Super PAC hits Romney on steel mill record

By Eric Johnson
May 15, 2012

The super PAC supporting Democratic incumbent Barack Obama announced on Tuesday a multimillion dollar battleground television advertisement and accompanying website attacking Mitt Romney for what it sees as a slash and burn style of capitalism practiced by the former private equity executive while at the helm of Bain Capital.

The roughly one-minute ad, launched the day after the Obama campaign hit Mitt Romney’s record at Bain, is the first in a series of the campaign ads that will run on television and online in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, according to a release from the organization, Priorities USA Action, run by former White House aide Bill Burton.

It features Pat Wells, a former steelworker at GS Steel, the target of a Bain leveraged buyout that Reuters highlighted in a special report in January. The super PAC’s video, and the Obama campaign video from yesterday, argue that Romney practiced a brand of corporate raiding that helped wealthy investors at the expense of workers.

“Whether the companies they came in and worked with made money or not was irrelevant. Bain Capital always made money,” Wells said. “He promised us the same things he’s promising the United States. And he’ll give you the same thing he gave us. Nothing.”

Despite the attack, President Barack Obama attended a fundraiser hosted by Tony James, the chief operating officer at Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest private equity firm, on Monday evening. James’ boss, Stephen Schwarzman, is a fierce critic of Obama’s economic policies, particularly on taxes, and is a strong supporter of Romney.

Obama and Romney are locked in a close race. A New York Times/CBS News poll released showed Romney with a 46 percent to 43 percent edge. The nationwide telephone survey was within the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The two were tied in a Times/CBS News survey a month ago at 46 percent.

Photo credit: Screenshot/Priorities USA Action

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