Former Obama adviser says Obama’s latest Bain attacks on Romney ‘unfair’

The news this morning is that the Obama campaign has launched the above attack on Romney vis-à-vis Bain Capital, an attack which even former Obama advisor Steve Rattner deems unfair just on its face:

National Review provides some context for why this steel company went bankrupt (hint: Unions):

A  January Reuters report on the company noted that one of the company’s problems may have been that it was unionized:

Charles Bradford, an analyst at Bradford Research, blames the union, in part, for the failure of GS Industries to survive in the new global marketplace.

“If you look at the steel companies that went under at the time, all of them were unionized,” he said. “I’m not saying this was the only factor — these firms faced other headwinds such as cheap labor and a strong dollar … but the unions held them back.”

And Bain Capital’s statement to Reuters pointed out that 44 U.S. steel companies had become bankrupt during the same era.

National Review also points out that Romney wasn’t even working at Bain Capital when this occurred. He quit 2 years earlier to work for the Olympics.

After National Review posted this, they had a reader email them who used to work for this steel company and offered even more context on how unions destroyed this company:

I nearly choked on my Cheerios when I read that GST employees were blaming Bain for their downfall. I worked at GST Steel in Kansas City for four months in 1997 immediately after leaving the Navy.

Why only four months? Quickly after I started, I surprised to learn that several of my fellow USW Local 13-represented employees, mostly millwrights and electricians, we’re making between $100-130k. This was mainly due union-mandated overtime which, at least on a few occasions, consisted of the employees bringing in sleeping bags and pillows and sleeping in the shop. It would be hard for any company to stay competitive while paying double-time union wages to get their beauty sleep, but that’s not the half of it. The union employees obviously didn’t think they had it easy enough, so they went on strike in March of ‘97. The plant shut down for a couple of weeks until it re-started under the operation of management and non-union workers. The strike lasted a couple more months. I had a family to support, so I couldn’t afford to wait. I took another (non-union) job with another company. They shuttered the plant for good a few years later.

That’s Bain’s fault? Just classic.


UPDATE: Added a very relevant portion from the NRO article that Romney wasn’t even working for Bain when they bought GST.

Comment Policy: Please read our new comment policy before making a comment. In short, please be respectful of others and do not engage in personal attacks. Otherwise we will revoke your comment privileges.
  • Rshill7

    Unions are like Government, they destroy everything they touch. Both are like flesh-eating bacteria…insatiable. Deadly.

    • Sober_Thinking

      Great analogy!

    • Conservative_Hippie

      So true!

  • O may be able to excite his base, but I can’t see how he can gain any traction here. In fact, if Jimmy Carter was his primary challenger, I think he would have won. (Being a one termer he could have legally done it too.)

  • Sober_Thinking

    Unions remain the biggest leach and problem for most the country. I’m all for a National Right-to-Work law to stop this insidious and parasitic drain on the U.S. economy and our way of life. Without these damn unions, Harry Reid wouldn’t hasve been re-elected, Scott Walker wouldn’t unfairly be under attack, and Obama wouldn’t get re-elected. Not to mention that the U.S. economy might be able to finally stabilize. Unions are a plague!

  • MikeBri527

    I recall hearing something a number of years ago that due to unions, taxes, regulations, etc. it was cheaper to ship raw materials to Asian countries, have the steel made there, and then ship it back to the U.S.

    I don’t believe this ad by Barack is telling us the whole truth. Based on what I said above, any number of these types of circumstances could have created the situation for that plant to close. Some of the questions this ad doesn’t answer is:

    1) What was the financial health of the company prior to the Bain purchase? Was it about to go under before the Bain purchase? Did Bain’s purchase actually post-pone the job loss and give these workers more time on the payroll?

    2) To a lesser degree, I’d like to know which political party the people interviewed from the steel manufacturer have supported over the years? Do you really believe that in this day and age of partisanship and political agendas running wild that these workers would have anything nice to say about anybody they felt took their jobs away whether it was warranted or not? Do you really believe that they’re not hiding some basic facts that would make this company closing less politically charged if it got out?

