A new film trailer produced for a super PAC supporting presidential candidate Newt Gingrich revisits an old attack on Mitt Romney and depicts him as a corporate titan with little regard for blue-collar workers.
Winning Our Future’s slickly produced, two-and-a-half-minute trailer was online Saturday at the website www.kingofbain.com before being replaced with a "Trailer coming soon" notice. A spokesman for the organization said what was shown was a "tease" and that a new trailer and film will be released soon.
The film tells the story of the American Paper and Pad Company (Ampad) in Marion, Ind. Through interviews with former employees at the office supply company, news clips and sharply worded on-screen text, the video tells a story of a company that was forced to close in 1995 after Bain Capital –- the private investment firm then headed by Romney –- took over, forced out the union workers, and cut benefits.
“We had this company that comes in and destroys everything that we ever worked for,” an unidentified woman says in an interview included in the trailer.
Another man makes clear whom he felt was responsible for the layoffs: “The guy that was in charge of Ampad corporation at that time was Mitt Romney,” he says on camera and later adds, “ Them guys, they don’t care about who I am.”
The plant’s closing and subsequent layoffs have long been a difficult topic for Romney politically. Similar ads focusing on the Ampad story are often credited with sealing Ted Kennedy’s victory over Romney in the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race. And just last week, the Democratic National Committee brought a former Ampad union official to Iowa to tell his story of losing his job after Bain took over the company.
Romney’s campaign has acknowledged that layoffs –- while painful –- are sometimes necessary for a company’s economic health. They have said his focus now is on creating a robust economy in which companies can grow without having to resort to such measures.
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Saturday: "It’s puzzling to see Speaker Gingrich and his supporters continue their attacks on free enterprise. This is the type of criticism we've come to expect from President Obama and his left-wing allies at MoveOn.org. Unlike President Obama and Speaker Gingrich, Mitt Romney spent his career in business and knows what it will take to turn around our nation’s bad economy.”
Seeking to portray Romney as an elitist from Wall Street, on-screen text in the trailer states that Bain made over $100 million on the Ampad deal, even though the manufacturing company was closed and its workers fired. A photo showing Romney’s California beach house shown on screen as a woman from Marion tells the story of loading up a U-Haul with all of her belongings.
“I was getting ready to leave and I done turned around and I seen my home I had no more,” she says on camera. “That was hard. Very hard.”
Before the initial trailer was removed from the site, it directed viewers to the website www.whenmittromneycametotown.com and said a longer video would be coming soon.