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Obama attacks Mitt business record in new battleground states ad

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WASHINGTON--The Obama for America campaign in a new ad running in five battleground states rips into Mitt Romney's boast that he can create jobs because he did while the chief at Bain Capital. The spot, running in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia features people who once worked at a steel plant, closed down after it was acquired by Bain. Romney is running on his resume--and the Obama team, since the January Iowa caucus--has been featuring former employees of companies shuttered by Bain.

(My January "Bain-in-the-butt" post is HERE.)

Meanwhile, team Romney is attacking President Barack Obama this week for not keeping promises about reducing government spending.

Romney campaign spokesman Andrea Saul, reacting to the Obama spot in a statement, said "We welcome the Obama campaign's attempt to pivot back to jobs and a discussion of their failed record. Mitt Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and more jobs as Governor of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation."

She also tried to change the subject by bringing up the Solyndra loan made by the Obama administration:

"President Obama has many questions to answer as to why his administration used the stimulus to reward wealthy campaign donors with taxpayer money for bad ideas like Solyndra, but 23 million Americans are still struggling to find jobs. If the Obama administration was less concerned about pleasing their wealthy donors and more concerned about creating jobs, America would be much better off. "

Saul said about the firm, GST Industries: "The Bankruptcy And Layoffs At GS Industries All Occurred AFTER Governor Romney Had Left Bain Capital in February 1999."

And Saul reminded, "Fact Checkers Have Stated That The Facts "Exonerate Romney" From Allegations Relating To Any Bain Deals In The Early 2000s. "We've gone over this problem with the Obama campaign before, awarding three Pinocchios to a January memo the team released blaming Romney for job losses and bad deals that took place after the former executive had stopped working for Bain. These facts essentially exonerate Romney from allegations that he was responsible for any outsourcing, bad deals and layoffs that occurred with Bain's companies in the early 2000s." (Josh Hicks, "Does Mitt Romney Love Outsourcing?" Washington Post, 5/4/12)"

The Obama folks hold a press call at 10:45 a.m. Monday on their new ad.
UPDATE Obama for America deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter was asked in the conference call about whether it was fair holding Mitt responsible for GST since he left Bain before the layoffs. Cutter said Mitt "set this in motion"--loading up the company with debt, high Bain fees and made the point Mitt still stood to make a profit from the deal. END UPDATE

below, release from Obama for America campaign....

OFA Announces New Television Ad, Online Video and Website to Examine Mitt Romney's Business Philosophy

CHICAGO, IL -- Obama for America will hold a press conference call today announcing a new ad, video and website that take a look at Mitt Romney's business philosophy and what it would mean for the American economy.

The campaign is releasing a six-minute video featuring the story of GST Steel, which was purchased by Bain Capital and subsequently shuttered after more than 100 years of business. After purchasing the company, Mitt Romney and his partners loaded it with debt, closed the Kansas City plant and walked away with a healthy profit, leaving hundreds of employees out of work with their pensions in jeopardy. The campaign is also releasing a two-minute ad featuring the story of GST Steel that will run in select battleground states.

The video will be featured on, a new website that allows the American people to learn the real story of Mitt Romney's business record. The website includes case studies of other companies that suffered under Mitt Romney's management, as well as a breakdown of the questionable business practices used by Mitt Romney and his partners.

Mitt Romney has repeatedly cited his business experience as his chief qualification to be President, claiming he would use it to boost the economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit. examines what kind of businessman Mitt Romney actually was - and what that would mean for our economy. Romney's business strategy wasn't about strengthening companies and creating jobs for long-term economic growth. It wasn't about investors and workers playing by the same set of rules, and it certainly wasn't about creating an economy built to last by rewarding hard work and responsibility and strengthening the security of middle-class families.

In a career of buying and selling companies, Romney's pattern was to reap quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities. Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits. In Romney's economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules - one for people like him, another for everyone else. examines a simple question - are the lessons and values Mitt Romney drew from his time in business the lessons and values America wants in our President?

While Mitt Romney wants to go back to the philosophy that created the economic crisis, President Obama is moving America forward - to an economy built to last, where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.

Today's conference call will feature Joe Soptic, a former employee who lost his job after Bain Capital closed the Kansas City GST Steel plant, David Foster, the lead negotiator for the workers at GST Steel, and Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter.

Please click here to watch "Steel" - OFA's new ad that will be airing in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia. Please click here to read the backup.

WHAT: Press conference call on Mitt Romney's business philosophy.

WHO: Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter
Joe Soptic, former GST Steel employee
David Foster, lead negotiator for the workers at GST Steel

WHEN: 10:45 AM EDT // 9:45 AM CDT
Monday, May 14, 2012


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 14, 2012 7:58 AM.

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