Entries in Bain (4)


Day After GOP Convention, Biden Slams Romney, Ryan

ABC News(LORDSTOWN, Ohio) – Vice President Joe Biden slammed the Republican ticket on Friday, just one day after Mitt Romney officially accepted his party’s nomination, saying that much of what they spoke about at the convention “wasn’t on the level.”

Speaking before a local auto workers union, Biden criticized Ryan for linking President Obama to the closing of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., Ryan’s hometown, but the plant actually stopped producing GM vehicles in 2008 while George W. Bush was still president. Biden didn’t mention that the plant completely ceased operations – a small force continued work for Isuzu -  in April of 2009, several months after Obama took office.

“You heard Congressman Ryan on Wednesday night, in a stirring speech, blame the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville on the president of the United States. Folks, let’s look at the facts. The one thing the congressman was right about, and I know from my own community of the two plants closed in Delaware, it was devastating for the people of this community,” Biden said at the local UAW 1714.

“But what he didn’t tell you is that plant in Janesville actually closed when President Bush was still in office. He didn’t tell you that,” Biden said. “What they didn’t say, but for the sacrifices you all made, and the courage of the president of the United States, all those GM plants would be closed here, across the country.”

The plant rolled its last GM SUV out the door in December 2008 and stayed open for a few months in 2009 to complete orders on Isuzu vehicles. The plant then went into standby mode and has remained in that status ever since.

Biden, who was speaking at a union site close to a new GM plant that’s set to produce the new Chevy Cruze, pointed to new jobs and investments made in the auto industry here in Lordstown, along with the $23 billion companies like Ford, Chrysler and General Motors have promised to invest in production on American soil.

“What they didn’t say at their convention is because of the auto rescue, there are 4,500 of you working here today making a decent wage. What he didn’t say, GM is adding two shifts, GM has already announced a $200 million investment here in Lordstown,” Biden said. “It’s not the Bain way, not in Mexico, not in China, not in Vietnam, but in Lordstown, in Detroit, in Toledo, in Cleveland. Made in America.”

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said, “The vice president can’t answer for this administration’s unfulfilled promises and failed record. The president inherited a troubled economy, but he’s not made it better – he’s made it worse, with fewer jobs and lower incomes for middle-class families. Like many towns across America, Janesville, Wisconsin, is still waiting for the recovery the president promised.”

Biden criticized Romney’s position on the auto bailout and lobbed a new Bain attack at Romney, citing a recent piece by Rolling Stone correspondent  Tim Dickinson that alleges Romney was, said Biden, “willing to go to extremes to secure a federal bailout” for Bain.

“You know, he’s absolutely against the federal government or any government using funds to save jobs and save industries. That’s not his view in the free enterprise way. He says it’s bad for business, except when it comes to his business,” Biden said. “The way Bain Consulting reorganized cost the government and American taxpayers $10 million.”

“Now, imagine that. It was one thing when a million middle-class jobs were on the line. It was another thing when his own financial interests and those of his partners are on the line. And now — and now they say they care about the middle class. Isn’t it amazing how they found the middle class? They were searching all around, and they found it,” Biden said to laughter.

Biden told the crowd he was proud to speak before a group of autoworkers because “as the son of an automobile man, this makes me feel good. My dad sold what you make, and he sold Chevys, by the way.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama ‘Won’t Be Apologizing’ for Bain Attacks on Romney

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republicans continue to call on President Obama and his campaign to give an apology for questioning Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital. They won’t be getting one.

“No, we won’t be apologizing,” the president said in an interview aired on Sunday. “Sometimes these games are played during political campaigns. Understand what the issues are here: Mr. Romney claims he’s Mr. Fix-it for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience.”

Speaking to NBC’s Richmond, Va., affiliate station, WAVY-TV, Obama invoked a past White House occupant in an argument he has used for days on the campaign trail.