    3) One of the workers says the company had a reputation for quality products. That’s all well and good. How much did those products cost in relation to the same quality products from other U.S. or non-U.S. steel manufacturers? If their products were good but cost too much, of course they’re going to go out of business.

    Obviously, I could go on but I think I’ve made my points clear. There’s usually A LOT more to any story then we’re being told by the politicians of this country.

    • Trust1TG

      Bain was and is a predatory profiteering group – drained pension funds, put the corporations in debt before selling them – using public funds and loans, afterward leaving the taxpayer and workers holding the bill.

      • Exactly! This is the “true” facts about Bain Capital.

        • MikeBri527

          And on what grounds do you base your statement about these facts being “true”? There’s no more truth to what Robert Reich says than what the National Review or the ex-employee said about GST Steel. You’re calling it “true” because that’s what you WANT to believe is true. If you truly had an open mind you’d want more information before making a decision on what is “true”. That was the whole point of my original post. We’re not getting the whole story and BOTH sides do it to promote their agenda.

          Don’t be so closed minded. Get more facts before making a decision.

      • MikeBri527

        Robert Reich is VERY PARTISAN. I have to take what he says with a very big grain of salt. Here’s one of many videos out there debunking what Robert Reich says:

        • NHConservative0221

          Thank you. When you have people on there using thinkprogress and Robert Reich videos to attack Romney it ruins their credibility.

          Just like the way Newt and Perry sold out going after Romney over Bain.

          I’m not Romney fan, but he’s our only chance at this point. I remember Levin attacking ROmney on a regular basis but standing up for Romney over Bain as well and calling the attacks reprehensible.

          I’ll take the Great One over a bunch of socialist thugs any day of the week!

          • MikeBri527

            You’re welcome.

            I guess the saddest part about this is that we all know that there’s not much truth in politics anymore so it comes down to what you believe. Yes, I agree with you I’m not a Romney fan either (I call him Mitt Rino, LOL) but he will win the nomination. I just don’t believe he’s the right man for what the country really needs right now.

            All the best to you!

        • Calvin_02

          Robert Reich is VERY PARTISAN

          He is also a marxist, and that’s not hyperbole.

        • Maybe you will find this a little more convincing. This is Tom Pauken, current head of the Texas Workforce Commission & past head of the Texas Republican Party speaking to Butler On Business about the distinctions between “venture capitalism” (in which Mr Pauken has, himself, participated in the private sector) & leveraged buyouts (“vulture capitalism”), which are where the rub comes in with Bain Capital. They “invested” in sometimes even healthy companies with a desire to expand, but that lacked capital, borrowed huge sums of money against them, “recovered their investment” up front & sucked money out via “management fees”, etc- and left the businesses in such sorry shape, they couldn’t survive.

          To conflate criticism of predatory business practices (regardless of their legality) with the anti-business rhetoric of 0bama & the left is a mistake. As is conflating unions as being somehow beneficial to “workers”. It’s a mistake to use a union afflicted business as a general example of Bain’s “misrepresentation”. How many of these casualties were non union?
          (Having said that, I am not speaking up to disparage Romney- only to set the record straight. Governor Romney may have attributes that might recommend him for the presidency, but Bain’s business practices & his record as governor are not among them. Neither is the amount of federal money he received in the process of some of these “rescues”.)

          • MikeBri527

            You talk about Bain’s business practices and allude to the fact that these potentially work against Romney in his bid to be the POTUS in 2012. Does that mean ALL of their business practices? You potentially point out one situation where Bain’s business practices may have not provided for a favorable result for the company they invested in. Fine, that may be true. However to lump ALL of the business practices together because of the results of one might not be accurate.

            Thanks for the link to Mr. Pauken’s comments.

