Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney directs a technician to adjust the teleprompter during a sound check at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on August 30, 2012 during the Republican National Convention (RNC). The RNC will culminate later today with the formal nomination of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the GOP presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the US presidential election.
TAMPA — Republican nominee Mitt Romney will use President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama to defend his record at the help on Bain Capital in his acceptance speech tonight.
Romney will recount how he and his partners started the private equity irm with the goal of betting on their advice to turn around companies, calling their effort a “great American success story.”
“When I was 37, I helped start a small company,” Romney will say, according to excerpts released by his campaign. “My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses. So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.”
Romney will note that the Obama campaign has been shopping at staples — a Bain business, as well as the childhood learning center Bright Horizons, which was praised by First Lady Michele Obama.
“That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.”
The effort is meant to try to disarm the Obama attacks in advance of next week’s Democratic Convention.
But in the advance text, Romney avoid using the name of his company — and if that holds, it’s a sign of how toxic Democrats have made the name with millions of dollars in attack ads.
Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.
When that hard fought election was over, when the yard signs came down and the television commercials finally came off the air, Americans were eager to go back to work, to live our lives the way Americans always have – optimistic and positive and confident in the future.
That very optimism is uniquely American.
It is what brought us to America. We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.
They came not just in pursuit of the riches of this world but for the richness of this life.
Every family in America wanted this to be a time when they could get ahead a little more, put aside a little more for college, do more for their elderly mom who’s living alone now or give a little more to their church or charity.
Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team.
Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future.
This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.
This was the hope and change America voted for.
I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we CAN do something. With your help we will do something.
Now is the moment when we can stand up and say, “I’m an American. I make my destiny. And we deserve better! My children deserve better! My family deserves better. My country deserves better!”
So here we stand. Americans have a choice. A decision.
To make that choice, you need to know more about me and about where I will lead our country.
My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all – the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would BE, and much less about what we would DO.
Unconditional love is a gift that Ann and I have tried to pass on to our sons and now to our grandchildren. All the laws and legislation in the world will never heal this world like the loving hearts and arms of mothers and fathers. If every child could drift to sleep feeling wrapped in the love of their family – and God’s love– this world would be a far more gentle and better place.
My mom and dad were true partners, a life lesson that shaped me by everyday example. When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way. I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, “Why should women have any less say than men, about the great decisions facing our nation?”
I wish she could have been here at the convention and heard leaders like Governor Mary Fallin, Governor Nikki Haley, Governor Susana Martinez, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As Governor of Massachusetts, I chose a woman Lt. Governor, a woman chief of staff, half of my cabinet and senior officials were women, and in business, I mentored and supported great women leaders who went on to run great companies.
Like a lot of families in a new place with no family, we found kinship with a wide circle of friends through our church. When we were new to the community it was welcoming and as the years went by, it was a joy to help others who had just moved to town or just joined our church. We had remarkably vibrant and diverse congregations of all walks of life and many who were new to America. We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways.
And that’s how it is in America. We look to our communities, our faiths, our families for our joy, our support, in good times and bad. It is both how we live our lives and why we live our lives. The strength and power and goodness of America has always been based on the strength and power and goodness of our communities, our families, our faiths.
When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.
So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.
That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.
But for too many Americans, these good days are harder to come by. How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America?
Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I’d ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.
Today the time has come for us to put the disappointments of the last four years behind us.
To put aside the divisiveness and the recriminations.
To forget about what might have been and to look ahead to what can be.
Now is the time to restore the Promise of America. Many Americans have given up on this president but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.
What is needed in our country today is not complicated or profound. It doesn’t take a special government commission to tell us what America needs.
What America needs is jobs.
Lots of jobs.
To the majority of Americans who now believe that the future will not be better than the past, I can guarantee you this: if Barack Obama is re-elected, you will be right.
I am running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find one. Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon.
And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs. It has 5 steps.
First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.
