This is the first of our Eileen’s fact finding. This is ALL important reading..
Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
Former Governor of Massachusetts
: Willard Mitt Romney
Date of Birth
: (1943-06-17) March 12, 1947 (1947-03-12)
: Taggart (Tagg) (b. 1970)
Matthew (b. 1971)
Joshua (b. 1975)
Benjamin (b. 1978)
Craig (b. 1981)
View Video Clips:
John McCain’s defeat to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election signaled the reemergence of the former Massachusetts Governor as a serious contender, and clear favorite, for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
The Harvard man has been comfortably leading almost every poll since then. He was knocked off his perch for about two months by Texas Governor, Rick Perry, during the summer of 2011. However, he has since recovered and has once again returned to his seat at the top of the leader board. And unless Perry, Cain, Huntsman, Bachmann and company can pull something out of their collective hats, the liberal turned conservative turned moderate former venture capitalist may just walk through the primaries. While his ideology and personal beliefs may be subject to debate, his knack for business is beyond question – and his across the board appeal makes him a dangerous opponent for President Obama.
On the issues
- Firmly pro-life; including Court nominations. (Jun 2011)
- Abortion decision should recognize TWO lives involved. (Mar 2010)
- OpEd: baroque circumlocutions on evolving abortion stance. (Aug 2009)
- GovWatch: 2002: “preserve & protect” right to choose. (Feb 2008)
- Supreme Court had said feds should stay out of abortion. (Dec 2007)
- I took action as governor to preserve the sanctity of life. (Dec 2007)
- No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions. (Dec 2007)
- Outlaw embryo farming, but allow using surplus embryos. (Dec 2007)
- Fact Check: TV ad ignores regency of conversion to pro-life. (Dec 2007)
- Was pro-choice, now proudly pro-life. (Dec 2007)
- Would be delighted to sign federal ban on all abortions. (Nov 2007)
- Two-step process: overturn Roe; then change hearts & minds. (Sep 2007)
- 2005: Vetoed availability without Rx of morning-after pill. (Aug 2007)
- Firmly in the “legal but rare” camp. (Aug 2007)
- Following in Reagan’s footsteps in converting to pro-life. (Aug 2007)
- Iowa attack phone ads are not true; I am pro-life. (Aug 2007)
- Tired of holier-than-thou attitude about becoming pro-life. (Aug 2007)
- Absolute good day for America when Roe v. Wade is repealed. (May 2007)
- Personally pro-life, but government should not intrude. (May 2007)
- Was effectively pro-choice until cloning changed his opinion. (May 2007)
- Altered nuclear transfer instead of embryonic stem cells. (May 2007)
- Breach of Constitution for justices to adjust Constitution. (Mar 2007)
- Now firmly pro-life, despite 2002 tolerance for abortion. (Dec 2006)
- Anti-abortion views have “evolved & deepened” while governor. (Jul 2005)
- Personally against abortion, but pro-choice as governor. (Mar 2002)
- For safe, legal abortion since relative’s death from illegal. (Oct 1994)
- Stem cell research lofty goals don’t justify destroying life. (Mar 2007)
- Opposes abortion rights. Previously supported them. Says state law should guide abortion rights and Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court. But says Roe vs. Wade is law of the land until that happens and should not be challenged by federal legislation seeking to overturn abortion rights affirmed by that court decision. Would not sign pledge to advance only anti-abortion appointees for relevant administration jobs, cut off federal dollars for clinics that perform or finance abortions, and support a ban on abortions after the fetus reaches a certain stage in development. “So I would live within the law, within the Constitution as I understand it, without creating a constitutional crisis. But I do believe Roe v. Wade should be reversed to allow states to make that decision.”
Opposes abortion rights. Previously supported them. Says state law should guide abortion rights and Roe v. Wade should be reversed by a future Supreme Court. But says Roe vs. Wade is law of the land until that happens and should not be challenged by federal legislation seeking to overturn abortion rights affirmed by that court decision. Would not sign pledge to advance only anti-abortion appointees for relevant administration jobs, cut off federal dollars for clinics that perform or finance abortions, and support a ban on abortions after the fetus reaches a certain stage in development. “So I would live within the law, within the Constitution as I understand it, without creating a constitutional crisis. But I do believe Roe v. Wade should be reversed to allow states to make that decision.”
- Defining mistake: supported abortion law despite opposing it. (Aug 2007)
- Would welcome overturning Roe v. Wade. (Mar 2007)
- Committed to not change law on abortion as Gov., and did not. (Mar 2007)
- Opposes Roe v Wade, but won’t tamper with abortion laws. (Dec 2006)
- Vetoed emergency contraception for rape victims. (Jul 2005)
- Vetoed stem cell research bill. (May 2005)
- Endorsed legalization of RU-486. (Mar 2002)
Budget & Economy
- No bailout for Italy; let Europe take care of Euro. (Nov 2011)
- Let foreclosures happen; let the market reboot. (Nov 2011)
- We need president who understands how economy works. (Oct 2011)
- Cap how much government can spend as a percentage of GDP. (Oct 2011)
- Obama economy hurt middle class the most, so help them first. (Sep 2011)
- Can’t balance budget by cutting waste; must cut spending too. (Sep 2011)
- The country needs a turnaround, and that’s what I do. (Sep 2011)
- Better that The Fed manages currency than Congress. (Sep 2011)
- I understand how the economy works because I lived in it. (Sep 2011)
- Let middle-income Americans save money tax-free. (Sep 2011)
- QE2 didn’t work; focus on jobs & higher growth. (Sep 2011)
- 7 principles for leadership on the economy. (Aug 2011)
- Bailout program wasted money; let companies go bankrupt. (Jun 2011)
- Don’t ask “what can we cut” but “what should we keep”. (Jun 2011)
- Our lack of vision led to financial collapse & loss of $12T. (Mar 2010)
- Strong economy makes superior defense AND citizen prosperity. (Mar 2010)
- US didn’t bail out Wall St.; we prevented financial failure. (Mar 2010)
- This recession has cost $12 trillion in net worth. (Feb 2009)
- Apply Reaganomics to current recession: cut taxes & grow. (Jan 2008)
- Make sure that we rein in spending. (Jan 2008)
- Support some kind of national catastrophic fund. (Jan 2008)
- Only someone who worked in private sector can fix economy. (Jan 2008)
- Couple short-term stimulus with long-term growth boost. (Jan 2008)
- Avoid housing foreclosures to avoid recession. (Jan 2008)
- To avoid recession, deal with housing crisis & gas prices. (Jan 2008)
- Economic strength comes from people, not from Washington. (Dec 2007)
- Cut deficit via waste, like 342 different economic programs. (Dec 2007)
- Fundamentally change how Washington works, to reduce pork. (Nov 2007)
- Giuliani increased spending by 2.8%; I held increase to 2.2%. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: Closed MA budget gap of $1.2B, not $3B. (Sep 2007)
- Disagrees with reported negative study of MA economy. (Aug 2007)
- AdWatch: Cap discretionary spending at inflation minus 1%. (Jun 2007)
- Washington is broken; needs fundamental change. (May 2007)
- First challenge as governor was $3B budget gap. (Aug 2004)
- Remedies for budget imbalance: cut expenses or raise revenue. (Aug 2004)
- Balance state budget by removing waste and folderol. (Mar 2002)
- Will cut deficit and help Americans save. (Oct 1994)
- Lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budget, more trade deals to spur growth. Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. Proposes repeal of the law (Dodd-Frank) toughening financial-industry regulations after the meltdown in that sector. Proposes changing, but not repealing, the (Sarbanes-Oxley) law tightening accounting regulations in response to corporate scandals, to ease the accountability burden on smaller businesses. “We don’t want to tell the world that Republicans are against all regulation. No, regulation is necessary to make a free market work. But it has to be updated and modern.”
- Defended 2008 bailout of financial institutions as a necessary step to avoid the system’s collapse, criticized the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler and said any such aid should not single out specific companies. Cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product, down from today’s recession-swollen 25 percent. Stayed silent during debt-ceiling negotiations, only announcing his opposition to the final deal shortly before lawmakers cast their votes. Favors constitutional balanced budget amendment. Proposes 10 percent cut in federal workforce, elimination of $1.6 billion in Amtrak subsidies and cuts of $600 million in support for the public arts and broadcasting.