            Mr. Pauken speaks of the tax system being partially to blame. He talks about an onerous corporate tax system. I wholeheartedly agree with this point. When government sets up a situation for people to take advantage of something, they usually do; it’s part of human nature in my opinion

            That being said, I’m not a fan of Romney. I consider myself to be Libertarian so to me, neither candidate for POTUS 2012 really speaks for me. However, I’ve become so completely tired of the inaccuracies from BOTH sides of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, I must tell you that I believe more of the inaccuracies come from the democrats and Pres. Obama. I typically look to “information” coming from them somewhat more skeptically than I do the republicans but realize they’re guilty also.

            Thanks again for the link and thanks for the post and the info. It certainly gives me more “food for thought” which I (for one) ALWAYS welcome.

            All the best to you!

            • Maybe it’s best not to excoriate someone before you have all the details.

              • MikeBri527

                I’m sorry…I’m not following you…please forgive me…also not being sarcastic…

                Excoriate who? The person I replied to or Romney? Sorry.


            • No. This is what I meant by “general example”. It’s a mistake to characterize “all” of anything. But really, if I were Mitt, I would turn it around without even addressing it. (or is that what happened?) Bain will never see the day that they destroyed as many companies & jobs as 0, his “czars”, & his union thugs.

              🙂 You’re being too kind, Mike. “Inaccuracies” are more like intentional, bald faced lies especially designed to manipulate people. Some of them will tone it down in fear for their seats as it gets closer to November. Never give them the benefit of the doubt! Not now.
              Yes. Apparently, there are guilty parties on “both” sides. Some may be “weak” & some may be corrupt.

              I’m glad that helped & best wishes to you, too. I feel the same way about more information.

              vvvv Thank you, Alan, for the chivalry :heart:

  • KM

    Waiting for the obama ad that says here’s what we done to help America in my first term, and this is what I’ll do in my second term…

    Oh, wait… The obama can’t…. Nothing but silence…

    “I’m KM and I approve my message.”

  • They think we’re stupid.

  • NHConservative0221

    I hope this wakes some people up to get them to stop bashing Romney for Bain Capital.

    I’ve been saying all along that Bain bought out and tried to save many companies that were failing due to their own mistakes.

    The attacks the Perry and Newt did on Romney over Bain were rephrensible — that sounded like Maobama attacking capitalism.

    • Trust1TG

      Wrong – Bain was and is a predatory profiteering operation that left the US taxpayer holding the bill.

      We the American people have made Romney, friends and sons very very wealthy:

      Romney’s sons hang with the wrong crowd:

      Politically – Romney is a socialist:

      • NHConservative0221

        You’re full of it.

        You have no credibility when you link to thinkprogress.

        • W.

          Actually the research and reporting on that story is sound and factual.

    • Newt said nothing but the truth and Romney knows it.

      • NHConservative0221

        Romney gave his father’s inheritance to charity, how many others would even thing about doing that??

        He’s a self made man.

        And Newt sounded just like Maobama with his attacks on Bain. Remember Newt saying “I think at some point you’ve made enough money?”

        • I’m well aware that Mitt gave his inheritance to charity, good for him.

          People need to see the truth and that’s the only agenda I have. Bain Capital loaded up companies with debt which made them fail, while he and his investors made millions at others expense.

          I guess it’s too much to ask people to research who their next President might be. Look what we’re dealing with now.

          • Rightstuff1

            I’m a Newt fan not a Romney fan but Newt made a big error bashing Romney on Bain, imo. But you support Obama’s crapola? Never! Romney only has to ask where the money for Solyndra came from and where it went to. I hate crony capitalism. I’m not a Romney fan and never will be but siding with Marxists isn’t my idea of travelling companions.

  • Trust1TG
    • Hey troll, who are you voting for?

      • Hey, the poster is not a troll and knows what he’s saying.

        • I say he is a troll. I’d like to know, if he’s not voting for Romney, who then?

          • Rightstuff1

            Its a reasonable question. If he wont answer it then it speaks volumes, but I think we may already know the answer. More madness???

            • Wrong! People who post at MoveOn certainly wouldn’t show up here.

              Trust1TG is a regular contributor at this site.

      • Calvin_02

        I’m thinking he’s writing in Noot.

