The following is a copy of a speech, as prepared for delivery, by David Foster, Former employee at a Company controlled by Romney's Bain Capital, at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, September 5, 2012.
I'm David Foster, and I was a steelworker for 31 years. For 15 years, I laid brick and tapped the furnaces, and did all that hard, dirty work that turned molten metal into the cars and bridges and buildings that make America what it is today.
I also led the steelworkers in the upper Midwest, including GST Steel in Kansas City, a 100-year old company bought by Mitt Romney and his partners at Bain Capital in 1993. It's a story that I wish didn't have to be told, but America needs to know the truth.
When Romney and Bain took over the mill, they loaded it up with millions in debt—and within months, they used some of that borrowed money to pay themselves millions. Within a decade, the debt kept growing and was so large the company was forced into bankruptcy.
They fired 750 steelworkers while they pocketed $12 million in profit. A steelworker at GST Steel would have had to work 240 years to make $12 million.
In 2001, with GST bankrupt and Romney still CEO of Bain, I stood in front of hundreds of steelworkers in their 50s and 60s, and retirees in their 70s and 80s, and told them Romney and Bain had broken their promises. Jobs, vacation pay, severance, health insurance and pension benefits that were promised—they were all gone.
Now, some companies succeed; others fail. I know that. But I also know this: We don't need a president who fires steelworkers or says, "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
We need the leadership of a man who, during the darkest hours for America's auto industry, rolled up his sleeves, risked his presidency, and saved over one million good auto jobs. We need Barack Obama.