Priorities USA, the pro-Obama Super PAC, joins the battle to define Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital with a new 30-second ad which the group says will air on television and online in five states—Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Like the Obama campaign's initial ad on Romney's Bain record, Priorities USA focuses on GST Steel, the steel company taken over by Mitt Romney in 1993 in a deal that netted Bain Capital millions in profits even the fact that the company collapsed, destroying jobs and leaving taxpayers on the hook for bailing out the company's pension fund.
Pat Wells, Steelworker, GS Steel: With Romney and Bain Capital, the objective was to make money.As you can see, the Priorities USA ad is much harder hitting than the Obama campaign ad, going straight to the heart of the issue: that under Mitt Romney's leadership, the Bain way was to make money whether or not the companies they invested in succeeded. Romney's approach was "Heads I win, tails you lose." GST Steel is the perfect example of this: even though the company collapsed, destroying lives and livelihoods, Bain made millions—and taxpayers ultimately were stuck with the tab, bailing out the company's pension fund which Romney and his pals had raided.
Whether the companies they came in and worked with made money or not, was irrelevant. Bain Capital always made money. If we lost, they made money. If we survived, they made money. It’s as simple as that.
He promised us the same things he’s promising the United States. And he’ll give you the same thing he gave us. Nothing. He’ll take it all.
One key thing to understand here is that neither the Obama campaign nor Priorities USA is arguing that every single investment made by Romney or Bain ended up destroying the company. Sometimes the companies ended up doing quite well. But the point here is that even when companies collapsed, Bain made money—and they often made it at the expense of employees and taxpayers. Romney calls that free enterprise, but when you win no matter what happens, that's not free enterprise—that's rigging the game.
Romney has staked his entire campaign on the notion that his experience at Bain is what makes him qualified to be president. His job at Bain was creating jobs—or so his argument goes. But what the Obama campaign ads and what the Priorities USA ad points out is that Romney's job at Bain was to make money, not to create jobs. That's hardly unique—the core mission of every for-profit company is to make money. Moreover, there's nothing inherently wrong with that—but there is something wrong when you do it by stacking the deck. That's exactly what Mitt Romney did, and that's not a skill we need in the White House.