On CNN today Obama reelection strategist David Axelrod spread more Bain pain for Mitt Romney by pointing out that the GOP frontrunner made millions by bankrupting a dozen companies.
Here’s the video:
CROWLEY: Let me talk a bit about Bain Capital, where Mitt Romney, you know, ran the company.
AXELROD: I’ve heard that.
CROWLEY: He has — it has been quite the rage subject on the campaign trail. And one of the things that you all have said and tried to reiterate what some of his Republican rivals are saying is, listen, this guy is a big corporate raider; he went in; he, you know, closed up companies, lost all these jobs.
He was asked about this recently on CBS, and I want to tell you — I want to play for our audience something he said.
CROWLEY: You’ve got to do things that are tough to try to save a business. Does he have a point?
AXELROD: Let me point out that there are 150,000 more people working in the auto industry because of what the president did.
CROWLEY: There are, but they did lay off people.
AXELROD: And we would have lost — if we had followed Governor Romney’s prescription, which was to let Detroit go — he famously wrote an op-ed saying let Detroit go bankrupt. If that had happened, we would have lost 1.4 million jobs. The reason that his — his work at Bain is an issue is because Governor Romney has offered his business experience as his sole credential, really, for being president of the United States. So it behooves everybody to look at what that experience is.
The truth is that he closed 1,000 or more factories, stores and offices. He outsourced tens of thousands of jobs. He took 12…
AXELROD: Just a second. He took 12 companies to bankruptcy, on which he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars.
CROWLEY: But the point here is, I think, that doesn’t he have a point by showing, look, the president had to say to GM, for instance, you’ve got to lose some of these jobs. They closed up dealerships. So in order to make the company healthy and able to move on to then create more jobs, he had to cut jobs?
AXELROD: Look, first of all, the bankruptcies that I — that I cited, the 12 bankruptcies, were ones in which he participated, in which he and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars. He is the one who is claiming job gains for companies — from companies after he and his — Bain got out of them, years after he and Bain got out of them. I’m just assigning to him the things that he personally…
CROWLEY: We’re talking about a record that isn’t there at the moment.
AXELROD: … that he was responsible for. But in terms — and closing — you know, saving an industry, as the president did, is different than stripmining companies in order to — in order to profit off of them, which is, in many cases, what — what Mr. Romney did.
Again, he’s entitled to do that. That is — that was his business practice. He’s entitled to do that. Nobody is begrudging him that. The question is, is that the philosophy that you want in the White House? Is that the economic vision for this country outsourcing, offshoring, stripping down companies, lowering wages, lowering benefits? I don’t think that’s the future for this country.
Axelrod brought up a good point, and despite Candy Crowley’s best efforts to try to turn Romney’s record into an attack on Obama, the message was clear as a bell. Mitt Romney made millions by killing jobs. In business there is a huge difference between making cuts to keep the company alive and those who buy companies to strip them of their assets and leave them for dead. Mitt Romney made his money by gutting companies and killing jobs.
Romney still hasn’t figured out how to effectively explain away what he did at Bain, and he most likely won’t be able to. As has been pointed out previously, the Obama auto bailout created ten times more jobs than Mitt Romney did while he was at Bain. What Axelrod gave the Romney campaign was a little taste of what is going to be waiting for them in the fall. If the Romney people think Bain is no big deal because that line of attack hasn’t been effective in the Republican primary, they had better think again.
Obama has been positioning himself for months as the defender of working people and the middle class. The contrast that the Obama campaign is going to emphasize is the difference between a president who will fight for working people and the middle class, and a challenger who made his fortune by killing the very same jobs that Obama is trying to create.
If Mitt Romney thought the primary attacks have been bad, wait until he gets a load of the Bain pain that Obama is going to unleash on him this fall.