Mitt Romney, Obama for America — June 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Romney’s past says everything you need to know about how he’d govern & who he’d represent as president


Not just the past — the past WEEK

It hasn’t been a good week or two for Mitt Romney. His past, which he seems to think nobody will look at, think about, or care about, is beginning to catch up with him.

Between his record as a failed job-creator as a governor and a successful jobs-destroyer as a businessman as well as a rare glimpse at just who he will be beholden to if he is elected, Mitt Romney has a severe and awesome image problem to overcome.

One I doubt that he will.

First there was the blistering Washington Post article that revealed that Romney’s Bain Capital owned companies that “specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India” and “owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components”.

Romney’s astounding lame and comical response was to argue about the meaning of off-shoring and outsourcing, as if that mattered to people who lost their jobs and, more importantly, as if the article was actually about off-shoring of American jobs.

Then, the New York Times published a piece showing that, no matter how bleak and horrible a Bain-owned company’s fortune was, Romney and his business partners made out like very, very wealthy bandits.

Cambridge Industries, an automotive plastics supplier whose losses had been building for three consecutive years, finally filed for bankruptcy in May 2000 under a mountain of debt that had ballooned to more than $300 million.

Yet Bain Capital, the private equity firm that controlled the Michigan-based company, continued to religiously collect its $950,000-a-year “advisory fee” in quarterly installments, even to the very end

In all, Bain garnered more than $10 million in fees from Cambridge over five years, including a $2.25 million payment just for buying the company…Meanwhile, Bain’s investors saw their $16 million investment in Cambridge wiped out.

That Bain was able to reap revenue from Cambridge, even as it foundered, was hardly unusual.

The WaPo article was so damaging to the Romney campaign that he sent staffers to the newspaper in a feeble and rather embarrassing attempt to get them to retract it. They will not:

The Washington Post will not retract their June 21 report about Bain Capital’s investments in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs, POLITICO has learned.

“We are very confident in our reporting,” Washington Post spokesperson Kris Coratti told POLITICO following a meeting between the Post’s executive editor Marcus Brauchli and Mitt Romney campaign representatives, who had sought a retraction from the paper.

This led to LOLGOP tweeting this piece of perfection:

The Obama campaign hit Romney hard on this important aspect of Mitt Romney’s background. First, there was this very effective online ad featuring the increasingly-popular Stephanie Cutter. In it, she talks about how, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney vetoed legislation that would have outlawed off-shoring of American jobs for companies doing business with the state and how he is promising to completely eliminate US taxes on foreign profits of US companies if elected president. She also gives specific examples of Romney’s off-shoring of jobs as CEO of Bain Capital.

The bit about Romney promising to eliminate taxes on foreign-made profits is important and one that has flown largely under the radar. It’s a bad idea, one even the Heritage Foundation doesn’t think will work. It will, however, make Mitt Romney and his wealthy business owner friends even more money, even if it doesn’t create jobs. Which it won’t. The New York Times again:

[A] wide range of economists who have studied the idea say that such a tax holiday would do little to spur economic growth. The conservative Heritage Foundation, for example, said in a report published last week that a tax holiday on foreign profits would “have a minuscule effect on domestic investment and thus have a minuscule effect on the U.S. economy and job creation.”

One big reason: companies are already sitting on record amounts of cash. Money is not the reason that companies are holding back. If they wanted to invest in research, or build new factories, or hire workers, they could. The problem, according to corporate executives, is a lack of demand for their products.

Another reason: A tax holiday has been tried before, in 2004, and it did not work.

The Obama campaign also released this equally effective television ad titled “America Doesn’t Need an Outsourcing Pioneer in the Oval Office”:

Vice President Joe Biden himself nailed Romney to the wall on this:

You’ve got to give Mitt Romney credit. He’s a job creator. In Singapore. China. India. He’s been very good at creating jobs. Overseas.

PrioritiesUSA, the superpac that is fighting back against the insane amount of money that Romney’s bankrollers are spending, put up this devastating ad called “Stage”. In it, a worker at a company that was put out of business by Bain Capital, talks about being asked by his boss to build a stage. Soon after, all the workers were gathered in front of the stage and fired.

