One thing to keep an eye out for during GOP debate in Tampa is the story of how Mitt Romney made $242 million for Bain by killing jobs in Florida.
According to the Tampa Bay Times,
It started in 1995, when Romney’s Bain Capital targeted the company that became Dade Behring, which made blood-testing machines and performed animal research at its Miami campus.
Bain borrowed heavily to buy the company and closed a factory in Puerto Rico to improve the bottom line. About 400 lost jobs there. Then in 1997, Bain shuttered Dade Behring’s Miami operations, costing another 850 jobs and a $30 million payroll in the community.
Before growing debt consumed the company, Bain executed its exit strategy and made $242 million.
The Obama campaign has already seized on this story. In a memo released today, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina wrote, “In Florida, things won’t get any better. At Bain, Romney invested in Dade Behring, a profitable medical-equipment company, ran it into the ground, and caused 850 workers in Miami to lose their jobs. Twice as many lost their jobs across the nation. For most investors, that would count as a devastating failure. For Romney, it was a rousing success: at their direction, the company borrowed nearly $250 million and distributed it to Bain and its Wall Street partners. While Romney and his Bain partners made millions, the company went into bankruptcy.”
Mitt Romney has tried to explain away the criticism of his time running Bain as being perpetuated by people who are either jealous of, or punishing him for his success. Romney doesn’t seem to understand that his “success” cost thousands of people their jobs and devastated the economies of local communities. His Bain success spread pain and misery to families all across America. I suspect that Newt Gingrich will make Dade Behring a centerpiece of his attack against Romney tonight.
Two polls released today found that Newt Gingrich has surged into the lead in Florida. The Insider Advantage poll has Gingrich leading Romney by 8 points, 34%-26%, and a new Rasmussen survey has Gingrich leading, 41%-32%. These debates have been the fuel for Newt Gingrich’s campaign. Gingrich is an expert at stealing the spotlight and crafting the sound bite moments that dominate the post-debate media coverage. In contrast, Mitt Romney has revealed himself to be a vanilla debater. Romney tends to use his stump speech to answer debate questions and his main applause lines are generated by attacks on President Obama.
No matter what Romney throws at Gingrich tonight if he can’t come up with a way to explain away the Bain, he is a fatally flawed and doomed candidate. Be on the lookout for the name Dade Behring tonight. If the company is mentioned, Romney’s answer may make or break his presidential campaign.