- Federal definition of marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Aug 2011)
- 2003: Battled legislatively against legalizing gay marriage. (Mar 2010)
- Marriage is not just quaint custom; recognize critical role. (Mar 2010)
- GovWatch: 1994: Favored gays serving openly in military. (Feb 2008)
- GovWatch: Father supported MLK, but never marched with him. (Jan 2008)
- Right to be kept alive means secret surveillance is OK. (Dec 2007)
- Enemy combatants, if citizens, entitled to habeas corpus. (Dec 2007)
- Supports Employment Nondiscrimination Act at state level. (Dec 2007)
- MA Constitution, by John Adams, has no same-sex marriage. (Oct 2007)
- Equality for Muslims; but follow hate-preachers into mosques. (Oct 2007)
- Supported English-only laws but ran Spanish commercials. (Oct 2007)
- 1994: Gays ok in Boy Scouts. (Aug 2007)
- 2006: Marriage: I agree with 3000 years of recorded history. (Aug 2007)
- No longer calls Giuliani pro-choice & pro-gay & anti-gun. (Aug 2007)
- Don’t ask, don’t tell sounds silly, but it’s effective. (Jun 2007)
- Pushed vote on traditional marriage against MA gay marriage. (Mar 2007)
- Marriage pre-dates our Constitution & shouldn’t de redefined. (Mar 2007)
- Constitutional amendment defining 1-man-1-woman marriage. (Mar 2007)
- Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. (Jan 2007)
- Opposed gay marriage but played fair and upheld law. (Apr 2006)
- Put gay marriage ban into GOP party platform. (Nov 2005)
- Every child deserves a mother and a father. (Sep 2004)
- OpEd: abdicated power in 2004 & allowed gay marriage. (Aug 2004)
- Supports benefits for gay partners, but not gay marriage. (Sep 2002)
- Sexual orientation should not preclude being a Scout. (Oct 1994)
- To compete as a nation, draw on skills of women & minorities. (Oct 1994)
- Help women thru glass ceiling by requiring annual reporting. (Oct 1994)
- Welcome nativity scenes in public places on holidays. (Dec 2007)
- I was CEO at mainstream businesses, not Wall St. (Oct 2011)
- No individual bailouts; but preserve financial system. (Oct 2011)
- Net-net, Bain Capital created tens of thousands of new jobs. (Oct 2011)
- Big banks handle massive regulations; small banks get killed. (Oct 2011)
- America needs a conservative businessman to recover economy. (Sep 2011)
- Corporations are people. (Aug 2011)
- Corporations won’t send jobs overseas if tax rates lowered. (Mar 2010)
- TARP should not be used for auto company bailouts. (Feb 2009)
- Key to economic stimulus: get companies to buy more stuff. (Jan 2008)
- Reduce corporate tax rate–we have 2nd highest in world. (Jan 2008)
- You don’t help the wage-earner by attacking the wage-payer. (Jan 2008)
- Fact Check: Closed $174M in corporate tax loopholes. (Jan 2008)
- Don’t apply Sec. 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley to smaller companies. (Oct 2007)
- Spun off Bain Capital from Bain Consulting & earned fortune. (Aug 2007)
- Approach to business as “Bainiac”: meritocracy & results. (Mar 2007)
- Company’s culture must align with mission, or mission fails. (Aug 2004)
- Piracy protection key to selling Olympic sponsorships. (Aug 2004)
- Hire private companies to manage our state prisons. (Mar 2010)
- To reduce black on black crime, get more moms and dads. (Nov 2007)
- One Strike, You’re Ours: lifetime GPS tracking. (Jul 2007)
- Reform sentencing process; appeal too-lenient sentences. (Sep 2002)
- Supports death penalty in heinous murders. (Sep 2002)
- Favored mandatory sentencing and three strikes. (Mar 2002)
- Safe streets will be a campaign theme. (Mar 2002)
- Will bring new businesses to urban areas. (Nov 1994)
- Supports death penalty and “three strikes” sentencing. (Oct 1994)
- Opposes legalization of recreational or medical marijuana. (Apr 2011)
- Mandatory sentence & higher penalty for repeat drunk driving. (Aug 2007)
- Combat the ruthless narco-terrorists in Colombia. (Jul 2007)
- Smaller classroom size only matters to teachers’ unions. (Sep 2011)
- We should insist that teachers get evaluated. (Sep 2011)
- China & India graduate more science & engineering PhDs. (Mar 2010)
- Failure to educate minorities is a civil rights issue. (Mar 2010)
- 2003: Bold reforms: required H.S. graduation test. (Mar 2010)
- Vetoed abandoning three new Massachusetts charter schools. (Mar 2010)
- Teachers’ union has deadening impact on student achievement. (Mar 2010)
- School choice over fat-cat CEOs of teachers’ unions. (Feb 2010)
- Fact Check: US scores at 50% internationally, not 10%-25%. (Dec 2007)
- Fact Check: MA 1st in test scores, but was 1st before Romney. (Dec 2007)
- Education is not just the teachers’ union. (Dec 2007)
- Bush was right on No Child Left Behind. (Dec 2007)
- Identify failing schools; push choice & English immersion. (Dec 2007)
- Principles: choice; parental involvement; merit scholarships. (Dec 2007)
- Supports English immersion & abstinence education. (May 2007)
- Changed from closing Education Dept. to supporting NCLB. (May 2007)
- Reform underperforming schools or replace with charters. (Sep 2002)
- Supported abolishing the federal Department of Education. (Mar 2002)
- Schools can teach family values, but not religion or prayer. (Aug 1994)
- Supported means-tested vouchers for public & private schools. (Mar 2002)
- Supported the federal accountability standards of No Child Left Behind law. In 2007, said he was wrong earlier in his career when he wanted the Education Department shut because he came to see the value of the federal government in “holding down the interests of the teachers’ unions” and putting kids and parents first.
Energy & Oil
- Compensate Nevada for nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain. (Oct 2011)
- Climate change is occurring, with SOME human contribution. (Mar 2010)
- No-regrets policy at home; reduce greenhouse emission abroad. (Mar 2010)
- Nuclear power is a win-win: no CO2 and no imports. (Mar 2010)
- They don’t call it “America warming” but “global warming”. (Jan 2008)
- Opposes McCain-Lieberman bill due to $0.50/gal. gas tax. (Jan 2008)
- $20 billion package for energy research & new car technology. (Jan 2008)
- Need worldwide global warming solutions; not CAFE or US tax. (Jan 2008)
- Invest in new technologies to get us off of foreign oil. (Dec 2007)
- Develop energy technology like nuclear or liquefied coal. (Oct 2007)
- The time for true energy independence has come. (Aug 2007)
- Exporting carbon emissions to China hurts US and planet. (Aug 2007)
- No-regrets policy: biofuel, nuclear power, drill ANWR. (Jun 2007)
- Big Oil should reinvest profits in oil refineries. (Jun 2007)
- Develop alternative energy but also drill in ANWR. (Dec 2006)
- Can’t become energy independent in a decade, but be on track. (Jan 2006)
- Accelerate drilling permits in areas where exploration has already been approved for developers with good safety records. Supports drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves, Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska; and supports exploitation of shale oil deposits. Reduce obstacles to coal, natural gas and nuclear energy development. Says green power has yet to become viable.
- States should be able to have their own emissions standards. (Jan 2008)
- Response to Big Dig death shows how Romney handles crises. (Mar 2007)
- Lit mountain with Olympic rings while placating enviro’s. (Aug 2004)
- Clean environment will be a campaign theme. (Mar 2002)
- Spending a fortune to cut the emissions linked to global warming “is not the right course for us.” Has acknowledged the scientific consensus that humans contribute to global warming: “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that.” But now says: “My view is that we don‘t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” Proposes to remove carbon dioxide from list of pollutants controlled by Clean Air Act, and amend clean water and air laws to ensure the cost of complying with regulations is balanced against environmental benefit. Says cap and trade would “rocket energy prices.”
Families & Children
- Kids working in libraries is fine; don’t change labor laws. (Dec 2011)
- The Worst Generation precludes children from American Dream. (Mar 2010)
- Child development enhanced by having a mother & father. (Feb 2008)
- Fact Check: Teenage birth rate declined from 1991 to 2005. (Dec 2007)
- Strong military, strong economy, and strong families. (Jun 2007)
- To strengthen America, strengthen the American family. (Feb 2007)
- Unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation. (Sep 2011)
- No European-style solutions to an American problem. (Feb 2011)
- Different countries’ paths to decline came from isolation. (Mar 2010)
- In long term, Chinese reforms lead to demanding freedom. (Mar 2010)
- Post-WWII role: defeat threats to progress of freedom. (Mar 2010)
- American Exceptionalism means America need not decline. (Mar 2010)
- National turnaround requires leadership; consensus; strength. (Mar 2010)
- Unless US changes course, we’ll no longer be superpower. (Feb 2008)
- Putin is a troubling leader and an authoritarian. (Jan 2008)
- The US is the only major power believing in free enterprise. (Jan 2008)
- Free Cuba and eliminate threat of people like Hugo Chavez. (Dec 2007)
- 2006: Blocked services for Iran’s Khatami speech at Harvard. (Aug 2007)
- To win the war on jihad, we need friends in Muslim world. (Aug 2007)
- Encourage others to welcome democracy, without military. (Aug 2007)
- Move Muslim world toward modernity so they reject extreme. (Aug 2007)
- US is not arrogant, but we have resolve. (Jun 2007)
- Trade with China only if they follow international rules. (Nov 2011)
- Go to WTO about China; we’re already in a trade war. (Nov 2011)
- China is a currency manipulator; go after them for cheating. (Oct 2011)
- China doesn’t want to have a trade war; so push hard. (Oct 2011)
- Trade is good for the nation, but not good for everybody. (Mar 2010)
- Protectionism stifles productivity, under Bush AND Obama. (Mar 2010)
- Re-negotiate trade deals with China and other countries. (Dec 2007)
- Open up markets to American goods and services. (Oct 2007)
- Businesspeople should negotiate trade, not politicians. (Oct 2007)
- Emergence of Asia is an opportunity for trade and commerce. (Dec 2006)
- I didn’t inhale while governor; government is too big. (Sep 2011)
- Measure American success by series of cyclical indicators. (Mar 2010)
- Dynamic regulations: forward-looking & consistently applied. (Mar 2010)
- 1960s large donors avoided union influence in politics. (Mar 2010)
- GovWatch: 1994: advocated spending limit on elections. (Feb 2008)
- Washington thinks “action” means committee meetings & Bills. (Feb 2008)
- Must know how America works, not just how Washington works. (Feb 2008)
- Use my own money in a campaign to try and change the US. (Jan 2008)
- Not concerned about voters on his campaign self-contribution. (Jan 2008)
- Washington is broken due to insider lobbyists & politicians. (Jan 2008)
- McCain-Feingold hurt our party and hurt the First Amendment. (Jan 2008)
- Signing statements are an important presidential practice. (Dec 2007)
- Focus on global Jihad, immigration, tax cut, and healthcare. (Dec 2007)
- Line-item veto can & should pass constitutional muster. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: 844 line item vetoes; but over 700 overridden. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: Romney had 700 line-item vetoes, President cannot. (Jun 2007)
- Never pardoned anyone as governor, but might pardon Libby. (Jun 2007)
- McCain-Feingold law prevents free speech in campaigns. (May 2007)
- Open document policy overcame SLOC obfuscation & scandal. (Aug 2004)
- Balanced budget amendment and line-item veto. (Mar 2002)
- 2008: “Lifelong” devotion to hunting meant “small varmints”. (Jan 2010)
- GovWatch: 1994: did not “line up with the NRA”. (Feb 2008)
- Support the 2nd Amendment AND the assault weapon ban. (Jan 2008)
- I support the work of the NRA, but disagree sometimes. (Dec 2007)
- Ok to ban lethal weapons that threaten police. (Dec 2007)
- Compromise MA gun bills were net gain for gun owner. (Aug 2007)
- Supports Second Amendment rights but also assault weapon ban. (May 2007)
- Will support assault weapons bill and Brady Bill. (Aug 1994)
- Return healthcare to states, under the 10th Amendment. (Dec 2011)
- No FEDERAL individual mandate; but state mandate ok. (Dec 2011)
- ObamaCare waivers on Day One; repeal bill on Day Two. (Oct 2011)
- RomneyCare intended as state plan; never as national model. (Sep 2011)
- In MA, we addressed only the 8% who were uninsured. (Sep 2011)
- Reform Medicare, but don’t cancel prescription program. (Sep 2011)
- I stand by what I did in Massachusetts. (Sep 2011)
- Health Savings Accounts give patients stake in health costs. (Sep 2011)
- ObamaCare has enormous differences from RomneyCare. (Sep 2011)
- On Day One, ObamaCare waivers to all 50 states. (Sep 2011)
- ObamaCare’s biggest difference: I believe in 10th Amendment. (Aug 2011)
- MA Constitution allows mandate; US Constitution does not. (Aug 2011)
- If people of MA don’t like RomneyCare, they can change it. (Jun 2011)
- ObamaCare’s power grab won’t work; Obama didn’t ask me. (Jun 2011)
- Base health care system on free choice & private medicine. (Feb 2009)
- Mandating citizens to buy health insurance is conservative. (Jan 2008)
- Get everyone some form of catastrophic health coverage. (Jan 2008)
- Fact Check: Untrue that 47M uninsured want to “not play”. (Jan 2008)
- Personal responsibility instead of employer mandates. (Dec 2007)
- Let states create their own private, market-based insurance. (Oct 2007)
- Removing most mandates drove down premium cost by half. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: HillaryCare closer to RomneyCare than “all gov’t”. (Oct 2007)
- Same tax treatment if people buy insurance without employers. (Oct 2007)
- Get everybody insured with state-based market dynamics. (Oct 2007)
- MA plan blends personal responsibility & universal coverage. (Aug 2007)
- Conservative idea: individual responsibility for health care. (Aug 2007)
- Insure 45 million uninsured with a free-market based system. (Aug 2007)
- Fact Check: Romney plan virtually identical to Obama plan. (Jun 2007)
- Pharmaceutical companies create products to make us better. (Jan 2006)
- Subsidies for health coverage for low-income individuals. (Mar 2002)
- Voluntary purchasing pools. (Mar 2002)
- Promises to work for the repeal of the federal health care law modeled largely after his universal health care achievement in Massachusetts because he says states, not Washington, should drive policy on the uninsured. But would retain the prohibition against denying insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.