“Harry Truman said ‘the buck stops with me,’ and I think understandably people are going to be interested in, are you in fact responsible for this company you say is one of your primary calling cards for your wanting to be President,” he said.

On Thursday an Obama campaign manager upped the ante on Romney’s final days at Bain Capital by suggesting the Republican candidate had either lied to the public or misrepresented “his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony,” by saying he had left the company in 1999. Romney gave five network interviews to defend himself, stating the Obama campaign had gone “out of control.”

That spokeswoman doubled down on the attack on Sunday by stating there was no point in “arguing the semantics” of whether he was officially active at the firm during the time.

“If you’re signing an SEC document with your own signature that you’re the president, C.E.O., chairman of the board and 100 percent owner of a company, in what world are you living in that you’re not in charge?” Stephanie Cutter said on CBS.

On ABC’s “This Week,” former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it another way:

“As president of the United States you can’t have a sign on your desk that says, ‘Gone fishing,’” the Chicago mayor said.

Emanuel and Cutter had come to represent the Democratic side in the row at the heart of the issue: Whether Romney could be held responsible for layoffs and outsourcing at Bain properties after he supposedly left to manage the U.S. Olympic Committee.

On the other side of the table: Romney adviser Kevin Madden.

“The reason there is a document in 2002 that had his signature is, during that transition from 1999 to 2002 where there was transfer of ownership to the new partners of Bain, that there was a duty to sign those documents,” Madden said. “Even a bipartisan commission indicated Governor Romney left Bain in 1999.”

It is a fact that Romney remained at the company until at least 2002, according to SEC filings obtained by the Boston Globe. But some independent fact checking organizations have criticized the reporting of Romney’s role at the time, stating there was no evidence to say he took part in any decision-making processes.

Republicans have seized on those articles, demanding an apology from the Obama campaign. Madden repeated the call, but Cutter maintained it was out of the question.

“Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, just put the facts out there and let people decide, rather than trying to hide them,” she said.

Cutter and Emanuel both referenced Romney’s refusal to release any tax returns dating before 2010, which would shed light onto the nature of overseas holdings the candidate possessed.

“You’ve learned in just one year about the Caymans, about the Bahamas, about Luxembourg, and about Switzerland, all where his tax and different accounts are,” Emanuel said. “His tax — his tax filing looks more like the Olympic Village than it does like a middle-class family.”

Madden said Romney had “gone above and beyond” financial disclosure laws required of candidates, releasing “hundreds and hundreds of pages of financial disclosures with the FEC.”

On CNN, another Romney surrogate, Ed Gillepsie, said the candidate’s departure for the Olympics was originally planned as a “leave of absence.”

“He ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result,” Gillepsie said.

“Ed Gillepsie” and “#retroactively” reached top 10 positions on Twitter shortly after the statement was made.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Aide Admits Bain Attacks on Romney Haven't Stuck

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- A top Obama campaign strategist made a surprising admission Wednesday about Democrats’ efforts to undermine Mitt Romney’s economic chops: they haven’t worked.
“No one has a good understanding of what Mitt Romney’s economics are or what Mitt Romney’s business experience really was,” said deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on a conference call with reporters.
She was asked to explain why the former governor and private equity executive holds an edge over Obama in some public polling on who Americans believe would better improve the economy.
“In a rare moment of candor a few months ago, Mitt Romney admitted that his job was not about job creation, it was about wealth creation,” Cutter said. “So, what we have been doing today, and all week, is explaining that that ‘wealth creation’ came at a price.”
“I think that over time people will become aware of these things,” she added.
Democrats have spent months hammering Romney’s economic record as governor of Massachusetts, his lack of transparency with tax returns and his business dealings at Bain Capital -- through online and TV ads, social media campaigns, and local and network news interviews.  The problem, she said, is that a clear message has yet to break through.
The Obama campaign is amplifying their case about Romney this week, through a coordinated TV ad campaign, a tour by Vice President Joe Biden through Ohio, and other public events in key states featuring laid-off workers from former Bain-owned companies.
And aides appear to be trying to further simplify their message -- avoiding the nuances of the practices of private equity -- casting Romney as a ruthless wealth seeker, not a job creator.
“You can take it from me: Mitt Romney is no job creator.  He was a corporate raider.  He tried every way possible to create profits for himself and his buddies instead of trying to create jobs for American workers,” Cutter said.
She underscored later, “As the CEO of Bain, Romney’s first priority was creating wealth for himself and making return on his investment for his investors, not building companies that created jobs for hard-working Americans. As president Romney would do the same.”
And again, hammering the same point home: “As a corporate buyout specialist like Mitt Romney...was very successful at one thing: creating wealth for himself and his investors, getting a return for that investment. He wasn’t successful at ensuring that people get to keep their jobs.”
The question now is whether persuadable voters are listening, and agree.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Attacked Over Medicare Settlement

