The Obama campaign continued its attack on Mitt Romney’s business today, releasing an ad about the controversial closing of Ampad, a paper company in Marion, Indiana. The ad uses many of the same people featured in an ad released by Ted Kennedy in his 1994 Senate race against Romney, which was viewed as helping to torpedo Romney’s campaign.
In 1994 Romney sidestepped questions related to the plant’s layoffs by saying he was on a leave of absence from the company at the time during his run for Senate. Romney’s explanation is similar to that he recently used to deflect recent Democratic criticism of Bain layoffs at GTS Steel, saying he had already left to run the Olympics when Bain acquired the company.
But according to a 2002 interview with former managing director of Bain Capital Marc Wolpow, Romney was directly responsible for Ampad’s layoffs. Wopow and a fellow Bain partner sat on the board of directors of Ampad, and were responsible with carrying out the Bain business plan that caused the layoffs.
“My job was to maximize the profits to Bain Capital’s partners from the Ampad transaction,” Wolpow told the Globe in 2002.
Wolpow said Romney was responsible for the business plan carried out by Bain in Indiana.”Mitt’s employees executed that transaction,” he said. “We carried out the business plan. He was CEO of the firm.”
”I reported directly to Mitt Romney … You can’t be CEO of Bain Capital and say, `I really don’t know what my guys were doing.”
Wolpow said that to maximize profits, Bain “implemented an aggressive plant closing and cost-cutting program.”
Wolpow left Bain in 1999 when Romney went to run the Olympics.