It’s so frustrating, the failure of conservative media and Republican campaigns to vet Mitt Romney’s Bain days.
Instead of hiring cartoonists to turn Newt into Marvin the Martian, National Review should have been digging deep into the public filings, court filings, and the financial history of the companies Bain acquired and sold. You better believe there isn’t a court document or SEC filing which the Obama campaign hasn’t digitized and analyzed.
Maybe there is nothing damaging, but my gut tells me otherwise. That Romney inexplicably refuses to release his tax returns should have leading conservative pundits screaming warnings at the tops of their lungs; instead we get psycho-babble comparing Newt to Ahab seeking the Great White Mitt.
In Bain drip drip I noted a NY Times article about Romney’s post-Bain deal participation.
Now Reuters has a damaging story about how one of the companies bought by Bain left the feds to deal with underfunded pensions, Special report: Romney’s steel skeleton in the Bain closet:
The young men in business suits, gingerly picking their way among the millwrights, machinists and pipefitters at Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems steel mill….
Apparently they liked what they saw. Soon after, in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.
It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Technologies, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.
Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.
What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.
Not illegal, part of that “creative destruction” thing. I get it. And I’m sure there is plenty of blame to go around. My concern is we’re only hearing about it in drips. You can be sure Team Obama is holding the good stuff back.
When Newt raised the negatives of Bain deals, Charles Krauthammer claimed Newt was talking like a socialist, and that was one of the kindest things said by the conservative media.
We are heading headlong into the unknowns.
Update: Why does it matter that everything get out now, not later? This video, in which an AP reporter is aggressive in a way no mainstream reporter ever would be with Obama, is a good example of how aggressively the media will treat every real or imagined problem with a Republican nominee. The issue is not that Bain is a disqualifier, but that we are being asked to maked judgments based primarliy on electability without the facts:
Update No. 2: New Anti-Romney Video Attacks Bain Capital Work:
The effort to derail Mitt Romney’s presidential quest heightened dramatically on Friday when a super PAC associated with Newt Gingrich outbid all comers for the rights to a scathing 30-minute attack video depicting Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate raider “more ruthless than Wall Street.”
In a season filled with negative ads and rhetorical crossfire, the striking feature of the film, aside from its mini-documentary length, is its authorship. The film was made by Jason Killian Meath, a former associate of Romney’s top strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer. Meath had worked for the Romney campaign in 2008, creating much of the ad content for that failed effort. He left Stevens and Schriefer’s firm, SSG, in 2010. Meath declined to comment on his project, referring inquiries to the pro-Gingrich PAC Winning Our Future.
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