        • so…. it’s a vote for Obama then. That’s the truth, he doesn’t want to admit that he is on the front lines for the Obama campaign.

          Romney wasn’t my choice either. But he is our choice and I will not let losers like this bigoted troll give Obama four more years.

          • Rightstuff1

            I agree 100%. I am no Romney-phile. He is not by any stretch my choice but if its him or Obama – no contest.

    • NHConservative0221

      The youtube link sounds like a guy whining about “evil capitalists”. Who cares if someone buys a company for less and then tries to sell it for a higher profit?? Isn’t that the whole point??

      Again, big fat union contracts and bad decisions puts these companies on the brink of destruction. They would’ve been bankrupt and their workers would’ve been on the unemployement lines anyways had Bain not tried to salvage them.

      I’m not buying your attacks, sounds like anti-capitalist nonsense!

  • Trust1TG

    This year, unless the RNC sees the light, the American voter will be given a Hobbesian choice between two Soros-approved candidates – Romney and Obama.

    Romney’s Massachusetts governorship was the trial and preview of Obama’s presidency.

    • tin hat time

      • Trust1TG

        You seem to be opposed to the actual facts and evidence about Romney.

    • Calvin_02

      Congrats on using the word “Hobbesian.” Maybe Noot could use you on his next book. I’m betting it will be full of fundamental truths. P.S., I think Soros is screwing with you. Quite effectively, I might add.

    • Rightstuff1

      The choice is there. There isn’t another candidate on the RNC ticket, so it is what it is. Personally I wanted Newt but he wasn’t the guy, I would have taken Rick but he stepped down. I hated Romneys vile, vicious attacks on both these truly good men, patriotic conservative both. It mades my blood boil to recall the crap he and his machine vomited on these two men.

      But….and I hate using thst word. I will not sit it out and watch Obama kill the country. Hobbesian choice? Not really as bad as that. That was hyperbole, it sounded good but still hyperbole. At the end of the day we either choose Romney or we get Obama. So as my friend Mark Leavitt would say “who will you chose?”

  • NYGino

    In the mid 70’s Volkeswagen invested apx. two hundred fifty million dollars in an abandoned Chrysler plant in Westmoreland County Pennsylvania, a very depressed area, with the intention of rejuvenating the plant and becoming the first foreign company to build new cars in this country. Research showed that this would be a risky venture for several reasons, one of which was American labor unions.

    The company received assurances from the unions that they would not seek parity with their Detroit workers for at least five years. This condition was a key factor in the decision to go ahead with the project.

    Shortly after the first new VW Rabbit rolled off the assembly line the union went on strike to gain parity with Detroit. The plant closed a few years later. Everybody lost because of union greed and lack of honor in their dealings.

    This is not a unique situation.

    • Rightstuff1

      Unions = the death of american manufacturing. That is not a prediction so much as an historical fact.

  • marketcomp

    Is this for real! Is anyone paying attention to what President Obama is doing to this Country?! No job is guaranteed and we are moving from an industrialize industry to a technological driven industry and that is important for all of us to know. I hope this advertisement does go viral so then people can focus on what Obama has done to the coutnry on every level of our economy.

    • W.

      Romney’s tactics in business and government negatively affected far more than one company.

      Remember, under Romney Massachusetts was at the bottom in jobs and among the highest in taxes.

      • NHConservative0221

        So what’s your point? I didn’t want Romney but the primary is over!

        What are you going to do, sit at home and pout or vote for Maobama??

        The bottom line is that Romney is NOT a Marxist.

        • Okay, Romney isn’t a Marxist, but his record as Governor was not a stellar one by any means.

      • marketcomp

        I am sure Massachusetts would be one of the highest in taxes without Romney and I am sure taxes are pretty high there now under Governor Duvall Patrick. That is why Massachusetts is losing citizens to other States because of the high taxes. What Romney did affected a few companies and it is a normal process in a market driven economy. Please do not get sucked in this propaganda because you are falling into the trap that Obama has set. We must be stronger than this and look at the big picture.

