Obama campaign calls Romney corporate raider
January 13th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Obama campaign calls Romney corporate raider

In a new memo Stephanie Cutter, deputy Obama campaign manager, calls Mitt Romney "a corporate raider" who profited from the nations economic crisis, left "devastation" in his wake, and played by a "rulebook for those at the top".

Previewing what's likely to become a central general election theme should Romney become the nominee, she argues voters need to know that when Romney was at Bain Capital job creation was never his goal, earning money for investors was.

Cutter writes:

"Mitt Romney has staked his entire candidacy on one claim: that his “real world” experience in the private equity business uniquely qualifies him to lead our economy and the nation. Much as he did when he ran for governor ofMassachusetts, Romney argues that his business experience would translate to more jobs for Americans. (InMassachusetts, it didn’t. During his term there, the state fell to 47th in the nation in job creation.) But in fairness, Romney’s objective in business was never job creation. As one of his colleagues recently told the Los Angeles Times:

“I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation,” said Mark B. Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain, who worked closely with Romney for nine years before forming his own firm. “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”

To achieve that end, Romney closed over a thousand plants, stores and offices, and cut employee wages, benefits and pensions. He laid off American workers and outsourced their jobs to other countries. And he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars while taking companies to bankruptcy."

 She also challenges Romney's claim to have created 100,000 jobs and argues that Romney supported companies that outsourced both as governor and in private equity.

The memo details outsourcing at a Bain controlled factory closing inSouth Carolina- the site of the next GOP primary. And quotes Warren Buffet saying "I don't like what private-equity firms do in terms of taking out every dime they can and leveraging (companies) up so that they really aren't equipped in some cases for the future."

In an interview on CBS Mitt Romney recently defended his practices at Bain saying,“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler — closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers — he did it to try to save the business.”

The campaign tells CNN they believe there's no comparison between the two because the President's "goal was to save 1.4 million American jobs and a hallmark of American manufacturing" and Romney’s "did it to make a profit the goal was not job creation." The campaign and the Cutter memo both point out Romney already made clear he wouldn't have extended the loan that saved Chrysler and GM.

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Topics: 2012 Election • Campaign • President Obama • The Buzz

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Matthias Klein

    Let's face the dire truth. The US is founded on vulture capitalism. What else is slavery?

    It is a myth that capitalism is pure and good by itself and must not be regulated. It is now time to stand up for true righteousness and expose the hypocrisy. 

    Remember the civil war and how unwillingness and stubborness led to the bloodiest war in the history of the US. Great Britain got rid of slavery in a peaceful way. The United States, where all men are created equal on paper, had to have it pried out of their fingers.

    What would happen if the rich, who profit from vulture capitalism, and their powerful friends in the media and in Washington, are as stubborn and unwilling to acknowledge the evil of vulture capitalism. Why would God not bring justice to those oppressed by this selfish system as He did for the slaves?

    January 13, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • John

      Nobody says capitalism doesn't need regulation. Saying that the Repubs are saying this is a myth created by the Dems – just like when they say the Repubs want dirty air and dirty water.
      You really think any employee working for someone is a slave? If yes, I feel sorry for you.
      The hate and class warfare BO and his administration has generated is intentional. It was like a couple of weeks ago when Axelrod said this about Newt "the more the monkey climbs the pole the more you can see his butt". He knew what he was saying and he also know if someone tried to say this about BO that person would be called a racist.
      The top 1% paid 29% of ALL FEDERAL TAXES. This number is up from 15% in 2000. The "I need mine mentality" stems from "everyone is a winner, everyone gets a trophy mentality". Life isn't fair. Some people win and some people lose. We have a new generation who have been coddled. It has set them, and much of this country, up for failure.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • T

        I have no sympathy for the last part of your argument. The reason the top 1% are paying a larger share of total taxes is because they have a larger and larger share of total wealth. If we had a thriving middle class whose real incomes hadn't been shrinking over the past decade, those numbers would look very different. That's how you broaden the tax base and distribute the tax burden. Republican fiscal policy hasn't stood the test of time; we need a different solution (and no, I don't mean socialism).

        January 16, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Joey

      So I assume your remedy for this is for the USA to switch to Socialism? You obviously hate capitalism.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:30 am |
    • yankhadenuf

      When I read about Mitt Romney, he reminds me of Frank Lorenzo, king of the "sweetheart deals" in the airline industry. Lorenzo bashed unions contracts and sold off airline assets to the point of bankrupting these huge industry icons. This is the legacy of corporate raiders.