ABC/Matthew Putney(MIAMI) -- Mitt Romney’s enemies have unleashed a torrent of attacks in Florida over Medicare fraud conspiracy committed by a company Romney helped run in the 1990s.

The pro-Newt-Gingrich superPAC Winning Our Future has released a one-minute trailer and a “dramatic new film presentation” called “Blood Money,” accusing Romney of personally profiting from Medicare fraud.

This follows the group’s half-hour, disaster-movie-esque “King of Bain,” which detailed layoffs by companies purchased by Bain Capital, the firm Romney launched.

The labor union AFSCME joined in on the attack, releasing a Florida ad tying Romney to Medicare fraud, and the Democratic National Committee Friday blasted an opposition-research memo to reporters leveling the same accusations. The ads may or may not resonate in Florida, where voters elected Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2010 despite a massive Medicare-fraud penalty paid by his health-care management company.

What’s the story behind Romney the sensationalized “Blood Money” accusation?

It all stems from Damon Corp., a medical-testing company run by Romney and Bain in the 1990s, which was caught in a widespread federal investigation into Medicare fraud at lab companies.

In 1989, Bain took over Damon Corp., then based in Massachusetts, and Romney sat on Damon’s board from 1990 until 1993, when Bain sold the company to Corning Inc.

During Romney’s tenure at Damon, the company allegedly defrauded Medicare for millions of dollars by offering packages of blood tests that resulted in doctors ordering unnecessary lab-work, paid for by Medicare. Damon offered suites of blood tests that, in some cases, were unrelated. Doctors could order Damon’s lab-work in these packages -- but Damon did not inform those doctors that it would bill Medicare for the superfluous tests included in the packages.

After Bain sold the company to Corning, federal investigators caught Damon and a host of other medical-lab companies engaged in similar activity. Damon pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud in 1996 and paid a total of $119 million, including a criminal fine and a civil settlement. The United States Attorneys Bulletin outlined the sweeping investigations, known as LABSCAM, in its April 1997 issue. Other companies, such as SmithKlineBeecham, were also caught engaging in fraudulent activity and were forced to pay fines.

This isn’t the first time all Damon Corp. has come up in Romney’s political career. When he ran for governor in 2002, his Democratic opponent pointed out the Damon fines.

Confronted over it in 2002, Romney told media he “blew the whistle” on Damon’s fraudulent Medicare activity when he found out about it. And he did -- to some extent.

“We put in place a program to stop that immediately,” Romney told reporters on Oct. 9, 2002, according to a Boston Globe account. “That’s how you blow the whistle.”

Romney’s present critics are quick to point out that U.S. attorneys didn’t see it that way. Damon’s prosecutors credited Corning, not Romney or Bain, with discovering and ferreting out the alleged fraud.

Romney and the Damon board did, however, contact Damon’s lawyers, seek their counsel, and change Damon’s policies.

We can expect Romney’s opponents to keep surfacing one key number, however: the $473,000 Romney reportedly gained from the sale of Damon Corp.

See the ad, which takes facts from the Damon case to accuse Romney of “Blood Money," below.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio