The Bain of Mitt Romney

Newark Mayor Cory Booker probably didn’t have best week of his life last week. The rising Democratic star’s comments on President Obama’s latest ad calling Bain Capital a “vampire" (cont.)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker probably didn’t have best week of his life last week. The rising Democratic star’s comments on President Obama’s latest ad calling Bain Capital a “vampire” managed to completely derail the message that the campaign was trying to push.

That’s not exactly what a campaign surrogate is supposed to shoot for when advocating for a candidate, and Mayor Booker had to deal with the fallout amongst party faithful.

While Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital is now back in the spotlight, as President Obama’s campaign desired, the question people are asking about it this time is whether or not it’s even a worthy subject to discuss. Is it fair to discuss Mitt Romney’s private-sector job?

To be frank, yes. If Mitt Romney’s pitch is that he’s the businessman to solve the economic problems that he says President Obama has created, then probing how he ran one of the biggest financial firms in the county is the best way to prove, or disprove, that point. Voters are going to be able to find the most insight into his leadership style and ethos when looking at what he did while in the financial sector. Romney’s campaign would like us to focus on his record, after all.

In fact, it really seems like this discussion is less about whether or not Bain Capital should be spoken of, and more about disagreeing over the conclusions that are being drawn about his time there. Romney is eager to talk up his experience there, at least, until he’s called a vulture capitalist or it’s mentioned that private equity usually has to slash a significant amount of jobs in order to save the companies that they buy up. Those are criticisms that rebut his job creator title, and it’s reasonable to expect his campaign doesn’t want to talk about those except to contest them.

The problem is these criticisms are seen as an attack upon leveraged buyouts, which has the business community that practices them up in arms. However, the idea of leveraged buyouts is different than what Mitt Romney is trying to say it is. Despite trying to subtly imply it, the firms that practice it do not exist to save the types of jobs that most Americans need their government to focus on right now.

Instead, they’re about saving the investments that firms have made in a now-failing corporation. This is an important role that helps keep the portfolios that Americans invest in every day stable. But this stability comes at the cost of eliminating inefficiencies, which are usually people who needed the eliminated job to support their family. It’s up to the voters to decide how they feel about that.

The crux of the argument that President Obama’s reelection campaign is making is that Mitt Romney is not automatically an expert at creating jobs because of working for a company like Bain Capital. Because Mitt Romney is making that argument himself, Bain Capital is valid to mention.

Reprinted from State Senator Curt Thompson's (D-5th) blog. Also, check the Senator out on Facebook and Twitter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Cook May 31, 2012 at 06:25 PM
The information is publicly available, if you take time to look and read. Read the Funding And Early History section of the Wikipedia article on Bain Capital. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bain_Capital Romney and two partners started the company in 1984. They had two other employees and several investors. Within ten years, the company had over 100 employees, and today employees more than 400, with offices in several major cities. Romney gave away his entire substantial inheritance to charities. His wealth is attributable to his own hard and wise work. Bain Capital slowly and carefully selected companies that they researched and believed could be profitable. They bought companies that were already in trouble, so they were successful only half of the time. The successes were very profitable and outweighed the losses, saving many existing jobs and creating many new jobs. When a company failed, they sold the assets in order to recoup as much of the investors' money as possible. For this they are unfairly called vultures and vampires. Those who lost jobs hate them; those who got jobs because of their successes love them.
John Cook May 31, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Sen. Thompson, Thanks for feeling compelled to declare that the voters should make up their own mind regarding Bain Capital. Because of this article, I did some online research and found information that I did not know previously. Bain Capital has rescued just as many companies from financial collapse as you can point to that have failed under their management. Critics have never pointed to that fact. Since the companies already had a depressed stock price which made the buyout possible, I would say Bain has an excellent management and job-saving record. That may be why employee unions invest their pension funds with Bain. The union workers need a secure investment with a good record of return. And I'm sure that the unions would not invest with a company that makes a habit of vampiring and vulturing union jobs, would they?
Tammy Osier June 01, 2012 at 03:18 AM
I agree. Problem is that most people don't do their own research, thus making it easy for mass media to be disingenuous ( means lacking in candor) as in some of the latest negative tv ads that don't give you the entire picture. It's unfortunate that people take information at face value and don't check things out to find out what the whole truth is. Maybe this article will cause a few people to do just that.
Greg Williams June 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM
How many jobs would have been lost if the companies failed and closed all the factories?
lee kellogg June 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM
I don't know either is a perfectly honest response. I'm not a paid heckler. Mitt wouldn't want me anyway, too interested in specifics.


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