Romney Thrown On Defensive Over Bain Capital Factory Closings


As the Obama campaign this week began a concerted attack on the presumptive GOP nominee for his tenure at the private equity firm he managed, strategists in both parties say the Republican has yet to give a confident, detailed explanation of his Bain Capital tenure that silences questions about his biography as a businessman. So far in 2012, Romney – who is centering his presidential campaign on economic leadership – has rarely if ever managed to speak about Bain in any but the most defensive of terms.

The anti-Bain message is an attack Romney has faced in every race of his political career, sometimes managing to control the damage – and other times, like his 1994 Senate bid, watching his campaign go up in smoke as a result…

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a top Romney endorser and potential running mate, argued at a Bloomberg View event in New York City that the GST Steel attack is unfair because “that’s capitalism.”

The story of the closing of the GST Steel mill in Kansas City following its acquisition by Bain Capital is being pushed today by both the Barack Obama campaign (video above), as well as Priorities USA Action, with ad buys including here in Colorado. Like Politico says, Mitt Romney has yet to produce a coherent narrative for his time at Bain Capital, which the Obama campaign promises includes many more examples like that of GST Steel. Since this is one of Romney’s principal weaknesses, they’re going to want a better answer than “that’s capitalism.”

Because that kind of feeds the Obama campaign’s stereotype.


12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    So how is Romney responding? First, his campaign is accentuating the positive. They’ve already released their own counter-ad – a spot that features a thriving Indiana firm named Steel Dynamics in which Bain had a minority stake.

    Steel Dynamics “almost never got started,” says one worker in the ad. “When others shied away, Mitt Romney’s private sector leadership team stepped in.”

    Second, Romney supporters are hammering at the fact that one of the Obama campaign’s top financial backers, Jonathan Lavine, is a Bain director who was at the firm when GST went under.

    “So according to the Obama team’s logic, Romney, who had left Bain, is responsible for GST Steel’s demise, but Lavine, who was there, is not? Expect to hear more about this connection,” wrote Robert Costa yesterday on the National Review Online blog The Corner.

    Finally, the Romney camp may point out that President Obama is himself responsible for layoffs. Remember the auto bailout? General Motors and Chrysler shut down over 700 dealerships during that crisis period, at the cost of thousands of jobs.

    “And the companies did it under pressure from Obama,” writes conservative Byron York, the Washington Examiner’s chief political correspondent.

    Sure, Democrats. Let’s go down this hypocritical road. The public will laugh at you.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      That I didn’t cite Colorado Peak Politics. So you can’t blow me off just for that.

      • sxp151 says:

        because you didn’t cite your actual source?

        Have you not slept in the past five days or something?

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        So you cite a flawed editorial instead?

        “Finally, the Romney camp may point out that President Obama is himself responsible for layoffs. Remember the auto bailout? General Motors and Chrysler shut down over 700 dealerships during that crisis period, at the cost of thousands of jobs.”

        The companies did that to survive. A whole hell of a lot more people would have been laid off without Obama’s intercession, in contradiction of Rmoney’s missive to Let Detroit Fail. Now, did the Bain Capital closures keep companies in dire trouble from going under, or was it simple profiteering?

    • cunninjo says:

      The argument you cite about Romney not working at Bain during the GST shutdown is a perfect example. It’s just one anecdote amongst a history of similar actions from Bain Capital. Rather than arguing that Romney wasn’t there and shouldn’t get blamed, you should be making the case as to why Bain was right in shutting down the mill.

      And your argument about President Obama and the auto bailout is absurd. The President’s sole objective was to save an industry from collapse because it would wreak havoc on an already struggling economy. Romney laid people off and shipped their jobs to Asia to pad his own pockets at the expense of the economy. By the way, how many of those auto workers who lost their job are back working in the auto industry today? My guess is most of them.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      Again, there’s a BIG BLANK WHOLE on the RomneyBot site on Military and Veterans issues.

      I’m still waiting for that reply – ever going to get around to it, or is your candidate ever going to shake the Etch-a-sketch on those issues as well?

    • Lavine is running against Obama? For Pres? Or is it Romney? Help me out here.

      Whichever. Romney’s Bain certainly did “step in”. Results? How’s that accentuating the positive going down with the unemployed workers, SlopGOP? “Honey, be sure to smile and look proud when you apply for those food stamps.”

      Mention Bain again and Obama and Socialists will pick up another point. Bain Bain Bain Bain ….

  2. unnamed says:

    It would be devastating to the Romney camp.  As jaded as I have become towards campaign ads excluding the most positive, this one got to me.  If I were Romney or in his camp, I would be scared to death of this ad.  

    • The way they’ve run their campaign (not his campaign, their campaign [the Wall Street .1 percenters]) from the first Republicon primary right up until today, they’re scared. They’re scared voters will see who’s really in the shirt. And they’re going to be absolutely vicious in their attempt to hide what’s inside that shirt. It’s not empty. It’s filled with greed, callousness, arrogance and an ideology of entitlement. So much money, so much power, yet so much fear.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    has it’s ad sequence in high gear already.

    This is landing the first punch in a long bout.  You are shining a light on their claims and producing evidence of the true cost of Romney’s success.

    You can bet that there is going to be another ad on Romney’s job creation record as one time governor of Massachusetts.  47th out of 50 states.  Ouch.  

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