Second, we will give our fellow citizens the skills they need for the jobs of today and the careers of tomorrow. When it comes to the school your child will attend, every parent should have a choice, and every child should have a chance.
Third, we will make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements. And when nations cheat in trade, there will be unmistakable consequences.
Fourth, to assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.
And fifth, we will champion SMALL businesses, America’s engine of job growth. That means reducing taxes on business, not raising them. It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most. And it means that we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare by repealing and replacing Obamacare.
President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. MY promise…is to help you and your family.
We will honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world. This is the bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman, and Reagan. And under my presidency we will return to it once again.
The America we all know has been a story of the many becoming one, uniting to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest economy in the world, uniting to save the world from unspeakable darkness.
Everywhere I go in America, there are monuments that list those who have given their lives for America. There is no mention of their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a living. They lived and died under a single flag, fighting for a single purpose. They pledged allegiance to the UNITED States of America.
That America, that united America, can unleash an economy that will put Americans back to work, that will once again lead the world with innovation and productivity, and that will restore every father and mother’s confidence that their children’s future is brighter even than the past.
That America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
That America, that united America, will uphold the constellation of rights that were endowed by our Creator, and codified in our constitution.
That united America will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need.
That America is the best within each of us. That America we want for our children.
If I am elected President of these United States, I will work with all my energy and soul to restore that America, to lift our eyes to a better future. That future is our destiny. That future is out there. It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it, our nation depends upon it, the peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future together tonight.
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Bain Capital was not a management consulting company. It was a private equity shop that specialized in LBOs (leveraged buyouts). They didn’t care about helping companies, they didn’t care about workers or jobs, they cared about making money for themselves and their investors. That’s what private equity does. They borrow a ton of money, buy something they think is undervalued, try to grow it, and sell it for more money (either as a whole or in pieces). The genius is that it doesn’t take many successes to outweigh the individual failures. They can chew up and spit out 5 - 10 companies, but if they get one success then they’re going to see a net gain. And by “they,” I mean Bain and it’s investors. Not the folks at the 5 companies that failed. It works like this: - Take one company that’s making money, fully funded it’s pension plan or whatever, and has no debt. That company’s stock is flat as a pancake. It’s a loser. It’s not expected to grow much more, so there’s no interest for speculators. As far as the market is concerned, that company is the boring kid in the corner that no wants to talk to. - Enter a PE shop. They gather some investors and borrow… oh say, 100+ million dollars to purchase the company and take it private. As collateral for the loan they put up the entire stock of the target company. They also agree to insane rates from the bank. - Once they’ve purchased the company, it’s time to juice that sucker up. They immediately borrow as much money as possible against the assets of the company. Part of that is paid out in dividends to the PE shop, part of that can be put into the company to MAKE IT GROW. Think of it as shoving steroids and growth hormone into a feedlot steer, that bovine is either going to keel over dead or get way big and tasty. - Next, borrow more money. Keep on borrowing. (Debt financing is great because of the tax advantages.) Pay more dividends to the PE shop, pay more management fees, and try to expand the company as much as possible. - An expanding company looks great to the market. “These guys are going places,” folks think. Stock prices soar. More happy faces for the PE firm and their investors. - Now, PE firm dumps the company. Either takes it public, or sells it to another entity. More profit. Or the company collapses (either before or after the sale). All that debt and growth is risky, you know… - You don’t need many successes for this to be a profitable enterprise. Consider that the PE firm didn’t put up that much money originally, they borrowed most of it, and they borrowed it against the target. When it all goes bust they walk away without hardly a scratch. - Sure, some factories may have gotten closed, or jobs lost, or moved or whatever. Who cares if a pension plan was looted or underfunded or whatever? That’s moocher talk, my man. Sure, PE firms sometimes destroy jobs. They also sometimes create them (although that’s less common given the successful company vs. imploded bankruptcy ratio). But at the end of the day, that’s not the point. The point is to make money for the PE firm. Anything else is just noise.