Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, making a new effort to tout his tenure at Bain Capital LLC, said his work at the private-equity firm provided him with the knowledge to turn the U.S. economy around.
“The lessons from that time would help me as president to fix our economy, create jobs and get things done in Washington,” Romney wrote in an article in the Wall Street Journal. “A broad message emerges from my Bain Capital days: A good idea is not enough for a business to succeed. It requires a talented team, a good business plan and capital to execute it.”
The essay was published as the release of Bain documents by the website Gawker yesterday renewed the focus on Romney’s business career. More than 950 pages of confidential financial reports and investor correspondence, which Gawker obtained from someone it didn’t name, showed that Romney invested in funds run by his former firm that used investing and tax strategies beyond the reach of ordinary savers.
Romney in his article said his experience at Bain gave him the expertise he needed to run the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, and later to govern the state of Massachusetts. He also cited successful companies that Bain invested in, including the Staples Inc. office supplies chain that he said “is one of many businesses we helped create and expand.”
“I know what it takes to turn around difficult situations,” Romney said. “And I will put that experience to work, to get our economy back on track, create jobs, strengthen the middle class and lay the groundwork for America’s increased competitiveness in the world.”
President Barack Obama and allied political action committees have attacked Romney over his work at Bain, linking him to job layoffs and outsourcing by companies that the Boston- based private-equity firm invested in.
“We don’t need a president who wants to ship more jobs overseas,” Obama said last month to about 1,200 supporters in Cincinnati.
In a response to Romney’s article, the Obama campaign today said Romney at Bain forced companies into bankruptcy after loading them with debt to pay itself millions of dollars.
“Now he’s promised to bring that same economic philosophy to the White House -- a philosophy that is focused on turning a quick profit for investors, not a philosophy that would help grow America’s economy over the long term, create jobs, or strengthen the middle class,” said a spokesman, Danny Kanner, in a statement.
Romney’s championing of his Bain record was combined with criticism of Obama. He renewed his pledge to repeal the president’s health-care law that extends insurance coverage to 30 million Americans and was modeled after legislation Romney signed as Massachusetts’ governor.
Romney, who has said the state law wasn’t meant to apply nationally, said in his article he wants a replacement federal measure “that contains costs and improves care.”
He also promised to cap federal spending, lower taxes, and reduce government regulations.
“President Obama has piled on excessive regulations, proposed massive tax increases, added more than $5 trillion in federal debt, and failed to address the coming fiscal cliff -- all of which is miring our nation in sluggish growth and high unemployment,” Romney wrote.
“I’m not sure Bain Capital could have grown or turned around some of the companies we invested in had we faced today’s anti-business environment.”
Romney’s Republican nomination rivals also sought to make his tenure at Bain an issue during the primaries.
A super-political action committee supporting Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, aired a film during the primaries, “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” touted as “a story of greed, playing the system for a quick buck, a group of corporate raiders led by Mitt Romney, more ruthless than Wall Street.”
Gingrich has since endorsed Romney.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at email@example.com.