Obama campaign airing 1st ad critical of Romney’s role in private equity firm-Romney the Job killer.
— President Barack Obama is opening a new advertising assault on
challenger Mitt Romney’s record as a businessman — his primary strength
with an American electorate still deeply worried about the economy —
casting the likely Republican nominee as a greedy entrepreneur who
bought up companies and wiped out jobs.
The unusually long
2-minute ad began appearing Monday and will be aired Wednesday in five
U.S. states that have a history of voting for both Republican and
Democratic presidential candidates. It uses interviews with former
workers to recount the restructuring and ultimate demise of a Missouri
steel mill after it was bought by Romney’s investment company. Romney
still maintains a financial interest in the company.
“They made as
much money off of it as they could. And they closed it down,” says Joe
Soptic, a steelworker for 30 years. Jack Cobb adds: “It was like a
vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us.”
The attack on Romney intensifies a separate $25 million, monthlong ad campaign already under way in nine states.
opened business Monday with a commencement address at all-female
Barnard College in New York City before heading to two campaign events
later in the day.
Speaking to graduates of the class of 2012,
Obama recalled the recession that was gripping the country when he
graduated nearly 30 years ago from Columbia College, just across the
street from Barnard.
The president said opportunities for women
have grown exponentially since he left Columbia. And they will continue
getting better, he said, despite the lingering effects of the Great
Recession and stubborn 8.1 per cent unemployment.
“As tough as things have been, I’m convinced you are tougher,” the president said.
the course of a week of global economic and military diplomacy — the G8
and NATO summits — Obama also holds campaign events in Florida,
Missouri, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina, where he will focus on
Romney’s role at Bain Capital, a company he co-founded.
Joe Biden was holding two days of events in Ohio, where he was expected
to discuss Romney’s role as a corporate buyout specialist.
campaign officials said they “welcome” any discussion about jobs. “Mitt
Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and
more jobs as governor of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the
entire nation,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
former Massachusetts governor was spending the day in Boston, with no
public events scheduled, after delivering a commencement speech at an
evangelical university in Virginia on Saturday.
Romney has accused
Obama of attacking free enterprise and calls the criticism of his
business background an attempt by Democrats to distract voters from the
Both candidates are trying to shift the focus
back to voters’ No. 1 issue, the economy, from social issues that
dominated the past week after the president announced his support for
The two campaigns contend that in a nation where
unemployment is hovering around 8 per cent, voters will choose between
Obama and Romney based on economic arguments. Obama is trying to
convince voters to stick with him as he heralds an economic rebound, as
sluggish as it is. Romney counters that Obama has had enough time, and
only he — with his deep background in business — knows how to jumpstart
the nation’s job market.
Obama, hosting his first campaign rally
earlier this month in Ohio, gave a preview of the new line of attack,
saying Romney had “drawn the wrong lessons” from his business experience
at the helm of Bain.
“He doesn’t seem to understand that
maximizing profits by whatever means necessary — whether through layoffs
or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union-busting — might not always be
good for the average American or for the American economy,” Obama said.
a multimillionaire, left Bain in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympic
Games but continued to receive payouts from the company’s profits. He
has said that his firm had a strong overall record, creating jobs in
prominent companies like Staples and Sports Authority, while
acknowledging that some companies Bain invested in were unsuccessful.
new ad, which reprises criticism leveled at Romney during the
Republican primaries, focuses on one of those unsuccessful companies,
Bain was the majority shareholder in GST Steel
beginning in 1993. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2001, a
period in which the U.S. steel industry was roiled by a flood of cheap
steel imports. About 750 workers lost their jobs and were left without
health insurance and reduced pensions. The federal government was forced
to infuse $44 million into the company’s underfunded pension plan.
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