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June 02, 2012 12:18 AM UTC

Asked if he regrets Bain, Romney cites bankruptcies, but is that all?

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I listened again to Tuesday’s interview with Mitt Romney on KOA radio, and I thought co-host April Zesbaugh asked Romney a good question, but Romney’s answer was shallow and deserves scrutiny by reporters at the national level.

Zesbaugh asked Romney if he had any regrets about his work at Bain Capital.

Romney replied that he regretted “all the things that didn’t work out,” and the “decisions that weren’t right.”

Then Romney went on to say that he’d just seen a letter from Bain stating that in 80 percent of cases in which the firm made investments, over 28 years, “the businesses grew.”

“Well, that’s pretty good,” Romney said.

But in five percent of the cases, he continued, businesses went bankrupt.

“Well, that’s not so good,” Romney said chuckling.

“You’d like not to ever have that happen,” he said.

Does Romney have any regrets about how Bain treated the 80 percent that did not go bankrupt?

Does Romney regret how the workers and others associated with those companies were treated, even if they did not go belly up in the end?

I’m guessing any decent person would look back at some of the business tactics that were used by outfits like Bain and have some regrets, but maybe I’m wrong.

I mean, I’m just a blogger, and bloggers aren’t known for their ability to judge business ethics, which doesn’t stop them from doing it, of course.

In any case, it’s a question that reporters should put to Romney. Does he only regret the businesses that went bankrupt? What other aspects of the Bain business model, if any, does he regret?

Co-host Zesbaugh: Well, let’s switch gears and talk about the economy.  It’s only May and we can’t stop hearing about your time at Bain Capital.  I’d like to know what you learned that can help you turn the economy around, at Bain.  And what you may regret, if anything, from your time there.

Romney: Well, I can tell you that if you’ve never spent a day in business, you don’t understand how government makes business have a difficult time.  Whether it’s a small business or a big business, government can get in your way.  I spoke with a banker today that is in northwest Colorado.  He said that he spends about sixty percent of his time trying to deal with regulators and government intruders as opposed to working with customers and making loans.  So, I understand the impact of regulations.  Some regulation is helpful.  Some is not.  I understand which is which.  I understand the impact of Obamacare on small businesses, and why it is that small businesses are not looking to hire people right now, in part because of the peril of Obamacare and the extraordinary increase in health insurance costs that folks are seeing.  I understand also, when the president puts in place a series of folks in the National Labor Relations Board who want to force unions on businesses where the employees don’t want them – I understand what that will do to jobs in this country.  You see, having started a business and having run a business, I understand how policy in Washington affects whether or not businesses grow in America or decide to either not invest at all or go elsewhere to invest.   And so I want to use my experience to make America the most attractive place in the world for small business and other businesses, so we have jobs growing again and rising incomes again.  It’s what we deserve.

Zesbaugh: Any regrets?

Romney: Oh, I’m…. all the things that didn’t work out.  All the… There’s no question but that the benefit of hindsight is such that if you could go back and erase the decisions that weren’t right, that ended up not working out, you’d want to do that.   I just saw a letter from the folks at my old firm Bain Capital, now twenty-eight years of business existence.  They put out a statement that said in eighty percent of the cases where they made investments, the businesses grew.  Well, that’s pretty good.  But in five percent, businesses went bankrupt.  Well, that’s not so good.  [chuckles]  You’d like not to ever have that happen.

Mm-hmm.  [ …] The Obama administration, Obama for America, sent out a press release yesterday, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this but I’ll read “in both the public and the private sectors Romney would allow his energy policies to be shaped behind closed doors by billionaire donors benefitting from the same massive Big Oil tax breaks Romney has pledged to protect.”  More than just specifically to that statement, are you still fighting this battle of image that you are just a rich, wealthy guy who… the next step on your resume, you want to be the leader of the free world.


10 thoughts on “Asked if he regrets Bain, Romney cites bankruptcies, but is that all?

  1. And while you bash capitalism at every opportunity, the polls tighten between Romney and Obama. Why is that, Pols? Why is that, Jason?

    The American people aren’t buying it, that’s why.

    1. ..why is that Arapabot? Because your automated plastic master RomneyBot hasn’t even  bothered to develop a platform about veterans and the military?

      Is he still shaking the etch-a-sketch on this issue?

    2. Capitalism is a wonderful thing.

      Using a rigged Wall Street investment banking system available to a few Ivy League elites to shutter companies and steal pension funds isn’t.

      Honor job creators, not investment bankers.

    3. Except that Romney is campaigning claiming based on his performance at Bain in general and his job creating chops in particular.  He brought it up and now we are going to examine and discuss it.

    4. Just wondering whether Romney was ok with the business tactics used by Bain, as long as they were legal and no bankruptcy happened.

      pro-capitialism, pro-conscience.

  2. Some businesses fail because of a changing market (like the RMN which was caught up in an “unsustainable business model” according to the Scripps CEO).

    Some fail because of lack of capital ( regretably most new small businesses fail within 5 years predominately for this reason).

    But if you’re a loser and “too big to fail” then you get bailed out by the taxpayers.

    The debate should not be between capitalism or socialism. As the economic meltdown clearly demonstrated, the issue is the inordinate concentration of wealth at the top which is detrimental to a pluralistic capitalist economic system, and endangers a democratic system of government with the undue influence of power that concentration of wealth enables.  

    1. The debate should be between a moral, democratic capitalism and the “winner-take-all” capitalism we have moved into. See, for example, Winner-take-all Politics by Hacker and Pierson.

      1. are essentially disaster capitalists. Disaster capitalism takes many forms and has been around for quite a while, but this is assuredly the goal of the “Austerity Brigade”.

  3. As well as his experiences cannibalizing companies, then relying on the Federal Government to bail him out………tax payers……thus relieving him of all responsibility when the company fails, but allowing him to pocket the money generated in selling off the companies’ parts BEFORE walking away.

    Romney’s idea of capitalism is leaving a company broken, destroyed, employees lives ruined, and the taxpayer on the hook for what pittance the PGBC pension can allow.

    Romney is the ultimate welfare queen.

    Those that support him, defend him, excuse him, and will vote for him are either ideologically predisposed to simply be blind to his catastrophic business dealings and their consequences, are in the top 1%, or haven’t been screwed and ruined by him or another of his ilk….yet.

    About his fitness to lead.

    As a prep school bully, he shaved a kid’s head while his fellow cowards held the kid down. Obviously the mean spirited type, he delighted in humiliating others, while obviously a feckless coward himself.

    As an 18 year old, he dodged the draft, with one of the more “unusual” cons, a “missionary” deferment. While deferred, the craven opportunist supported the Vietnam conflict, with documented appearances at college pro war rallies at Stanford.

    As former Governor of Massachusetts, he’s run from his record, never standing up as would a man, explaining anything, rather obfuscating, pivoting, denying, and shifting responsibility….as he’s done all his life.

    Rather than face the music, when the Democratic Party sent Axelrod to Ma., Romney ordered goons in, ala “brooks brothers”, to drown out the sledgehammer message being delivered about Romney’s incompetence as Massachusetts Governor.

    A coward all his life.

    He advocates American intervention in Syria, hitting Iran, the ultimate hypocracy of a cowardly draft dodger as a young man with blood lust as a senior.  

    Posters like abot either have no compunction supporting this human filth because he’s red like them, or they’re woefully uninformed.

    Two bad options for posters like abot.

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