- Would expand individual tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and let the savings be used for insurance premiums as well as personal medical costs. Would let insurance be sold across state lines to expand options, and restrict malpractice awards to restrain health care costs.
- Introduce “generous” but undetermined subsidies to help future retirees buy private insurance instead of going on traditional Medicare.
- No federal requirement for people to have health insurance. His Massachusetts plan requires people to have coverage, penalizes those who don’t, and penalizes businesses of a certain size if they do not provide coverage to workers.
- His state has highest percentage of insured in nation.
- On Medicaid, proposes to convert program to a federal block grant administered by states
- 2006 lessons: involve everyone; demonize none; transparency. (Mar 2010)
- People without insurance already receive care via E.R. (Mar 2010)
- 2006: Compromise with Ted Kennedy to make RomneyCare reality. (Mar 2010)
- Fact Check: MA employers have no mandates, but “requirements”. (Dec 2007)
- Fact Check: No, MA healthcare plan is not paid for, yet. (Dec 2007)
- Fact Check: MA plan works, but Romney not proposing it for US. (Oct 2007)
- MA program relies on personal responsibility & the market. (Jun 2007)
- MA health plan insures all without taxes or socialization. (May 2007)
- Fact Check: MA plan not yet in place so analysis premature. (May 2007)
- Signal accomplishment as Governor is MA insurance reform. (Mar 2007)
- MA reform focuses on individual responsibility (via fines). (Mar 2007)
- State universal coverage plan is national test case. (Apr 2006)
- MA state health insurance plan lowered costs. (Jan 2006)
- Mandates on health insurance work in Massachusetts. (Jan 2006)
- It’s a terrible idea to cut defense. (Oct 2011)
- Devoted to making America the strongest nation on Earth. (Oct 2011)
- Strong Economy; Strong Military; Strong People. (Mar 2010)
- Increase defense spending to at least 4% of GDP. (Mar 2010)
- Recognize the scope and reality of the jihadist threat. (Mar 2010)
- Strengthen soft power because it is real power. (Mar 2010)
- China’s military is over half our size (not one-tenth!). (Mar 2010)
- Defense cost comparison US vs PRC. (Mar 2010)
- Our nuclear arsenal must be updated comprehensively. (Mar 2010)
- Allies must increase defense spending to a fair share. (Mar 2010)
- No Miranda rights for suicide bombers. (Feb 2010)
- Closing Guantanamo leaves America vulnerable to another 9/11. (Feb 2009)
- Raise military spending to 4% of our GDP. (Feb 2008)
- Add 100,000 to the military without a draft. (Jan 2008)
- Best to not say whether waterboarding is torture or not. (Jan 2008)
- Not wise for us to describe our interrogation techniques. (Nov 2007)
- Lawyers are the last people to ask about war decisions. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: Bush cut military budget as much as Bill Clinton. (Oct 2007)
- Apologized for comparing public service to military service. (Sep 2007)
- Wiretap mosques to keep tabs on Islamic extremists. (Sep 2007)
- Sharply increase military investment to face radical jihad. (Aug 2007)
- Global military & non-military effort to defeat jihad. (Aug 2007)
- Don’t weaken Musharraf; we need ally against Bin Laden. (Aug 2007)
- Double Guantanamo, to avoid terrorist access to lawyers. (May 2007)
- Eligible for draft in 1969; regrets not having served. (Mar 2007)
- Stronger America is less likely to have to fight. (Mar 2007)
- FBI wiretaps and spying on immigrants OK. (Dec 2006)
- Use both military & diplomatic actions to defeat Jihadists. (Dec 2006)
- Jihadists attack to destroy all moderate governments. (Jan 2006)
- We need at least 100,000 more troops in our military. (Jan 2006)
- Islamic terror has nothing to do with US policy of bases. (Jan 2006)
- No constitutional rights for foreign terrorism suspects.
- Alien employment cards; not amnesty. (Nov 2011)
- Vetoed in-state tuition; turn off the magnet. (Sep 2011)
- Of course a border fence; of course no free tuition. (Sep 2011)
- Build 2,600-mile fence with enough guards to secure it. (Sep 2011)
- Turn off the magnet that attracts immigrants. (Sep 2011)
- I like legal immigration; let business determine visas. (Aug 2011)
- Immigration practices are upside down: more hi-tech visas. (Mar 2010)
- Ardent proponent of English immersion. (Mar 2010)
- GovWatch: 2005: Called comprehensive reform “reasonable”. (Feb 2008)
- Deport illegal immigrants in 90 days under the ideal setting. (Jan 2008)
- Found Z-visa & McCain-Kennedy bill to be offensive. (Jan 2008)
- Fact Check: Yes, his ads DID accuse McCain of “amnesty”. (Jan 2008)
- Illegal immigrants should go home eventually. (Dec 2007)
- No mandatory prison term for employers who hire illegal’s. (Dec 2007)
- AdWatch: Huckabee ok’ed tuition & scholarships for illegal’s. (Dec 2007)
- Fact Check: Took hard-line on illegal’s, but only late in term. (Dec 2007)
- Welcome the people who have been standing in line first. (Dec 2007)
- Employers have no means of knowing who’s legal & who’s not. (Dec 2007)
- Avoid chain migration; disallow families from one citizen. (Dec 2007)
- Illegal immigrants shouldn’t get tuition break in schools. (Nov 2007)
- Fact Check: Illegal’s employed at his home, but by contractor. (Nov 2007)
- AdWatch: No driver’s license & in-state tuition for illegal’s. (Nov 2007)
- Fact Check: MA state cops never enforced immigration laws. (Nov 2007)
- Fact Check: Took no action against 4 Mass. sanctuary cities. (Nov 2007)
- Reduce federal funding to sanctuary cities. (Sep 2007)
- Z-visa is not technically amnesty; but is in fact amnesty. (Sep 2007)
- Fact Check: NYC never declared itself a “sanctuary city”. (Sep 2007)
- Make America more attractive for legal immigrants. (Aug 2007)
- Priorities: secure border, employer verification, no amnesty. (Aug 2007)
- Enforce the law against 12 million illegal’s here now. (Jun 2007)
- Proposed Z visa allows illegal aliens to stay in America. (Jun 2007)
- Make English national language; communicate in Spanish too. (Jun 2007)
- McCain’s plan gives special pathway to those here illegally. (May 2007)
- Keep rule barring immigrants from running for president. (May 2007)
- The 12 million illegal immigrants can’t stay forever. (Jan 2006)
- Unfair to allow all illegal immigrants to stay. (Jan 2006)
- Tuition breaks encourage illegal immigration. (Nov 2005)
- Favors complete U.S.-Mexico border fence, opposes education benefits to illegal immigrants. Proposes more visas for holders of advanced degrees in math, science and engineering who have U.S. job offers, and would award permanent residency to foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools with a degree in those fields.
