Tales from the Trail

Super PAC hits Romney on steel mill record

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.

Romney endorsed by Citizens United adviser Bopp

 

The morning after President Barack Obama’s campaign said it would start supporting Priorities USA, a Super PAC fundraising group designed to keep him in office, Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign announced it had been endorsed by James Bopp, a lawyer who advised Citizens United in the Supreme Court case responsible for the creation of the outside fundraising groups.

“Mitt Romney is a true conservative,” Bopp wrote in an “open letter” explaining the endorsement. “One does not have to guess what Mitt Romney would do in office. He served for four years as Governor of Massachusetts and has a record that conservatives should be proud of.”

Obama opposed the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in a case that erased limits on corporate and union money in federal elections. His campaign said he had made the switch because Republicans had raised and spent so much Super PAC money.

New Romney ad counters ‘flip-flopper’ label

In case you missed it, Mitt Romney grew a bit testy when Fox News’ Bret Baier pressed him with questions about his about-faces on issues like abortion, climate change and immigration in an interview last week.

Now a new ad out from his campaign looks to counter the ‘flip-flopper’ label Romney has grown so tired of talking about. The ad, released online today and due to air in Iowa and New Hampshire this week, features images of Romney as a young man with his family while Romney gives a voice-over:

 I think people understand that I’m a man of steadiness and constancy. I don’t think you’re going to find somebody who has more of those attributes than I do.