CRF Blog

Taking a Whack at Romney’s Private Equity Past

by Bill Hayes

In Taking a Whack at Romney’s Private Equity Past, Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how the Obama campaign is attacking Romney’s leadership at Bain Capital and what effect the attacks might have on private equity firms.

Even before Mitt Romney was the presumptive Republican nominee, President Barack Obama’s political advisers made it clear that their reelection effort would center on attacking Romney’s tenure as head of Bain Capital. Now we know what they had in mind. On May 14 the campaign rolled out a brutal ad depicting Romney as a rapacious figure of greed whose firm bought, and then bankrupted, GST Steel in Kansas City, Mo. Airing in several swing states, it features a laid-off steelworker calling Romney “a vampire.” A day later, another attack: Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC legally forbidden from coordinating with the campaign, launched its own nearly identical ad painting Romney as the sinister capitalist destroyer of … GST Steel.

This ugly portrayal of Romney and private equity first took shape in the GOP primaries, when Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry labeled their rival a “vulture capitalist.” [more]