Obama campaign hits Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'
June 22nd, 2012
12:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaign hits Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's re-election campaign seized on a new report Friday that claims Mitt Romney's former private equity firm was heavily involved in sending jobs overseas.

The campaign's senior strategist David Axelrod blasted out an email with the Washington Post story, saying it exposed "breathtaking hypocrisy" by a candidate who frequently calls for the need to return American jobs to the United States.

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The Washington Post story says that Bain Capital, a firm Romney co-founded in 1984 and left in 1999, had invested in multiple companies that "specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India."

"(Bain) owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission," the report said.

Based on the newspaper's investigation of Bain's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the private equity firm held shares in companies like Stream International Inc.–a firm that "became active in the growing field of overseas call centers"-and Modus Media, a company that opened up manufacturing locations on four continents.

In a conference call with reporters Friday, Axelrod knocked Romney as an "outsourcer in chief" and asked whether the presumptive GOP nominee's business experience is the kind of philosophy needed in the White House. He especially questioned Romney's ability to "stand up to China" on trade.

"It's particularly egregious when you try to repackage yourself as someone who's going to be tough on countries that you sent jobs to," Axelrod said on the call. He later described the report as a "significant moment in this campaign."

Romney's campaign, however, called the report a "fundamentally flawed story," arguing it fails to point out the difference between "domestic outsourcing versus offshoring."

Outsourcing, the campaign argues, is a common practice and can occur domestically without sending jobs overseas. Offshoring, on the other hand, involves shifting work out of house and overseas.

"Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul in statement. "As President, he will implement policies that make it easier and more attractive for companies to create jobs here at home."

Romney's corporate career at Bain has come under heavy scrutiny this cycle, first by his Republican opponents during the primary, and now by Democrats, who have aggressively used Bain as a way to frame Romney as an out of touch businessman whose claims as a job creator are baseless.

A spokesman for Bain Capital also responded to the report Friday, simply pointing to its successful ventures since its founding.

"Bain Capital's business model has always been to build great companies and improve their operations," the company said in a statement. "We have helped the 350 companies in which we have invested, which include over 100 start-up businesses, produce $80 billion of revenue growth in the United States while growing their revenues well over twice as fast as both the S&P and the U.S. economy over the last 28 years."

- CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    Wow, it didn't occur to you guys that Obama giving work permits to those illegal immigrants who come from the very countries that Bain outsourced jobs to will take the jobs in our own country also. So they get our jobs overseas, across the border and inside our own country? How logical is that for Obama.

    June 22, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Dean

    After 3 1/2 years under Obama we are still outsourcing jobs. In fact Obama's chief guy for job creation is Jeffery Immelt the head of General Electric who once commented at a GE board meeting that their future is in China.
    General Electric Co.’s health care unit, the world’s biggest maker of medical imaging machines, is moving the headquarters of its 115-year-old X-ray business to Beijing......................................................
    So if you want to look at outsourcing, look no farther than Obama.

    June 22, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Michael Q

    How many of these off-shore companies are donating to Romney's campaign, and what is Romney offering back for their support? That's business, and it's a give and take proposition. What do the contributors to Romney expect as their R.O.I.? For the conscientious Republican followers who still believe if they hang out with these rich guys, they will somehow be rewarded with riches of their own, you are being used. It is called Return On Investment and the Republicans do not do anything that has no return that benefits others except themselves first.

    June 22, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Phil Thomas

    It's not about him or Obama look at the people in congress who have been in office 20 to 30 years it's those people that effect policy. Those people that stonewall change, no company would keep any of these losers for two decades and let them blame a new CEO, what have they done in the last 3 years except pass the blame, only fox news vidiots repeat talking points like this. Place the blame where it belongs on your neighborhood senator or congressmen they sunk the ship. All Obama is doing is trying to plug the holes they created

    June 22, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Obama campaign hits Romney as 'outsourcer in chief'◄
    And there's more than that – come on Democrats – Where's the real BEEF??? LOL

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    June 22, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Myviewis

    marieee, you do realize that the illegal immigrants will have work permits and will get these jobs you are describing? these are the same people from the very countries that took our jobs when our jobs were outsourced, shipped out to them.

    June 22, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Myviewis

    Michael JP

    Amercia doesn't want a President Ronmey sending jobs overseas. Say no to Ronmey
    Very true, so they get come to our country illegally, Obama gives them work permits and they get our jobs here in our country. Go figure!!!!!

    June 22, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    This Bain capital guy is a JOKE.

    June 22, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. harvey 60

    Please report on the jobs that Andrea Saul claims that Bain created. Where were the jobs, how many were created, what were/are the salaries and benefits? And how many of the people in the jobs that were created were sent to the unemployment line when Bain bankrupted the companies? Ali Velshi, Anderson Cooper and Christine Romans, this is in your purview. Just look at Domino's Pizza, one of the companies bought by Bain under the Romney watch. Salary range for a restaurant assistant manager $7.57 to $12.91; salary for a delivery driver $5.50 to $9.28. try supporting your family, or yourself, on 27K or less per year. Thanks, Romney. You made the millions, you pay the 15% or less income tax rate, you got the tax deduction for your wife's dressage horse as a "business" expense, and your workers got screwed. Romney is a liar just like Daddy George, who ran for President despite the fact he was not a natural born citizen. What other lies are hidden in the Romney Family archives?

    June 22, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I'd like to second everything that MARLEEE said.......RIGHT ON MARLEEE...

    June 22, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. n

    Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
    Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.
    What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy.

    June 22, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Jubilirao

    Jobs are created by entrepreneurs and not by people who arrange loans.The private equity people are gamblers. So Romney is out as far as we are concerned and better no more discussion on this subject.

    June 22, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @Ted "Obama wil end in his second term the second unfunded war."
    Wars are not unfunded – they are not free. We pay – trust me.
    And Obama is not ending War. As long as he keeps flying in drones and bombing (killing) people, some innocent, keeps prisoners in indefinite detention, and sends military to OIL locations like Libya, our sitting commander in chief is keeping us very much at War.

    June 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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