      • kong1967

        He lowered taxes and he was in a very liberal state. His legislature was 80% liberal. Just how much power do you think he had to change anything? Not much at all.

        • Rightstuff1

          Kong this wont wash. I hate the attempts to cover for this guy. Fact is his record in Mass was crap. He ruled as at best a moderate liberal. Let’s not coat it. Please it makes my stomach churn. He vomited crap onto two very decent amercian patriots and true conservatives Newt and Rick.

          But….he is the nominee. We either go with him or we get Obama. I get it and so it wil be Romney for me. But please enough with the efforts to persuade any conservative that Romney is what he is not.

          • kong1967

            I didn’t try to paint Romney as anything. He inherited a liberal economy in Mass. He had an 80% liberal legislature. There was no way he could have passed any bill that woud be viewed as conservative. Am I saying that if he had a conservative legislature things would have been different? Probably. Romney is a politician and will go with whatever the tides bring in.

            Believe what you want, but I’m not protecting him. But the obvious is that it was impossible for him to govern as a conservative.

            We will have to maintain a conservative Congress and Senate because Romney will go with whatever he thinks buys votes.

  • I have nothing good to say about unions. They take the people’s union dues and gives it to the Democrat party. In essence, they own you.

    • W.

      Right to Word States are the solvent ones with plenty of jobs and industry.

      Democrat/Union states are dying.

      • kong1967

        They will drag the rest of the states down with them. The liberal solution is to suck money out of the other states to bail out the dying liberal states. The liberal states will never change unless we cut them off from bailouts.

      • KenInMontana

        Hmm, well Montana is not a “Right to Work State”, however we have been and continue to “run in the black”.

    • kong1967

      I always get the argument that it was the unions who got us 40 hour work weeks and overtime pay, etc.

      This is like the abusive husband saying to his wife’s brother “I’ve done a lot for you so you should support me instead of getting mad at me for what I do to your sister”.

      Unions have long outlived their usefulness. They do nothing now but go way beyond fair and demand more even when businesses are failing. I want to abolish unions altogether….especially government unions.

      • Rightstuff1

        Awesome post – great analogy.

  • 12grace

    As usual obama lies.

    Obama Hit Squad Targets Private Citizens

    Are You Putting On The Full Armor Of God Daily?

  • E. Lee Zimmerman

    As the political winds begin to change, be on the lookout for these Democratic turncoats to try to salvage what they’ll have left of a career. Don’t be fooled, though. They’re only trying to keep their jobs.

  • kong1967

    Unlike liberals, when a responsible CEO tries to save a company that is in way over it’s head financially he makes cuts and saves money. The liberal keeps driving the company bankrupt and then holds out his hand to let the government take care of the losses.

    No one wants to lose their job, but at times it is necessary for businesses to fold and there’s nothing that can be done to save them. Too bad, Charlie. No one “deserves” to work for a specific plant or company. In other words, your job is not a gaurantee and it will not stay open just to keep jobs going so people have money. It doesn’t work that way. If the company is failing the owner closes shop. These sob stories piss me off. It’s the entitlement notion that the business is evil for firing people. Move on and work for a more stable company.

  • marketcomp

    In Response to Obama’s lame ad. I like the advertisement and I guess Romney has to squash Obama’s advertisement.

  • Nukeman60

    One interesting thing about the Bain Capital argument is that as we already went over this in detail many months ago in the early primaries, many people thought this would be the downfall of Romney when the general election rolled around.

    I disagreed then and I disagree now. After all the detailed battling back then, Romney should be able to counter anything that Obama comes up with (not likely there will be anything new). Plus, how can Obama put the spotlight on Bain laying off thousands when his own bailout of the auto industry did exactly the same thing. Kind of like calling the kettle black (not racist, I hope).

    I was no fan of Romney on the Bain issue, but the playing field right now is leveled and it’s ‘swing away, Mitt’. Should be interesting to see which side the media takes, as they are slowly, very slowly falling away from Obama.

    NObama, 2012.

    NO FO MO.