Mitt Romney’s background at Bain Capital, the only experience the Republican presidential hopeful considers relevant to his campaign, can be pretty ugly. Romney orchestrated leveraged buyouts, flipping companies quickly for large profits, at the expense of thousands of workers who were considered collateral damage.
But for months, there’s been a standard line from the GOP campaign whenever President Obama’s team even hinted at this issue: what Romney did at his vulture-capital firm was similar to what the administration did when it saved the auto industry.
The argument has never stood up well to scrutiny. Back in January, when Romney started pushing the argument, the Democratic National Committee put together this video explaining why the comparison doesn’t make sense.
At a purely superficial level, Romney’s argument may appear to have some surface-level accuracy: in order to save GM and Chrysler, the Obama administration had to close some dealerships and make some sacrifices in order to rescue the larger companies themselves. When Bain Capital had to lay off thousands of American workers, the argument goes, Romney was largely doing the same thing.
But a closer look reveals how deeply foolish the comparison really is. Romney’s leveraged buyouts and mass layoffs were intended to do one thing: make a profit for investors. The fate of the companies, the workers, and the surrounding communities was irrelevant. Period. Full stop.