Videos (May 2012) «
Obama for America
Obama for America
Joe Soptic, Steelworker:
a steelworker for 30 years.When I first started working, I looked
around; we had 5,500 employees. It was like a city inside of a
Andy Cruz, Steelworker: Steel would always be needed in the United States so it sounded like a guaranteed job.
John Wiseman, Steelworker:
much more than co-workers; we became very good friends.
?Andy Cruz, Steelworker: We made parts for automotives, we
made parts for nuclear plants, we made gel bars...
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: We had a reputation for quality products. It was something that was American-made. And we weren’t rich, but I was able to put my daughter through college.
John Wiseman, Steelworker: Having a good-paying job that you can support and raise a family on is hugely important.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: That stopped with the sale of the plant to Bain Capital.
David Foster, Lead negotiator for workers at GST Steel: Bain Capital was the majority owner. They hired the management, they picked the board of directors; they were responsible. Mitt Romney was deeply involved in the influence that he exercised over these companies.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker:
going to war every single day. They were starting to try
to figure out ways to eliminate jobs, and so everyone had to pick up
John Wiseman, Steelworker: We started having quality issues at that plant.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: They weren't concerned about your health; it was like working in the sweatshops of the '30s.
David Foster, Lead negotiator: Private equity is not per se bad but what Bain Capital did was not capitalism, it was bad management. The decision-makers were governed by a different set of rules than the rest of us played by.
John Wiseman, Steelworker: Bain Capital was sucking money out of the company like there was no tomorrow.
David Foster, Lead negotiator: The business model of loading a company up with debt in order to extract immediate profits for yourself out of it and then ensuring the failure of the company later on seemed like exactly the wrong thing that we needed in America today. They issued $125 million of bonds and out of that $125 million debt, they paid themselves almost $40 million.
Joe Cobb, Steelworker:
like a vampire. They came in an sucked the life out of us.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: They made as much money off it as they could. And they closed it down, they filed for bankruptcy without any concern for the families or the communities.
John Wiseman, Steelworker: Bain Capital went to the bankruptcy court and sought elimination of the pension plan and termination of employee and retiree life insurance and health insurance.
David Foster, Lead
And having to be the one that told them that they were not going to get
health insurance any more, telling them that their pensions were going
to be reduced by 50- and 60-percent in many cases, those are among some
of the most painful experiences of my life— standing in front of
hundreds of people in their 50s, 60s, and many of the retired
steelworkers came to those meetings so there were people in their 70s
and 80s as well.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker:: I personally saw the last heated steel go through the furnaces. It was like watching an old friend, you know watching an old friend bleed to death.
(April 2, 2004): This is what's left of the plant. No rod
melt shop. Not much of anything. They came in; they
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: You know you look at this and you just feel amazed that there's nothing--that the steel business is not here anymore.
I went out every day for six months and I looked for a job. I had a friend that hired custodians, so I got a job through him with the independent school district at considerably less money, probably one-third what I was making at the steel mill.
We lost all of our health insurance. I
John Wiseman, Steelworker:
away all the good paying jobs such as we had here at GST
Steel in Kansas City, the middle class is going to become extinct.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: It makes me angry. Those guys were all rich, they all had more money than they’ll ever spend, they had more money than their families will ever spend. Yet they didn’t have the money to take care of the very people that made the money for them.
John Wiseman, Steelworker: Bain Capital walked away with a lot of money that they made off of this plant because they took all of the money. We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer.
Jack Cobb, Steelworker: To get up on national TV and brag about making jobs when he has destroyed thousands of people’s careers, lifetimes, just destroying people.
David Foster, Lead
When it is a business model and when it is deliberate and when it is a
thought out strategy on how to take the value out of a company in a
reckless way and hurt others, and you then become a proponent of that
strategy and talk about it as if it's the soul of capitalism and
literally the soul of America, I think nothing could be more offensive.
Joe Soptic, Steelworker: He’s running for president, and if he’s going to run the country the way he ran our business, I wouldn’t want him there because he would be so out of touch with the average person in this country, how could you care? How could you care for the average working person if you feel that way?
Notes: From the Obama
"a new ad, video and
website...take a look at
Mitt Romney's business philosophy and what it would mean for the
The campaign is releasing a six-minute video featuring the story of GST Steel, which was purchased by Bain Capital and subsequently shuttered after more than 100 years of business. After purchasing the company, Mitt Romney and his partners loaded it with debt, closed the Kansas City plant and walked away with a healthy profit, leaving hundreds of employees out of work with their pensions in jeopardy. The campaign is also releasing a two-minute ad featuring the story of GST Steel that will run in select battleground states.
The video will be featured on RomneyEconomics.com, a new website that allows the American people to learn the real story of Mitt Romney’s business record. The website includes case studies of other companies that suffered under Mitt Romney’s management, as well as a breakdown of the questionable business practices used by Mitt Romney and his partners.
Mitt Romney has repeatedly cited his business experience as his chief qualification to be President, claiming he would use it to boost the economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit. RomneyEconomics.com examines what kind of businessman Mitt Romney actually was – and what that would mean for our economy. Romney's business strategy wasn’t about strengthening companies and creating jobs for long-term economic growth. It wasn’t about investors and workers playing by the same set of rules, and it certainly wasn’t about creating an economy built to last by rewarding hard work and responsibility and strengthening the security of middle-class families.
In a career of buying and selling companies, Romney’s pattern was to reap quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities. Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits. In Romney’s economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules – one for people like him, another for everyone else.
RomneyEconomics.com examines a simple question – are the lessons and values Mitt Romney drew from his time in business the lessons and values America wants in our President?
While Mitt Romney wants to go back to the philosophy that created the economic crisis, President Obama is moving America forward – to an economy built to last, where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.
See also: Obama
for America May 16, 2012 Memo "Mitt Romney
Will Apply the Wrong Economic Values to Our Nation" [PDF]
>The Romney campaign put up a countering video "American Dream" and issued a release titled "The Big Bain Backfire"...
“President Obama and his billion-dollar attack machine are desperately trying to distract from their own failed record of wasteful spending and crony capitalism by launching an attack on free enterprise. The President should be more concerned with helping the twenty-three million Americans who are struggling for work. Mitt Romney has the experience and pro-growth plan to promote job creation and get our economy back on track.” –Andrea Saul, Romney Spokesperson
>This line of attack was used in the South Carolina primary when Winning Our Future PAC, a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, ran "King of Bain."