2012 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  10. Dilip

    The hard question for understanding this BAIN CAPITAL issue is how they MADE MONEY

    June 11, 2012 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  11. James

    I thought Obama said he wouldn't endorse super pacs??? He lied again

    June 11, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  12. GI Joe

    This is so true. He will make sure the Kochs and all his wealthy buddies do better than ever, and continue to give the little people the boot.

    I despise the liar.

    June 11, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  13. King

    hey the Chinese will love mittens vulture capital mentality, because they can get him to sign a free trade agreement with them, and pit Chinese slave workers against American middle class workers. Chinese consumer out number us 6 to 1and when mitt cut middle class workers to shrink the government, and take away health insurance for 30 million Americans, killing million's of jobs, our goose will be cooked.

    June 11, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
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