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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Obama Ad Attacks Romney On Bain Years

May 14, 2012

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story, based on Associated Press reporting, misidentified the day on which the ad would be airing. The ad will reportedly air Wednesday.

A new ad critical of Mitt Romney’s years as the leader of a private equity firm is set to air in five battleground on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

The ad is part of a larger effort by the Obama campaign to attack one of Romney's strengths: his business career. In addition to the two-minute ad, a longer six-minute web video can be found on a new interactive website, romneyeconomics.com, that criticizes Romney's record. The Obama campaign will also hold a press conference call later Monday announcing the effort.

 

The two-minute television ad focuses on the fate of a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo., allowing laid off workers to tell their stories. "They made as much money off of it as they could. And they closed it down," says Joe Soptic, a steelworker for 30 years, in the ad. Jack Cobb, another worker, adds: "It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us."

The ad will air in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

About 750 workers eventually lost their jobs at GST Steel after Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, became majority shareholder in 1993, AP reported. Most were left without any health coverage and reduced benefits.

Romney left Bain in 1999 to run the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, but kept a financial interest in the company after leaving.

In a statement, the Obama campaign said that the new effort "examines a simple question – are the lessons and values Mitt Romney drew from his time in business the lessons and values America wants in our President?"

Former Obama economic advisor Steve Rattner called the attack “unfair” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, saying Romney and those working at Bain played by the rules.

The Romney campaign responded to the ad by saying they welcome the chance to talk 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," said Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for the campaign, in a statement. Saul added: "If the Obama administration was less concerned about pleasing their wealthy donors and more concerned about creating jobs, America would be much better off.”

 

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