Turns out that when we built that stage, it was like building our own coffin.

Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm says it’s time we start taking Mitt Romney at his word on some of this in a must-read op-ed at Politico:

I’m as guilty as the next progressive in calling out Mitt Romney for his lies. There have been so many it’s getting boring. I get whiplash trying to keep track. Google “Romney” and “lies” — and you get 59.3 million entries.

So I decided to buck the trend. Let’s take him at his word. {…}

[W]hen Romney said he would have let the auto industry fail, maybe it wasn’t just a pander to the tea party. Let’s assume he actually meant it…He could have laid off workers, crushed the United Auto Workers and jettisoned pensions and health care plans for senior retirees — then had the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. pick up the tab.

In other words, he would’ve broken up the companies and sold off the pieces — just like he did at Bain. No inconsistency here. The bankruptcy business is right up his alley. No doubt, if he were still in the private sector, he would have made millions on the deal. If it cost America 1.4 million more lost jobs during the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, so be it. Take him at his word. {…}

Romney vowed last week, “When I make a promise to you, I will keep it.”

So let’s start taking him at his word. He’s going to cut millions of jobs across America, destroy the rights of workers to organize, privatize Medicare and public schools, roll back environmental protections, abandon clean-energy efforts, give corporations and the wealthy more tax cuts, appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and veto rational immigration reform.

Believe him when he says these things.

And then, get thee immediately to the nearest swing state and work like hell to make sure he doesn’t get the chance to do it.

Romney is either so completely tone-deaf or so convinced that he doesn’t need to worry about the votes of the 99% that he is actually visiting the EIT electronics plant in Sterling, Virginia today where people lost their jobs because of Bain’s business practices.

But these past weeks haven’t just been about Mitt Romney’s past showing us how he will be the Outsourcer-in-Chief if elected to be president. One event, in particular, shows us everything we need to know about who he will govern FOR as president. This past week, Romney held a retreat for supporters in Park City, Utah. Calling the attendees “supporters” is actually a misnomer. These are the wealthy elite that are bankrolling Romney’s presidential bid. And they expect something in return. In fact, a Romney spokesperson, in a moment of rare candor, called them investors. In other words, they expect a return on their investment in Mitt Romney.

It was the kind of image Mitt Romney has sought to blunt during his campaign for president: a prodigious display of wealth.

At a private retreat this weekend, major Romney campaign donors quaffed 1927 Port they’d brought in for the occasion, mingled in the lobby of a posh resort called the Chateaux at Silver Lake and watched an aerial display of Olympic ski jumpers.

Billed as a “senior leadership retreat,” the three-day gathering in Deer Valley was a reward for the wealthy GOP donors who have fueled Romney’s fundraising, giving at least $25,000 each or raising at least $100,000 by June 18. Many of the more than 700 who attended had donated much more. {…}

“They’re our major investors,” a senior Romney advisor said, declining to speak openly because of the campaign’s desire for secrecy.

Romney surrogate John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, said the event was meant to cater to donors who “appreciate being kept in the process after they’ve written the check.” {…}

The event was attended by so many millionaires and billionaires that the airport “looked like an Air Force base” according to one of the attendees.

These are the facts about Mitt Romney and they are simple ones:

  • Mitt Romney’s past is prelude to the future if he becomes president. Read Granholm’s piece. It says it all.
  • If Mitt Romney becomes president, there are many millionaire & billionaire investors that expect a return on their investment.

We have a choice to make in this country. On one side, we have a President who is looking out for those of us who aren’t rich enough to invest in a politician. On the other side, we have a candidate that is already so well-funded that he doesn’t need investment the likes of us.

Perhaps we should eat cake.

What remains to be seen is if Americans can see through the smoke and chaff being thrown up by nearly TWO BILLION DOLLARS in anti-Obama spending to the reality that we face.

God help us if they don’t.

[Romney photo credit: Anne C. Savage, CC Romney banker image by:]