- We need encompassing policy for jobs, energy, taxes, & trade. (Oct 2011)
- Nation should learn lesson from right-to-work states. (Sep 2011)
- Obama’s policies have put 2.5 million Americans out of work. (Sep 2011)
- Bain Capital created thousands of jobs during my time there. (Sep 2011)
- America is an extraordinary jobs machine. (Sep 2011)
- Fact Check: Reduced unemployment in MA from 5.6% to 4.7%. (Sep 2011)
- Fact Check: Jobs grew faster in MA under Romney’s predecessor. (Sep 2011)
- The free economy means sometimes we lose jobs. (Aug 2011)
- Replace jobless benefits with unemployment savings accounts. (Aug 2011)
- Fact Check: No, fewer US unemployed than Canadians employed. (Feb 2011)
- Fact Check: No, more jobs lost under Bush than under Obama. (Feb 2011)
- “Card check” is a massive imposition on worker freedom. (Mar 2010)
- Incentivize hiring jobless: cover $2000 in training costs. (Mar 2010)
- Opposes “25-75”: 25 years of service then 75% pension. (Mar 2010)
- Built long-term pipeline for MA jobs; so job growth is slow. (Jan 2008)
- Take action & we need not give up on any industry’s jobs. (Jan 2008)
- MA had 3rd worst job growth; I turned around declining rates. (Jan 2008)
- I believe in domestic supports for our agriculture industry. (Oct 2007)
- Good unions train members; bad unions hurt their company. (Oct 2007)
- Fact Check: Yes, US added 50M jobs since ‘78; but EU added 36M. (Aug 2007)
- Tax incentives for employee training. (Mar 2002)
Principles & Values
- Bipartisanship worked in MA; we looked beyond elections. (Nov 2011)
- Obama takes political inspiration from socialist Europe. (Sep 2011)
- Me & Tea Party are both for small government & low spending. (Sep 2011)
- Obama Misery Index: record unemployment & bankruptcies. (Feb 2011)
- Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. (Nov 2010)
- 2008: Caught eating KFC chicken with a knife & fork. (May 2010)
- Hard times made us the people we are today. (Mar 2010)
- President should proudly defend US, not apologize for her. (Mar 2010)
- America is freedom and freedom must be strong. (Mar 2010)
- The “Party of No” is ok when it comes to spending. (Feb 2010)
- 2008: Cast himself as a doer, not just a dreamer. (Aug 2009)
- Opportunity is what lets hope become reality. (Sep 2008)
- Liberals replace opportunity with dependency on government. (Sep 2008)
- Withdrawing from race to help McCain beat Democrats. (Feb 2008)
- Favor justices like Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. (Jan 2008)
- Bush took on some tough issues and stood for strength. (Jan 2008)
- People look to governors, not senators, for a leader. (Jan 2008)
- I’m proud of my experience as a leader. (Jan 2008)
- Abraham Lincoln was not a military expert. (Jan 2008)
- Reagan would endorse my candidacy. (Jan 2008)
- Washington is broken & can’t deal with many problems. (Jan 2008)
- Don’t think religion figuring into this race. (Jan 2008)
- Freedom requires religion in society, not in individuals. (Dec 2007)
- Ok to appoint atheists or agnostics–no litmus test of faith. (Dec 2007)
- Draw upon the strengths of the conservative principles. (Dec 2007)
- Acting like Hillary won’t keep Hillary out of White House. (Oct 2007)
- Absent from Values Voter Presidential Debate. (Sep 2007)
- Reid(D) vs. Hatch(R) show that LDS doesn’t control opinions. (Aug 2007)
- Father George Romney born & raised until age 5 in Mexico. (Aug 2007)
- Valedictorian at Brigham Young University. (Aug 2007)
- Wife Ann in remission from Multiple Sclerosis. (Aug 2007)
- Stresses commonality of Mormonism to mainstream Christianity. (Aug 2007)
- Apologized for phrase “tar baby”, but not meant racially. (Aug 2007)
- Evangelicals know Mormons are fiscal & social conservatives. (Aug 2007)
- Americans want person of faith as president, whatever brand. (Aug 2007)
- Mormons for president included Udall (1976) & Hatch (2000). (Aug 2007)
- 1984: As Mormon bishop, led recovery after church fire. (Aug 2007)
- 1983: Carried dog in kennel on car roof, against MA law. (Aug 2007)
- Misspoke that sons’ campaign service comparable to military. (Aug 2007)
- Strong families, a strong economy and a strong military. (Aug 2007)
- Doesn’t dislike anything about America. (May 2007)
- Address issues so America can remain a superpower. (Dec 2006)
- #8 on Human Events’ list of Top Ten RINOs. (Dec 2005)
- Success in DC: Tell truth, find right fit, never give up. (Aug 2004)
- Has “over-developed community service gene”. (Aug 2004)
- Pronounced dead at age 20 from car accident in Paris. (Aug 2004)
- Experience to lead to prosperity after fiscal mismanagement. (Mar 2002)
- Dad inspired him to public service. (Mar 2002)
- Aspiring to greatness is its own reward. (Jun 2001)
- We shouldn’t choose leaders by their religion. (Oct 2011)
- Endorsed by Bob Jones, despite calling Mormonism a “cult”. (Dec 2007)
- Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. (Dec 2007)
- I believe Jesus is savior of mankind & Son of God. (Dec 2007)
- Ignoring religion in policy is at odds with our founders. (Dec 2007)
- No church authorities will exert influence on my decisions. (Dec 2007)
- Will serve no one religion, but will not distance himself. (Dec 2007)
- We share a common creed despite differences in theology. (Dec 2007)
- Bible is the word of God; I don’t disagree with Bible. (Nov 2007)
- Mormons believe in God, the Bible, & Jesus Christ as savior. (Jun 2007)
- Roman Catholic bishops can do whatever the heck they want. (May 2007)
- Every person of any faith has deeply-held values. (May 2007)
- Romney is the 5th Mormon to run for President. (Mar 2007)
- George Romney never questioned on Mormonism during 1968 race. (Mar 2007)
- Constitution is explicit: no religious test for presidency. (Mar 2007)
- Faces questions on Mormonism like Kennedy did on Catholicism. (Apr 2006)
- Changing views: I’ve learned from experience & made mistakes. (Jan 2008)
- Proud of his accomplishments in fighting the Liberal Lion. (Oct 2007)
- 1967: Father was presidency frontrunner until “brainwashed”. (Aug 2007)
- Bush & Cheney have made mistakes, but have kept us safe. (Aug 2007)
- AdWatch: Stood up for conservatism in most liberal state. (Jun 2007)
- Fact Check: VT would disagree that MA is most liberal state. (Jun 2007)
- Not seeking re-election as governor; speaking around US. (Apr 2006)
- Respects Kerry’s Vietnam record, but not his Senate record. (Sep 2004)
- Kerry’s leadership is 57 varieties; Bush is unwavering. (Sep 2004)
- Ran against Kennedy in 1993 to offer a different vision. (Aug 2004)
- Ran for MA governor to help people. (Aug 2004)
- Shut out Boy Scouts from Olympics due to age requirements. (Feb 2008)
- 2002: Offered Olympic job as “turnaround king”. (Aug 2007)
- Salvaged Olympic games from financial and scandal disaster. (Mar 2007)
- Olympic slogan “Light the Fire Within”: it’s more than sports. (Aug 2004)
- SLOC’s guiding principles: teamwork, pride, integrity, fun. (Aug 2004)
- Did not consider political value of Olympics. (Aug 2004)
- Worked for Olympics with no salary and no expense account. (Aug 2004)
- $100M in SLOC donations criticized as special deals for rich. (Aug 2004)
- $99M in deferred payments from State of Utah paid for SLOC. (Aug 2004)
- World Trade Center flag shown at Olympic opening ceremony. (Aug 2004)
- Ran Olympics in spirit of volunteerism. (Mar 2002)
- 1-year payroll tax cut is a band-aid; make permanent changes. (Oct 2011)
- System is federal responsibility, not state governments. (Sep 2011)
- Congress taking money from Trust Fund is criminal. (Sep 2011)
- Keep Social Security as an essential federal program. (Sep 2011)
- Funding for Social Security is not working, but system works. (Sep 2011)
- So-called “Trust Fund” has defrauded American people. (Mar 2010)
- Add individual retirement accounts as option. (Mar 2010)
- Rein in the excessive growth in entitlement programs. (Jan 2008)
- Will try to fix Social Security without raising taxes. (Jan 2008)
- No FICA for workers over age 65, so they can stay working. (Jan 2008)
- Favors private accounts; prepared to be entirely bold. (Oct 2007)
- Private accounts work better than extending retirement age. (Oct 2007)
- Reform entitlements by negotiating behind closed doors. (Aug 2006)
- Honor expectations of recipients, but take action for future. (Aug 2006)
- Says raising the age for benefits and reducing inflation adjustments for rich retirees are among options that should be considered.
- Tax rate flatter & simpler but still progressive for now. (Nov 2011)
- I don’t want to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. (Nov 2011)
- Rich are doing fine; Poor have safety net; Middle needs help. (Oct 2011)
- $200,000 income threshold for no interest & dividend tax. (Sep 2011)
- Fair Tax is structured poorly against the middle class. (Sep 2011)
- I cut taxes 19 times as MA governor. (Aug 2011)
- Eliminate taxes on dividends & interest but not via Fair Tax. (Mar 2010)
- Raised service fees like highway ads, from $200 to $2,000. (Jan 2008)
- Fees are appropriate for the government to provide services. (Jan 2008)
- I support the Bush tax cuts. (Jan 2008)
- Avoid recession with immediate middle-income tax cuts. (Jan 2008)
- Raised $240M in MA fees, but only covering cost of services. (Jan 2008)
- Zero tax rate on capital gains, for incomes up to $200,000. (Jan 2008)
- Lowering taxes, like Bush tax cuts, grows the economy. (Jan 2008)
- Fact Check: Never opposed 2003 Bush cuts, but never supported. (Jan 2008)
- Reduce the tax burden on middle-income families. (Dec 2007)
- Signed no-tax pledge; Dems pledge to raise taxes. (Sep 2007)
- Death tax just doesn’t make sense. (Aug 2007)
- Commission studied Fair Tax and found serious flaws. (Aug 2007)
- Pledges no new taxes in 2007 after refusing pledge in 2002. (May 2007)
- Fact Check: Did not raise MA taxes, but DID raise MA fees. (May 2007)
- End taxes on interests, dividends & capital gains. (May 2007)
- My pledge: no freeze on tax rollback. (Mar 2002)
- Pledges not to raise taxes. (Nov 1994)
- No one with adjusted gross income under $200,000 should be taxed on interest, dividends or capital gains. Cut corporate tax rate to 25 percent from a high of 35 percent. Opposes proposals to replace current tax system with national sales tax because he says it raises taxes on middle class while lowering them for rich and poor. Make Bush-era tax cuts, including for the wealthy, permanent. Eliminate estate tax.
