Romney camp: Obama killed BBQ joint

November 1, 2012

A new Mitt Romney video says President Obama killed Bill’s Barbecue in Richmond. (David Berger/The Washington Post)

A new campaign video from Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of killing Bill's Barbecue, a beloved Richmond, Va., eatery that closed its doors in September after 82 years of pulled pork and "peak-of-flavor" pies. 

Romney himself stopped at a former Bill's Barbecue location Thursday to chat with Rhoda Elliott, the niece of the restaurant's founder. She appears in the anti-Obama video. 

Elliott told Romney that the restaurant's troubles began six years ago, when George W. Bush was president.

"Six years ago we started seeing a little ripple in things, and then five years ago it rippled a little more, and then it really hit and from there things just got rougher and rougher, the taxes, federal regulations, the food regulations," she said. She added that "the new health care that they were gonna bring in would have put, I would say 90 percent of mom-and-pops out of business, which is really all we are." 

Elliott noted that bad economic times are usually good for business, because customers stopped going to "white cloth" restaurants, "and we're the next step." But "this one lasted so long they went down the next step and that's where it is right now," she said. 

Romney responded, "Taco Bell."

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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