      On the flip side, read the quotes of the man who built Eastern Air Lines from the ground up, Eddie Rickenbacker:

      "Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible. "
      Eddie Rickenbacker

      "Courage is doing what you are afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you are scared."
      Eddie Rickenbacker

      "I would rather have a million friends than a million dollars."
      Eddie Rickenbacker

      "The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence."
      Eddie Rickenbacker

      Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/eddie_rickenbacker.html#ixzz1jRk8oYem

      January 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  2. durundal

    I am surprised that the libertarians and austrians arent up in arms over the whole 'private sector experience works the same as public sector'. Seeing as the two are mutually exclusive and deal with different sectors and different behavior, its kind of surprising that people manage to dupe themselves into thinking a 'businessman' is qualified to be a public servant, in the same sense that a government can operate efficiently as a 'for-profit' entity (and still provide adequate levels of public goods). This notion of added efficiency from nowhere is laughable at best, and shows the childish minds of those who proscribe it

    January 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • steveo

      Having a business background is not a disqualifier. If by "businessman" you are referring to Romney, he also has government experience! There are some similiarities between the private and public sectors. Both operate on budgets. You bust the budget in the private sector and your toast, or you borrow! ! You bust the budget in the public sector and you print more money, raise taxes, or borrow from the Chinese! This is a slam on DC as a whole, both Ds and Rs Both parties have done exactly this!

      January 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  3. Joe

    Let us be clear on this, what was Romney main intention when he CEO of Bain? It is just simple, creating of wealth for himself and the investors. Bain bought companies that are in distress and turn them to profit but to the detriment of the workers and this means that wages will be cut, pension and benefits reduced. Outsourcing of the jobs to countries with cheaper labor was implemented and that means loss of jobs to American workers but more profit to the new company.
    Take a look at his governorship days in Massachusetts, the state slipped to the 47th in the country on job creation, it did not improve and that is when the economy was in good shape. With the economy is this shape now, what do you think Romney expertise will do ?

    January 13, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • John

      47th in job creation – why don't you look up the unemployment rate in MA compared to the rest of the country while he was in office. It may hurt your argument.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  4. John

    Hey CNN, why no mention that BO has received more money from Bain Capitol than all the Repub Presidential candidates combined?
    Just so everyone knows – I like being able to fire people who don't provide services to me I pay for. What a joke CNN is. What they have done with this story is a prime example of why their ratings are going through the floor.

    January 13, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  5. george of the jungle

    John you are an idiot. I think this is a pretty tame memo conscidering the comments the repo candidated are makeing on this same subject. Seems like newt and perry both agree with the memo by all the stuff they are saying. For that matter so does rick. Truth hurts . But im sure ol used car salesman mitt will have yet another respose. This different than the last

    January 13, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • John

      You should get out of your PJ's and leave the basement you are in so we can meet up sometime you coward. I'd love to see you call me a name to my face.
      If you have any experience in business at all you should know some businesses are run poorly and some businesses are impacted by external forces, but either way, you can't keep a failing business going forever. You need to sell it or restructure it. Any way you cut it people lose jobs initially. If the business comes back jobs return and are expanded upon. That is capitalism and it is based on individual rights (something maybe you do not understand). The primary concern for any business is to create wealth, either for your shareholders or to do with what you may. Either way, if a business doesn't create wealth it goes away.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • steveo

      Didn't Solydra let people go as well? That is AFTER an infusion of taxpayer funding. Where's the outrage for that? Perry and Newt are using this (while ignoring all the jobs Bain created) to score cheap political points!

      January 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • John

        Solyndra did let people go – but guess who is giving out $500,000 in bonuses this year – that is correct – Solyndra. Bonuses will range from 8% to 38% of worker's base pay. The employees in question make between $72,000 and $206,000.

        January 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • steveo


        I read that today and I hope somebody has the courage to put a stop to this. How is leading a company to bankruptcy worthy of a bonus? A better question is how can a company go bankrupt within months after a half billion dollar bailout? All those clowns did in DC was to take the 5th! Only the guilty plead the 5th!

        January 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  6. jdhartlv

    Its called trimming dead weight, a concept in which the Federal government has yet to grasp. First rule in any successful business get rid of the people that everyone else has to carry on their backs. Its not that I like Romney, I just like the idea of someone who is willing to trim the fat out of our bloated government.

    January 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  7. Hongli

    Mitt Romney was never liked,is never liked and will never be liked by the American people because he left thousands in DISASTER. Just take a keen look at his face when he's speaking and you will see that Mitt Romney is not a REAL MAN.

    January 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • John

      What "disaster" are you talking about? I do not like Mitt, but it is looking more and more like he has my vote. Downsizing any company is a horrible job. The way to do it right is to care for the people who have to be let go. I haven't heard any horror stories of people driving into bridges or anything like that – that Romney let go. I have seen angry people who lost their jobs when the company they worked for was restructured. It happens – it happened to me. I understood the situation, appreciated the many years of employment I did have with a particular company, and I moved on.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  8. Nobama

    Cutt always works for failed presidential campaign, like John Kerry's!

    January 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  9. Nobama

    Stephanie Cutter always works for failed presidential campaign, like John Kerry's!

    January 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  10. Melodramatic

    Mitt Robbery is bad for this country. Only thinks about himself, and his rich buddies. He and his followers are a bunch of false rumor mongrels. They are pregnant with trouble, and give birth to lies!

    June 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm |