The progressive activist group UnitedNY is sending a group of people who have “worked for various companies owned by Bain Capital” to Tampa to serve as “ambassadors for the 99%” at the Republican National Convention. UnitedNY announced their convention plans today via a press release inviting reporters to watch the Bain workers depart from JFK on Saturday.
“The workers traveling to Tampa have worked for various companies owned by Bain Capital, a private equity firm Mitt Romney founded in 1984. They will participate in protests to draw attention to the harmful effects a “Romney-Ryan” economy would have on the vast majority of Americans,” the press release said.
After a brief respite for the holiday weekend, the battle over Bain Capital waged on in the presidential race. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul took the first shot on CNN this morning by saying Mitt Romney’s work at the private equity firm led to more new jobs than President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House.
“Governor Romney has 25 years of experience as a businessman and entrepreneur, creating jobs. The only thing President Obama’s ever managed is his own narrative,” Ms. Saul told CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien. “Governor Romney has that experienced, he’s learned from his successes and failures and he created more jobs at Bain Capital, or helped create more jobs at Bain Capital, than President Obama has in the entire nation as president.”
At a campaign rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines last night, President Barack Obama reiterated his campaign’s message that their criticism of Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital isn’t an attack on the private equity industry as a whole. President Obama said the discussion of Bain is about wheter Mr. Romney’s time “engaged in corporate buyouts” was proper preparation for the presidency.
“He should be proud of the great personal success he’s had as a CEO of a large financial firm. There are plenty of good and honest people in that industry, and there’s an important, creative role for it in the free market,” said the president. “But Governor Romney has made his experience as a financial CEO the entire rationale of his candidacy for president. Now, he doesn’t really talk about what he did in Massachusetts. But he does talk about being a business — business guy. Right? He says this gives him a special understanding of what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. … So I think it’s a good idea to look at the way he sees the economy.”
Though the Obama campaign has repeatedly attacked Mitt Romney for his career at Bain Capital, President Obama still accepted $7,500 in campaign contributions from two Bain executives. His campaign press secretary, Ben LaBolt told The Politicker the president has no intention of giving the money back.
“No one aside from Mitt Romney is running for President highlighting their tenure as a corporate buyout specialist as one of job creation, when in fact, his goal was profit maximization,” said Mr. LaBolt. ”The President has support from business leaders across industries who have seen him pull the economy back from the brink of another depression, manufacturing and the auto industry revived, and support his agenda to build an economy that lasts where America outinnovates and outeducates the rest of the world and economic security for the middle class is restored.”
Mitt Romney is currently on a fundraising swing through New York City and Democrats like Congressman Jerry Nadler and state party chairman Jay Jacobs used the occasion to blast, as Mr. Nadler framed it, Mr. Romney’s economic “wizardry.”
Of course, neither Mr. Nadler or Mr. Jacobs would attack the financial industry with the same rhetoric as officials in other parts of the country — Mr. Nadler’s district contains many people who work in Wall Street and Mr. Jacobs undoubtedly raises plenty of money from that constituency as well.
Battle Over Bain
At an event in New Hampshire today, Vice President Joe Biden launched the latest salvo in the Obama campaign’s continuing attacks on Mitt Romney for his work at the private equity firm Bain Capital. He defended the validity of discussing Mr. Romney’s career and characterized Bain as a parasitic corporation.
“Governor Romney has a trump card, he says. He says he is better qualified to be Commander-in-Chief because of his business experience. … So look, he raised it. So let’s take a look at his business experience,” Mr. Biden said. “You hear all these stories about his partners buying companies … where they load up with a tremendous amount of debt. The companies go under, everybody loses their job, the community is devastated, but they make money. They make money even when a company goes bankrupt, when workers lose their jobs.”
Today, political types were focused on Cory Booker’s Bain brouhaha, President Obama’s throwing arm and the New Republic‘s new editor. Here’s our roundup of the day’s best Tweets from the campaign trail.
Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod defended the campaign’s continued attacks on Mitt Romney’s work with Bain Capital in an appearance on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports this afternoon. Mr. Axelrod said Bain is a legitimate campaign issue because Mr. Romney regularly touts his business career and because some of the episodes at the company are “disturbing.”
“Governor Romney offers his business experience as his principal and really his chief credential for running for office, he never talks about his years as Massachusetts governor and I think for good reason because they weren’t stellar years. This is his argument: ‘I was a businessman. I can lead the economy.’ So it behooves us to ask exactly ‘what did you do?’” Mr. Axelrod said. “Some of these cases are disturbing and deserve to be looked at. … He can’t walk away from this.”
After President Barack Obama’s campaign released a television ad attacking Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, Mr. Romney’s campaign shot back with an ad crediting him with helping to build a company called Steel Dynamics.
“SDI almost never got started. When others shied away, Mitt Romney’s private sector leadership team stepped in,” a narrator says in the ad.
This morning, the Obama campaign rolled out a new ad blasting Mitt Romney’s record as co-founder of Bain Capital. Mr. Romney’s campaign fired back by challenging the veracity of the ad and the president’s “failed record” on the economy.
“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,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “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.”