The Washington Post

Mitt Romney responds to Bain attacks

In a new ad airing in South Carolina, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is pushing back on criticisms of his career at a venture capital firm.

Both former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have argued that Romney destroyed jobs and lives at the venture firm Bain Capital by buying up and then shuttering struggling companies. A super PAC supporting Gingrich is airing ads in South Carolina attacking Romney’s record, using footage drawn from a 30-minute documentary called “King of Bain.”

The ad uses the same argument Romney has used on the campaign trail — that Bain helped Staples, the Sports Authority and Steel Dynamics create jobs.

“We expected the Obama administration to put free markets on trial, but as the Wall Street Journal said, ‘Mr. Romney’s GOP opponents are embarrassing themselves by taking the Obama line,’” the narrator concludes.

Obama’s reelection campaign, in fact, weighed in with a memo Friday morning in which deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter writes that next fall “the American people will decide whether to respond to this crisis by electing a corporate raider ... or reelecting a President fighting to level the playing field.”

Interestingly, the ad says Romney “helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, started new ones, and rebuilt old ones, creating thousands of jobs.” Romney has repeatedly claimed that Bain helped create 100,000 jobs, a number our Factchecker deemed dubious. (The “King of Bain” documentary is also misleading.)

Romney has a $418,435 buy in South Carolina this week.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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