- Mining the moon costs too much. (Dec 2011)
- China must respect intellectual property if they want trade. (Nov 2011)
- Two-part innovation: improve the old; invent the new. (Mar 2010)
- National R&D spending OK; picking winners not OK. (Mar 2010)
- A road project isn’t going to stimulate the economy now. (Jan 2008)
- The Big Dig solved a problem, but cost way too much to do. (Jan 2008)
- Ad Watch: More change in next 10 years than in 10 centuries. (Jan 2008)
- Fact Check: Ludicrous exaggeration to compare 10 centuries. (Jan 2008)
- To compete globally, invest in education and technology. (Aug 2007)
- Invest in nanotech and materials science. (Aug 2007)
- Invest in infrastructure from growing economy by lower taxes. (Aug 2007)
War & Peace
- Disagree with Israelis in private; stand with them in public. (Dec 2011)
- If we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. (Nov 2011)
- Crippling sanctions against Iran, & military, to stop nukes. (Nov 2011)
- We should withdraw from Afghanistan after 2012. (Aug 2011)
- Stay in Afghanistan until our generals say to leave. (Jun 2011)
- American resolve in Iraq counters jihad with fortitude. (Mar 2010)
- $700B was well-spent to win freedom in Iraq. (Feb 2009)
- To Jihadists, democracy is blasphemous since people make law. (Feb 2008)
- Never, ever supported specific timetable for exit from Iraq. (Jan 2008)
- Timetable for troop reduction ok; but not for withdrawal. (Jan 2008)
- It was the right decision to go into Iraq. (Jan 2008)
- Supported timed withdrawal, but only by Iraqis and in secret. (Jan 2008)
- Staying in Iraq protects lives of American citizens. (Dec 2007)
- Let lawyers decide if authorization needed to attack Iran. (Oct 2007)
- After surge, move to support phase, based in Kuwait. (Sep 2007)
- Deal with Iran nukes with Dems at home & with allies abroad. (Sep 2007)
- Slow progress vs. frightening consequences of withdrawal. (Aug 2007)
- It’s time for people of America to show a surge of support. (Aug 2007)
- Keep option to attack Al Qaeda in Pakistan, but don’t say it. (Aug 2007)
- Right to invade Iraq, but not what came after. (Jun 2007)
- Fact Check: Saddam didn’t refuse UN inspectors prior to war. (Jun 2007)
- Iraq part of global jihadist effort to bring down the West. (May 2007)
- Don’t decide policy by polls; don’t leave Iraq precipitously. (May 2007)
- Osama bin Laden will die for the outrage he has exacted. (May 2007)
- Withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake. (Dec 2006)
- Bush gave inadequate rationale for Iraq war. (Nov 2006)
- You attack US and we respond; but use nonmilitary too. (Jan 2006)
- Supported the surge; never supported a timed withdrawal. (Jan 2006)
- Has not specified the troop numbers behind his pledge to ensure the “force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully” in Afghanistan. Said Obama was wrong to begin reducing troop levels as soon as he did. Would increase strength of armed forces, including number of troops and warships.
Welfare & Poverty
- My faith would inform my presidency. (Nov 2010)
- Entitlements: focus on future beyond next election. (Mar 2010)
- Opportunity is in our DNA; dependency is death to initiative. (Feb 2008)
- Creating jobs helps poorest workers; not cash handouts. (Jan 2008)
- Vetoed $220K for state-run homelessness projects. (Jul 2005)
- Vetoed studying how MA can overcome federal workfare rules. (Jul 2005)
- Would require welfare recipients to work. (Nov 1994)
Skelton’s in Mitt Romney’s closet
Mitt Romney burst onto the political scene as a conservative pretty boy that no one had heard of before. It turns out that no one heard of him because he wasn’t conservative until this race. Other Politicians look at this guy and say, “Wow, that guy is a phony, two-faced, flip-flopping weasel.” And that’s really saying something.
“Buenos dias!” — Mitt Romney’s regular greeting to the illegal Guatemalan immigrants who work on his lawn
“Aw, geez.” — Romney to a reporter who asked him about the lawn workers. He then walked away.
The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsoever. He is the most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics.
– from the most disgusting political hacks Barney “backdoor” Frank
“I’m a normal person. I have emotions.” — Mitt Romney, protesting too much.
“The more Mitt Romney speaks, the less believable he becomes. He has spent a year trying to convince Granite Staters that he is trustworthy. It looks like they aren’t buying it. And a for good reason.” – the Manchester Union-Leader newspaper, New Hampshire’s most conservative newspaper
“If a candidate is a phony, we (in New Hampshire) assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we’ll know it. Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no.” — The Concord Monitor, New Hampshire’s most liberal paper
“I’m not a big-game hunter. I’ve made that very clear. I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times.” — Mitt Romney, failing.
“It wasn’t as though I was suicidal, but I was at the point where I thought, ‘Couldn’t I please just have cancer and die?'” — Ann Romney, his wife, about her multiple sclerosis. (She is currently symptom-free.)
Back when he was liberal, Romney supported the Brady Bill, assault weapons bans and Massachusetts’ very strict gun control laws. Now that he’s running as a conservative Republican, Romney has claimed that the NRA endorsed him in previous campaigns. (Oops — that was easily proven to be a lie. His Democratic opponent actually had a better NRA rating.)
He also claimed he was a “lifelong hunter”, though he didn’t own a gun, has never had a hunting license and had only joined the NRA in August 2006 — as a “Lifetime Member” — just about exactly the moment he started campaigning for President.
When pressed on that, his “lifelong hunting” turned out to be a total of two hunts — one as a teenager, hunting rabbits with his cousin in Idaho, and one just about the time he started running for president, chasing fenced-in quail at a Republican fundraising event.
His explanation was even funnier — “I’m not a BIG-GAME hunter. I’ve made that very clear,” he said. “I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times.”
Illegally Impersonating Police Officers
The most bizarre scandal of Romney’s campaign involves Jay Garrity, Mitt’s director of operations (basically, his right-hand man.) Garrity resigned from the campaign after several allegations that he claimed to be a policeman, and used that authority to intimidate people.
In one case, Garrity pulled over a New York Times reporter, ran his plates and ordered him to stop following the campaign caravan. In another, he allegedly called a plumbing company to complain about one of their employees, whose driving upset him, and identified himself as “Trooper Garrity of the Massachusetts State Police.” Garrity denied that allegation, but he was cited by Boston police in 2004 for having police equipment — including flashing lights — in his Crown Victoria sedan without authorization. The phone call was recorded because an answering service actually fielded the call, which the person who called himself “Trooper Garrity” apparently didn’t notice.
Despite his resignation, Garrity remains under investigation in two states for impersonation of police.
Well, it gets worse. According to three different anonymous sources, one who works for the Romney campaign, Garrity made up fake police badges — bright silver plates with the seal of Massachusetts on them — and gave them to several other staffers, who used them to order reporters and other people out of events, get past security guards, and avoid paying highway tolls. In fact, Garrity has been handing out badges since Romney was governor of Massachusetts.
So this was not just one staffer’s personal fetish. Sources named at least two other Romney staffers who used the badges — Mark Glanville and William Ritter. “They knew the badges were fake and probably illegal,” the campaign source said. In fact, Garrity was Romney’s right-hand man and rarely left his side. It’s hard to believe that Mitt Romney himself did not notice the fact that Garrity was constantly flashing a police badge as they blew through security into various events. The Romney campaign has not commented on whether Mitt Romney knew about the fake or false badges.
Using fake badges is, of course, illegal.
Romney makes a big issue of being tough on illegal immigrants. He has pushed for a wall on the Mexican border so hard that Bill O’Reilly offered to call it the “Mitt Romney Memorial Wall.”
The only problem is, Romney has hired illegal immigrants to tend his gardens for over 10 years. Three illegal immigrants interviewed by the Boston Globe said they have worked on Romney’s lawn for years, that he greets them with a “Buenos dias”, and that his wife was friendly and often asks how they are. Two were interviewed back in Guatemala, where they have returned. They made $8 to $9 per hour working 11 hour days. “They wanted that house to look really nice,” said one worker, now back in Copado, Guatemala. “It took a long time.” The other, Rene Alvarez Rosales (now in Suchitepéquez, Guatemala) said it cost him about $5,000 to have a smuggler take him across the border.
They all work for “Community Lawn Care with a Heart,” a small company run by legal Colombian immigrant Ricardo Saenz. Asked about his workers’ statements that they were illegal immigrants, Saenz said “What you’ve heard is not my problem. … I don’t need to tell them to show me documents. I know who they are, and they are legal.” When Romney was asked about the workers, he said “Aw geez” and walked away. On one occasion, a (real) state trooper with the Romney security detail asked about the workers’ immigration status. Saenz said they were legal but forgot their papers that day, and the matter was dropped.
In this campaign, Romney has simply lied a number of times while trying to reinvent himself. For example:
— “I have a gun of my own.”
(Not true. He was talking about a gun one of his grown son’s own.)
— “I’ve been a hunter pretty much my entire life.”
(He hunted once at 15, and a second time in his late 50s.)
— “I told you what my position was, and what I, what I did as governor; the fact that I received the endorsement of the NRA.”
(No – and his Democratic opponent actually had a higher NRA rating)
— “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”
(No, they never marched together. They were both in Michigan at the same time once, but Mitt was in France on his mission.)
— “My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.”
(even more false…)
This last lie was the funniest because of all the waffling that Romney did trying to explain it. After a Boston newspaper showed that they couldn’t have marched together, Mitt’s spokesman said that “George W. Romney and Martin Luther King Jr. marched together in June, 1963 — although possibly not on the same day or in the same city.” And Mitt then explained “I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can be. If you look at the literature or look at the dictionary, the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of
in the sense I’ve described. I’m an English literature major as well. When we say I saw the Patriots win the World Series, it doesn’t necessarily mean you were there — excuse me, the Super Bowl. I saw my dad become president of American Motors. Did that mean you were there for the ceremony? No, it’s a figure of speech.”
