Obama Campaign Questions Lessons Of Romney's Business Experience | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Obama Campaign Questions Lessons Of Romney's Business Experience

President Obama's re-election campaign is attacking Mitt Romney's business experience, perhaps his strongest selling point as a candidate, in a new TV ad in five swing states.

The Romney campaign responded, in essence: Bring it on.

The two-minute ad — "Steel" — echoes questions raised early in the Republican primary about Romney's oversight of companies that Bain Capital ran when Romney was CEO of the private equity firm.

But the most direct attack at that time came from a superPAC supporting Newt Gingrich. And by law, the Gingrich campaign itself could not coordinate with the superPAC, giving him some distance from the video.

This new ad out Monday comes directly from Obama's re-election team. And it signals an aggressive effort to hit Romney at the core of the contention that his business prowess makes him better equipped to deal with a struggling economy — and, specifically, to help lower the national unemployment level — than Obama.

Bain became majority owner of GST Steel in Kansas City, Mo., in 1993. The century-old steel company declared bankruptcy in 2001.

"They made as much money off it as they could, and they closed it down," Joe Soptic, a steelworker for 30 years who ultimately lost his job, says in the ad. "They filed for bankruptcy without any concern for the families or the communities." Another former steelworker, John Wiseman, says flatly in the ad: "We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer."

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement: "We welcome the Obama campaign's attempt to pivot back to jobs and a discussion of their failed record." She also noted that GST Steel went bankrupt only after Romney had left Bain to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

And former Obama "auto czar" Steve Ratner called the ad "unfair," telling MSNBC's Morning Joe that Bain Capital's responsibility was "to make profits for its investors, most of whom were pension funds, endowments and foundations. And it did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly, and was a leading firm."

The ad, airing in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and Iowa, hits Bain for its overall management of the steel company, including targeting employee pensions and health insurance.

The Obama campaign also launched a longer Web version of the ad. And it unveiled a new website attacking Romney's economic policies.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.
NPR

At Houses Of Worship, Women Serve Food For A Higher Purpose

Across the U.S., women work the kitchens of temples, mosques and Sikh gurudwaras, putting on both simple meals and complex feasts. They see their work as serving God by serving others.
NPR

CBO Forecast: There's Good News And Bad News

The non-partisan budget office reports slower than expected growth, but also that Obamacare's changes to Medicare are successfully holding down costs.
NPR

Science Crowns Mozzarella The King Of Pizza Cheese

Why do some cheeses melt and caramelize better than others? Researchers used high-tech cameras and special software to figure it out.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.