Draft Dodger and Chickenhawk
Mitt Romney, incredibly, was able to avoid serving in Vietnam because he was on his Mormon mission, driving around the French countryside. (The Mormon church defined missions — which all good young Mormon men go on — as a form of priesthood.) In fact, not one of Romney’s five sons has served in the military either, despite Mitt arguing for U.S. military involvement in Iraq and elsewhere.
Even more outrageously, when he was asked to justify this hypocrisy, Romney claimed that his sons were serving the country by driving Winnebago’s around Iowa and campaigning for him.
“Romney aide, targeted in probe, takes leave of absence”, by Stephanie Ebbert, Boston Globe, June 22, 2007
, By Casey Ross, Boston Herald, July 20, 2007
, By Sarah Wheaton, New York Times — The Caucus Blog, July 21, 2007
, by Emily Udell, Associated Press on ABC-News web site, April 6, 2007
, By Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe, April 8, 2007
” by Michael D. Shear, Washington Post, December 16, 2007
“, by Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, December 21, 2007
“Illegal Immigrant Sources”
, By Stephanie Ebbert and Scott Helman, Boston Globe, June 22, 2007
“Illegal immigrants toiled for governor: Guatemalans say firm hired them”, by Jonathan Saltzman, Maria Cramer and Connie Page, Boston Globe, December 1, 2006
“Romney’s lawn firm draws new scrutiny: Massport, Chelsea eye workers’ legal status”, By Jonathan Saltzman and Maria Cramer, the Boston Globe, December 2, 2006
ABC-News Political Radar, July 31, 2007
, Boston Herald, Monday, June 11th, 2007
, By Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, December 19, 2007
Special report: Romney’s steel skeleton in the Bain closet
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) – It was funny at first.
The young men in business suits, gingerly picking their way among the millwrights, machinists and pipefitters at Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems steel mill. Gaping up at the cranes that swung 10-foot cast iron buckets through the air. Jumping at the thunder from the melt shop’s electric-arc furnace as it turned scrap metal into lava.
“They looked like a bunch of high school kids to me. A bunch of Wall Street preppies,” says Jim Linson, an electronics repairman who worked at the plant for 40 years. “They came in, they were in awe.”
Apparently they liked what they saw. Soon after, in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.
It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Technologies, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.
Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.
What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.
In his campaign for president, Romney has championed free markets and vowed to shrink the role of government. The Republican has argued that his business acumen makes him the best candidate to fix the nation’s economy and bring down the stubbornly high unemployment rate. Romney’s opponents point to his business career as evidence that he is willing to cut jobs and benefits.
The story of Bain’s failed investment in the Kansas City mill offers a perspective on a largely overlooked chapter in Romney’s business record: His firm’s brush with a U.S. bailout.
His supporters say the pension gap at the Kansas City mill was an unforeseen consequence of a falling stock market and adverse market conditions. But records show that the mill’s Bain-backed management was confronted several times about the fund’s shortfall, which, in the end, required an infusion of funds from the federal Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp.
Romney’s career at Bain included both successes and failures. That is not unusual in the private equity business, where investors buy troubled companies and try to turn them around, often through aggressive use of debt.
“Bain Capital invested in many businesses,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement. “While not every business was successful, the firm had an excellent overall track record and created jobs with well-known companies like Staples, Dominos Pizza and Sports Authority.”
Bain showed a remarkable knack for turning a profit. A prospectus from the year 2000 obtained by the Los Angeles Times shows that the buyout firm delivered an average annual return on investment of 88 percent between its founding in 1984 and the end of 1999.
Romney headed the firm for that entire period, except for a hiatus in 1990 to 1992, when he returned to Bain Capital’s sister consulting firm, Bain & Co. In 1999, he left the business to run the Winter
in Salt Lake City.
The steel company declared bankruptcy in 2001. Romney continued receiving dividends from Bain after his departure. He accumulated a personal fortune of between $190 million and $250 million, according to campaign disclosure forms.
Steven Kaplan, a University of Chicago professor of entrepreneurship and
, describes Bain’s track record under Romney as “fantastic,” even if some ventures ended in failure.
“You don’t do this by just squeezing out costs. Those kinds of returns only come from growth,” he said. “Yes, they had some bad investments, I guess in the same way presidents make some bad calls.”
Overall, Bain made at least $12 million on the steel company it created by merging the Kansas City mill with another in South Carolina before the new entity declared bankruptcy in 2001. Bain also collected an additional $900,000 a year through 1999 for management consulting services, public filings show.
Some analysts say Bain should not be blamed for the company’s failure, noting that a wave of cheap imports forced nearly half of the U.S. steel industry into bankruptcy during that period. Another company set up around the same time, in which Bain took a minority stake, Steel Dynamics in Fort Wayne, Indiana, thrived.
“GS and Steel Dynamics were about as different as it gets,” industry analyst Michelle Applebaum said. GS’s core products were vulnerable to competition while Steel Dynamics became “one of the country’s lowest-cost manufacturers of steel sheet,” a product with more staying power. Steel Dynamics was also a non-union shop.
Former company executives say they were generally satisfied with Bain’s leadership, but they say the firm would have been better equipped to weather tough times had it not been saddled with such a heavy debt load.
They also fault Bain for putting inexperienced managers in place and spurning a buyout offer from a competitor. Workers say efforts to cut corners often backfired, driving costs higher.
The Kansas City millworkers, meanwhile, are still fuming, after being left with no health benefits and a reduced pension check.
“Romney cost me lots and lots of sleepless nights and lots and lots of money,” said Ed Stanger, who worked at the plant for nearly 30 years.
A Good Living
Since opening in 1888 as The Kansas City Bolt and Nut Co., the steelworks that sprawl along the Blue River valley in the city’s northeast corner provided a steady and prestigious living for thousands of men. It was hard, dirty, dangerous work. The plant kept two surgeons on site in case of accidents, and death on the job was not unknown.
When summer temperatures would top 100 degrees, workers wore long johns under their protective suits so their sweat could offer some relief.
Still, it wasn’t easy to get a job at the mill. The pay was good, lifting countless families into the middle class. Workers bought houses and cars and sent their kids to college.
“Hard work is supposed to pay off,” said John Cottrell, who spent decades working with molten metal. White burn marks crisscross his massive forearms, and years of asbestos exposure have left him short of breath. Sitting at his kitchen table in the working class suburb of Independence, he looks a decade older than his 64 years.
At its peak in 1970, the Kansas City plant, then owned by Armco Steel Corp, employed 4,500 people. Poor market conditions forced a wave of layoffs in the early 1980s and led the company to prune its product line. By the early 1990s, the plant focused on two items: wire for products such as mattress springs and tires; and high-carbon balls and rods used by the mining industry to pulverize rocks.
It was around that time that the mill workers started noticing the kids in suits.
Armco wanted to sell its Kansas City plant to concentrate on other aspects of its business. Jack Stutz and a few of the other Armco managers were looking for backers to help them buy it. They spoke to GE Capital, which, in turn, contacted Bain Capital because it had earned a sterling reputation for turning companies around.
The risks were obvious. The mill’s equipment was out of date and it faced stiff competition from Nucor Corp, which also made grinding balls.
Nevertheless, Bain and its partners decided to buy the mill for $75 million. Bain put up about $8 million to gain majority control of the company, renamed GS Technologies Inc. GE Capital, former Armco executives and Leggett & Platt, a major customer for the mill’s wire rods, chipped in the rest of the equity.
As part of the deal, Armco agreed to cover employee pension obligations if the plant closed within five years — a $120 million liability, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
The Big Dividend
Bain got its money back quickly. The new company issued $125 million in bonds and paid Bain a $36.1 million dividend in 1994.
“Paying distributions with debt is not uncommon,” said Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University. “The only thing that strikes me as a bit unusual is the size of the dividend. There would be logic in them saving some cash for a downturn.”
Looking back on the dividend payout, Stutz and another former GS Technologies officer, Mario Concha, believe it weakened the mill’s financial position.
“At the time they paid that dividend, they felt that the financials justified it,” Stutz said.
GS announced plans for a $98 million plant modernization and Kansas City officials agreed to a tax break worth about $3 million, according to press accounts.
In 1995 Bain merged GS with another wire rod maker in Georgetown, South Carolina, to form one of the largest mini-mill steel producers in the U.S. The new company issued another $125 million in bonds to pay for the merger. Bain doubled down, reinvesting $16.5 million of its earlier dividend.
The new company, dubbed GS Industries Inc., would have annual revenues of $1 billion and employ 3,800 people.
Already, though, there were warning signs that the company was not on a sustainable course. Concerned about the level of debt, which totaled $378 million in 1995 on operating income less than a tenth of that amount, the merged company’s new CEO, Roger Regelbrugge, negotiated a clause in his contract that would allow him to retire at the end of 1997.
Regelbrugge said he was concerned that the company would have to go through a painful restructuring if it had not sold shares through an initial public offering (IPO) by then.
Regelbrugge had done one restructuring in the 1980s at the South Carolina mill, laying off workers and haggling with creditors. He did not want to go through that painful process again.
“Unless we had plans to go public at that time, I did not want to carry that debt load ad infinitum,” he said.
Over the next two years, GS Industries completed its upgrade of the Kansas City plant and laid the groundwork for an IPO to pay down some of the debt.
Meanwhile, managers struggled to forge a cohesive whole from two companies that made similar products but had different corporate cultures, different manufacturing processes and different labor contracts.
“I guess the two cultures never really got together,” Stutz said.
In 1997, with Armco’s pension guarantees set to expire in one year, the United Steelworkers local at the Kansas City plant was worried that GS was not setting aside enough money to cover pension obligations and other benefits in the event of a shutdown.
David Foster, the negotiator for the union, said labor talks were typically more tense at companies owned by private equity firms because the high level of debt left managers with less flexibility.
Contract talks foundered and the union went on strike in April 1997. The first standoff since 1959 quickly turned nasty. Workers shot bottle rockets at security guards, tossed nails in the roadways to flatten the tires of nonunion trucks and pounded on the windows of vehicles as they left the plant.
After 10 weeks, the two sides reached a deal that boosted pensions and ensured that workers would get health and life insurance in the event of a shutdown.
The workers put down their picket signs, but the equipment upgrades weren’t delivering productivity gains as quickly as hoped. At the end of 1997, Regelbrugge decided to retire rather than stick around for an IPO that wasn’t going to materialize.
Shortly after that, an industry competitor offered “a whole lot of money” to buy GS, according to Regelbrugge, but Bain turned it down. A company insider said the suitor was the global behemoth Mittal Steel Company, but added that no formal offer was ever made.
As GS Industries sought to cut costs, it hired line managers with no experience in the steel industry, workers said. One had worked at Walmart; many others came straight out of the military.
“He would come up with some of the stupidest damn ideas that you ever seen,” the former steelworker Linson said of one supervisor, a retired Air Force colonel.
Paperwork proliferated. Cost-cutting efforts backfired. Managers skimped on purchases of everything from earplugs to spare motors and scaled back routine maintenance. Machines began to break down more often, and with parts no longer in stock a replacement could take days to arrive.
Labor costs spiked as managers revamped work schedules with little understanding of how the plant actually operated. Linson says he picked up an entire shift of overtime each week because his managers didn’t realize that a furnace needed a full eight hours to heat up to operating temperature.
“That didn’t work to their advantage,” he said. “I made a lot of money.”
Daily life at the plant was also growing more dangerous. Veteran crane operator Ed Mossman says he was ordered to pick up a load of steel that was 50 percent above the recommended weight limit – a prospect that could have toppled the crane and sent Mossman plunging to his death. When he refused, he says, he was fired after putting in 29 years at the mill.
“The first 15 years, I had the best job in the United States, as far as I was concerned,” Mossman said. “The last five years down there got to be pure hell.”
Meanwhile, a wave of cheap imports from Asia drove steel prices down sharply, while costs for natural gas and electricity rose. The Asian financial crisis lowered demand for mined metals, which hit the company’s grinding-ball business.
The company, along with other steelmakers, successfully petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission for tariff rate quotas on imported wire rods and also entered the federal loan guarantee program for troubled steel companies — two remedies at odds with a free-market stance. Romney now says it was a mistake for the government to try to protect the steel industry.
Nevertheless, net losses at the company grew to $52.9 million in 1999 from $16.1 million in 1997, while operating income dropped to $9.6 million from $37.9 million over the same period — not enough to sustain the firm’s debt and obligations for long.
The Blame Game
Charles Bradford, an analyst at Bradford Research, blames the union, in part, for the failure of GS Industries to survive in the new global marketplace.
“If you look at the steel companies that went under at the time, all of them were unionized,” he said. “I’m not saying this was the only factor — these firms faced other headwinds such as cheap labor and a strong dollar … but the unions held them back.”
Union officials blame the Bain managers for saddling the company with too much debt for a capital-intensive, cyclical industry such as steel. “They look at ways to try to leverage the financial resources of the company during an uptick in the markets, stream money out of it and leave wreckage behind them,” said the union’s Foster.
Regelbrugge blames his successor, Mark Essig, for installing senior managers who did not know the business. “I have no question that the company would have survived under different management,” he said. Essig did not return calls seeking comment.
A spokesman for Bain Capital said: “Over $100 million and many thousands of hours were invested in GSI to upgrade its facilities and make the company more competitive during a 7-year period when the industry came under enormous pressure and 44 U.S. steel companies went into bankruptcy. In the same period, we worked to turn around GSI, we helped launch and grow an innovative business called Steel Dynamics that is today a $6 billion global leader…. Our focus remains on building great companies and improving their operations.”
GS Industries declared bankruptcy on February 7, 2001, and said it would shut down the Kansas City plant, eliminating 750 jobs. In a press release, the company said the bankruptcy was triggered in part by “the critical need to restructure the company’s liabilities.”
Workers soon found out what that meant. In April, GS said it was shedding the guarantees it had promised its workers in the event of a plant closure – the severance pay, health insurance, life insurance and pension supplements that had been negotiated during the 1997 strike.
Workers could buy health insurance through the company’s plan, but the company would no longer share its costs. For many who were struggling with asbestosis or other ailments contracted during their years of work, the cost was prohibitive.
“The wife and I, we just held our breath and prayed a lot,” said Stanger, the ex-millworker. He was quoted a price of $1,800 per month – more than his pension payment.
The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp, which insures company retirement plans, determined in 2002 that GS had underfunded its pension by $44 million. The federal agency, funded by corporate levies, stepped in to cover the basic pension payments, but not the supplement the union had negotiated as a hedge against the plant’s closure.
For Joe Soptic, who worked at the plant for 28 years, that meant a loss of $283 per month, about 22 percent of his pension. Others lost up to $400 per month, according to documents supplied by the union.
Comparatively, the GS bailout was one of the pension guarantor’s smaller hits. The federal fund swung from a $7.7 billion surplus to a $3.6 billion deficit that year as it struggled to cover bankruptcies in the steel and transportation industries. The failure of LTV Steel, for example, cost the agency $1.9 billion.
The agency’s woes prompted Congress in 2006 to require companies to contribute more toward their pensions. Press accounts said this change accelerated the shift away from pension plans toward 401(k)s and other defined-contribution retirement plans that offer less security for workers.
Many of the older workers at the Kansas City mill were just a few years away from Social Security and Medicare, but younger workers didn’t have that safety net. Even with $600,000 earmarked by the U.S. Labor Department for job retraining, many had trouble finding work.
“They give you a year’s worth of training, you’re 50-something years old, nobody wants to hire you,” said Steve Morrow, who retrained in the field of heating and air conditioning.
After nearly 30 years as a steelworker, Joe Soptic found a job as a school custodian. The $24,000 salary was roughly one-third of his former pay, and the health plan did not cover his wife, Ranae.
When Ranae started losing weight, “I tried to get her to the doctor and she wouldn’t go,” Soptic said. She ended up in the county hospital with pneumonia, where doctors discovered her advanced lung cancer. She died two weeks later.
Soptic was left with nearly $30,000 in medical bills. He drained a $12,000 savings account and the hospital wrote off the balance.
“I worked hard all my life and played by the rules, and they allowed this to happen,” Soptic said.
(Additional reporting by Tom Hals; Editing by
Written by Alex Newman
GOP presidential hopeful
is under fire after news reports surfaced showing that his company, Bain Capital, benefited from multiple federal bailouts amounting to well over $50 million. The top-tier Republican candidate has flip-flopped on the issue of whether or not taxpayers should be forced to bail out private firms, but critics have seized on his controversial work at Bain to attack his candidacy from all angles.
The scandal over Romney’s federal bailouts first surged to prominence after a former strategist for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy publicly released an
unaired campaign ad — made nearly a decade ago when Romney was running for the Massachusetts Senate seat — exposing a $10-million federal bailout of Bain & Co. while Romney was at the helm. The attack ad, citing a 1994 report
in the Boston Globe, noted that Romney worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) to bamboozle the American people out of money under the guise of “debt forgiveness.”
“Mitt Romney says he saved Bain & Company, but he didn’t tell you that on the day he took over, he had his predecessor fire hundreds of employees, or that the way the company was rescued was with a federal bailout of $10 million,” notes the narrator in Sen. Kennedy’s unreleased ad as pictures of newspaper articles fill the screen. “He and others made $4 million in this deal which cost ordinary people $10 million.”
As if that was not bad enough for one of the GOP front-runners, Reuters recently
that a steel company taken over by Bain Capital went bankrupt and received another big handout from the government. After the Missouri mill’s approximately 750 employees were fired, a federal insurance agency had to bail out its underfunded pension plan to the tune of almost $45 million. But Bain still made millions in profits on the deal.
“His supporters say the pension gap at the Kansas City mill was an unforeseen consequence of a falling stock market and adverse market conditions,” Reuters reported in the article entitled
” published on January 6. “But records show that the mill’s Bain-backed management was confronted several times about the fund’s shortfall, which, in the end, required an infusion of funds from the federal Pension Benefits Guarantee Corp.”
Romney opponents from across the political spectrum have seized on the revelations to paint one of the GOP’s leading presidential candidates as a flip-flopping, taxpayer-fleecing insider. “This is more evidence that the so-called ‘frontrunners’ from the establishment represent more of the status quo that American voters are tired of — people who benefit from government bailouts on the taxpayers’ dime and seek office to help their buddies do the same,” said Jesse Benton, chairman of Rep. Ron Paul’s surging top-tier campaign for the Republican nomination.
Some Romney defenders such as the editors of National Review had recently claimed — inaccurately — that he “never” sought a bailout. But media pundits quickly exposed the error and
, borrowing a word from the NRO article to label its cover-up of Romney’s federal rescues “asinine.”
Other Romney apologists have attacked his critics for exposing Bain Capital’s record. But because the former Massachusetts Governor has made his work at the firm one of the central focuses of his campaign, analysts said closer scrutiny of Romney’s career there should have been expected.
And the criticism is growing quickly. “Put it all together and even Barack Obama is to Mitt’s right on bailouts,”
conservative commentator John Hawkins in a piece calling Romney the “Bailout King” of American politics. “Is this what conservatives will have to defend in 2012 in the name of ‘capitalism’ because Mitt Romney’s the nominee?”
On the far Left, critics also assailed Romney for the bailouts. “I can’t say that I’m surprised that Mitt Romney and his allies have conveniently forgotten about these bailouts … but I am a little puzzled about why his Republican rivals haven’t brought them up yet,”
Jed Lewison, a senior editor with the notorious Daily Kos website. “They don’t have much — if any — more time.”
Romney has also been heavily criticized by other Republican presidential hopefuls — especially Newt Gingrich, whose campaign may have been permanently derailed with a deluge of accusations about his own skeletons — over Bain Capital’s
. Free-market advocates have largely steered clear of such attacks, but the term “Vulture Capitalist” is being attached to Romney with increasing frequency even by members of his own party.
In an ironic twist to the GOP race, Romney defended himself from the accusations by
comparing his work at Bain to President Obama’s unconstitutional takeover of much of the auto industry. Romney publicly opposed those bailouts at the time, even writing a piece for the New York Times advocating bankruptcy for Detroit. “In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler — closed factories, closed dealerships, laid off thousands and thousands of workers — he did it to try to save the business,” Romney said
in a recent interview on CBS, prompting outrage among conservatives and ridicule from the Left. Even more astounding: A spokesman for the Romney campaign told the New York Times recently that the GOP contender had been advocating the Obama plan all along.
Indeed, at different times, Romney has both supported and opposed various federal bailout schemes of recent years. He was especially vocal with his support for bailing out the big banks. But
, it remains unclear what his current position is on unconstitutionally spending tax money to interfere in the market.
Mitt Romney and the Big Fat (Fake) Green Energy Scandal
By Jordan Weissmann
Oct 26 2011, 12:05 PM ET
The Republican candidate loudly jumps into the fray over the Energy Department’s loans to green car companies. He should know better.
There’s nothing new about calling Mitt Romney a cynic. But as the Republican semi-frontrunner leaps into latest controversy over the Obama administration’s green energy loan program, the point is worth returning to, if only because, given the man’s business background, his opportunism is yet again front and center.
For those who haven’t been keeping score, Republicans seem to believe they’ve found a juicy follow-up to l’affaire Solyndra, this time involving roughly a billion dollars in low-interest loans to two small, sexy electric car companies, Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors. Unlike Solyndra, the solar-panel maker that declared bankruptcy after receiving its own $535 million loan from the Department of Energy, both Fisker and Tesla are still in business. But ABC News kicked off a furor over them last week
on Fisker’s decision to build the limited first line of its $97,000 sports car, the Karma, in a Finnish factory. The initial story ran with the made-for-outrage headline, “Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Car In Finland.”
To top it off, the piece pointed out that both Fisker and Tesla are backed by wealthy Democratic donors. Republicans, sensing blood,
. And on Monday, Romney piled on, writing an op-ed calling for a congressional investigation into the entire auto loan program. The “U.S. government shouldn’t be playing venture capitalist,” he wrote. “It’s not merely that government bureaucrats are bad at picking winners. The very process invites cronyism and outright corruption.”
Romney made his name as a venture capitalist. Time to act like one.
This is predictable. It’s also sad. More than anybody in politics, Romney, the former venture capitalist, should know just how distorted this story has become.
Fisker received its loan based on a plan to buy and upgrade an old GM plant in Delaware, where it eventually intends by to start churning out 100,000 less expensive electric sedans a year. From the start, the company planned to build the Karma in Finland as a stop-gap measure, which DOE knew in 2009 when the agency awarded it a $529 million loan. Fisker says it went abroad because it couldn’t find a domestic factory able to produce a small run of high-end electric sports cars. That makes sense. The U.S. simply doesn’t have a lot of made-to-order car plants. After all, we’re not exactly talking about Build-a-Bears here.*
The Karma is a small part of Fisker’s long-term picture. It’s a “statement car,” meant to establish the maker’s brand, Ed Kim, an analyst at AutoPacific, told me. The real test for the company will be whether it can actually produce and scale up its sedan. If it does, it will create American jobs. If it doesn’t, the company is a bust.
But treating what Fisker’s doing today in Finland as the sum-total of its business plan is crazy and deliberately short-sighted. It’s like accusing 2004-era Facebook of burning money on a website for elite college students.
Whereas Fisker has caught trouble for its Finnish adventure, most of the issues with Tessla have focused on the fact that it’s currently losing money, and that its founder, billionaire Elon Musk, was a major Obama donor. Both statements are true, but it’s not unusual for an early stage company to be in the red, and Wall Street so far seems comfy with it. Tesla is publicly traded, and its stock is hovering a little higher than $27. A Morgan Stanley analyst in March released a 50-page report calling it “America’s Fourth Automaker,” and pegging its long-term stock value at $70.
To recap, the companies aren’t really planning to ship all their jobs abroad, and they’re not failing. As for political appearances, yes, there is something unseemly about well connected companies getting a boost from government spending programs. But it’s also nothing new — Halliburton, anybody? — and happens whether or not the government is “playing venture capitalist.”
Romney gets this. He knows how to read a business plan. He knows early-stage companies face hurdles and burn through cash before they ramp up. Of course Fisker and Tesla have problems, like any young company. The auto industry is one of the hardest to break into. It’s capital intensive, R&D heavy, and brutally competitive. (The Karma has turned out to be less
than first promised, and even the Morgan Stanley report on Tesla called it a high-risk investment.) But calling for a congressional witch hunt is not only brazenly political, but also costly to two fledgling companies who don’t appear to have done anything wrong. Romney made his name as a venture capitalist. This would be a good time to act like one.
*Fisker also pointed out that the DOE loan was only used to fund its operations in the U.S. That seems like a sort of specious argument to me; for a young company, where no part of the business is optional, money is fungible. If you fund one part of it, you’re funding all of it.
Mitt Romney, Bain Capital Insider Trading Scandal?
Bain Capital has come a long way since the hostile takeovers it was known for when Mitt Romney founded the company in 1984. Today, with a reported 65 billion in assets the company owns industry giants like Toys R Us, Clear Channel Communications (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck), Dunkin Brands, Burlington, Warner Music Group, and even the Weather Channel. For a complete list of companies in the Bain Portfolio http://www.baincapitalprivateequity.com/Investments/Default.aspx
One Company, which is not listed on Bain’s Website as a company holding is EDGAR online.
“Bain Capital said Friday that it has invested $12 million in Edgar Online, a publicly traded data services company that helps businesses prepare regulatory filings in a new format that will be mandatory by 2012… Edgar Online’s main offering is helping companies prepare filings for the Securities and Exchange Commission in a computer format known as XBRL, which is used for the SEC’s Edgar tool. It also offers data analysis products for regulatory filings.” (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/bain-capital-invests-12-million-in-edgar-online/)
Bain paid $12 million dollars for EDGAR stock and the right to name two Board Members with the company. The question is why.
“EDGAR, the Electronic Data-Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The database is freely available to the public via the Internet (Web or FTP).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EDGAR)
Approximately 3,000 company filings are made with EDGAR each and every day. In fact, if you wish to search for company filings on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website, you will be redirected to the EDGAR database http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm)
So, Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital has the ability to monitor every company filing with the SEC before anyone else can see them. Its what is known as a competitive advantage. Its also known as Trading on Insider Information if Bain Capital is perusing these financial filings and using them to decide what to buy and sell within its portfolio.
According to SEC Guidelines:
“The SEC adopted new Rules 10b5-1 and 10b5-2 to resolve two insider trading issues where the courts have disagreed. Rule 10b5-1 provides that a person trades on the basis of material nonpublic information if a trader is “aware” of the material nonpublic information when making the purchase or sale. The rule also sets forth several affirmative defenses or exceptions to liability. The rule permits persons to trade in certain specified circumstances where it is clear that the information they are aware of is not a factor in the decision to trade, such as pursuant to a pre-existing plan, contract, or instruction that was made in good faith.
Rule 10b5-2 clarifies how the misappropriation theory applies to certain non-business relationships. This rule provides that a person receiving confidential information under circumstances specified in the rule would owe a duty of trust or confidence and thus could be liable under the misappropriation theory.” http://www.sec.gov/answers/insider.htm)
In what could be viewed as a huge advantage over the average investor, this scandal would make the movie “Wall Street” look like “Sesame Street”. An investigation of Bain Capital’s internal documents by any enforcement agency, including the SEC or Congress, could make Michael Milkin look like a boy scout activity.
“Milken was indicted on 98 counts of racketeering and securities fraud in 1989 as the result of an insider trading investigation. After a plea bargain, he pled guilty to six securities and reporting violations but was never convicted of racketeering or insider trading. Milken was sentenced to ten years in prison and permanently barred from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission. After the presiding judge reduced his sentence for cooperating with testimony against his former colleagues and good behavior, he was released after less than two years. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Milken)
Milkin could only wish that he had access to every company’s financial reports and SEC filings before anyone else knew about them. Mitt Romney’s company, Bain Capital, should be investigated at the very least. This article should be front-page news and talked about on every radio show in America.
The Stanford Group-Solamere Connection: A Romney Scandal The Media Is Just Waiting To Write About
By Coach Collins, on November 3rd, 2011
By Kevin “Coach” Collins
The Stanford Group Ponzi swindle stands second only to the Madoff Ponzi scheme as the biggest in history. As revealed in 2009, Allen Stanford swindled over $8 billion from his investors by selling them worthless securities.
Stealing $8 billion is something that requires help; you really can’t do it alone. In the case of Allen Stanford he had help from men who now have “extensive financial and political ties to Tagg Romney (Mitt’s son) and Spencer Zwick his chief fundraiser”, according to a new report by Lee Fang posted on a far
Leftist website. Solamere a firm financed and founded with $10 million of Mitt Romney’s money and managed by Tagg Romney and Zwick. Solamere is connected to Stanford because three of Allen Stanford’s salesmen Tim Bambauer, who served as a “Managing Director” for Stanford, Deems May (a former NFL player for nine years), and Brandon Phillips who was a salesman for Stanford, joined
Tagg Romney to help run Solamere Advisors, a financial products firm. Because these three sold financial products for Stanford, Romney’s promise to repeal Dodd- Frank becomes somewhat suspect and potentially grounds for non stop media attacks on Romney.
In classic Clinton-speak, Romney’s campaign spokeswoman recently made this statement about this matter: “Mitt Romney has
or any of its activities…” This is not reassuring since there is no allegation that Romney was had “ties” to Stanford, but rather that his son Tagg and Chief fundraiser Zwick now do.
Maybe this explains it
So which scandal has the greatest potential for killing its candidate’s chances for winning now and eventually next November? Is it one that shows those closely connected to Romney are in business with men who may yet be forced to testify to defend their involvement in a Ponzi or; one that features vague charges that “would have been brought” as is the case with the latest “victim” of Herman Cain?
The Democrats’ pals in the media are well aware of the facts involving Solamere and the Romneys. They know who Solamere employs. Is it any wonder they want Romney to win the Republican nomination?
Use this site to contact your Congressional Representative:
To read more use these links: