I’m leaning Mitt-ward

Ann Coulter explains the Romney-Bain-Ampad-Marion thing.

Excerpted below by CtH for length.  Read the full article here.

Mitt Romney has spent more than 20 years in private enterprise, making thousands of business decisions affecting hundreds of companies that led to more than 100,000 new jobs and billions of dollars for employees and investors. So you can see why the left despises him.

Among Romney’s thousands of business decisions, the one I gather his opponents consider his absolute worst was the decision to close a paper plant in Marion, Ind. – which wasn’t his decision at all.

The “King of Bain” movie that a pro-Newt Gingrich super-pac just bought with money donated by a gambling magnate cites only one company closed by Bain when Romney was even there.

Guess which one? That’s right: Ampad.

[CtH: This is the thing that pushed me away from Newt and toward Mitt. I expect more from the people I support.]

The Democratic National Committee has retained “salt of the earth” Randy Johnson to go on tour to describe all the ways Romney “didn’t care about workers.”

The bitter and lying Randy Johnson happens to have been the union president who led the strike that forced Ampad to close the plant.

Bain Capital specialized in rescuing troubled companies.

In 1992, it bought the faltering paper-based office products business, Ampad, from the Mead paper company.  Far from shutting down Ampad, Bain started buying up more firms in the industry to add to Ampad’s portfolio, hoping to create efficiencies and synergies, including Smith-Corona’s struggling paper business – home to the famed Marion plant.

Smith-Corona went bankrupt the next year. Nobody uses typewriters anymore.

Seeking to succeed where Smith-Corona had failed, Bain’s Ampad sought to renegotiate a suicide pact-union contract at the Marion plant. But instead of renegotiating, union president Randy Johnson thought it would be a great idea to immediately go on strike.

The mid-1990s was NOT a good time for workers in an industry made vulnerable by the new, paperless information age to stage a long, acrimonious strike. Union president Randy Johnson thought it was. The Democrats (and some Republicans) apparently do, too.

Romney wasn’t even at Bain during Ampad’s acquisition of the Smith-Corona business, much less for the strike at the Marion plant. In any event, it’s highly unlikely that Bain would have anything to do with a day-to-day management decision to close a plant, anyway.

Bain did not drive Ampad to bankruptcy by looting it.

To the contrary, Bain built up the company until, in 1996, Ampad was being described in Chief Executive magazine as “a stronger, profitable competitor in a consolidating – and reviving – domestic industry.”

Alas, people kept using those damn computers and shopping for discount paper at Staples and similar stores, and in 1999, Ampad had to file for bankruptcy protection. The company would have gone bankrupt a lot sooner if it hadn’t closed down the non-producing Marion plant.

I don’t know how Mitt Romney is supposed to explain free-market capitalism to career politicians, much less describe the intricacies of a thousand business decisions in two minutes during a debate.

[CtH – I don’t think he should have to be doing it at all to the likes of Newt Gingrich.]


Filed under Ann Coulter, Bain Capital, Mitt Romney

15 responses to “I’m leaning Mitt-ward

  1. Ting

    We have no good choices. It is as simple as that.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      I’m trying to hang on to the fact that my track record for fave candidates’ actual performance has been pretty dim. I thought Carter was da bomb and held my nose while voting for Reagan.


      • Ting

        I hear you. I have no clue what I am going to do in the voting booth yet, but I can tell you that there is not a single one of those fools that deserve one ounce of my energy, one cent of my money, or one shred of my credibility in support. I am not going out on a limb for any of them.


  2. The one thing that struck me about this piece is that your “Mitt-leaning” seemed to result more from sympathy over unfair accusations hurled at him, rather than from something positive in his record or policies. Is this an indicator of the sad state of affairs in our modern political world?

    Either way, my understanding of the Bain controversy is a little bit different. (Granted, I have not seen the “King of Bain” movie, and am not sure if I will, but I can’t hold it against Newt personally, ’cause it was put out by an independent PAC. This is why PACs are bad. Both Newt and Mitt are claiming they had nothing to do with the erroneous information put out by these groups.)

    My understanding is that the criticism stems from the amount of money the executives at Bain made while simultaneously putting these companies out of business. No one’s arguing that their intentions weren’t good or that they didn’t try to save the companies, but a business venture/risk should be just that. They were taking a gamble on these companies in the hopes of making big money. Had that panned out for them, it would have been a successful maneuver and everyone would have reaped the rewards. However, when a business venture fails, as is the case here, it shouldn’t just be felt by the low man on the totem pole. That’s also part of free-market capitalism…taking responsibility, personally, for your business decisions, good or bad. So, if these businesses, being run by the executives, take a hit, those executives should take a hit, too.

    Consider if I’m a small business owner (or was) trying to run for elected office, and my record showed that my business had failed. This probably wouldn’t bode very well for my qualifications. I can make the argument that I tried to save the company, etc., but that’s sort of a moot point, isn’t it? Now, this is hardly an accurate comparison to Mitt’s scenario, because he also has many successful business ventures under his belt to illustrate his leadership skills and experience. After all, everyone fails sometimes. Just look at someone like Gordon Ramsay, for example. What would look really bad, however, is if I shut down my failing business, made off with a bunch of cash and left everyone else empty-handed. (Kind of like the cruise captain who abandoned ship!) As a small business owner, if my business fails, I will have lost money, not made it. In these big business adventure, it’s easy to lose sight of that in all of the details, but the same principles should hold true.

    Now, I don’t believe enough information has been divulged to really make an educated judgment on this scenario, because Mitt has not ever come out and specifically addressed the accusations as described above. In fact, I’ve heard him asked on several occasions and he always just changes the subject and tries to make it about whether or not the company should have been closed or whether or not he was trying to save the company. To me, this is the same technique Obama uses when floundering around and refusing to answer questions. I don’t like it and it certainly doesn’t make me lean Mitt by any measure. Honestly, I wish he would disclose more information, but that doesn’t seem to be his style, so I’m not going to hold my breath. For now, I’m still in the ABR (anybody but Romney) camp.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      Good points, Rose. My title had more to do with a lessening of my antipathy toward Romney than anything else. The only one I have warm fuzzies about at the moment is Santorum, which probably is a sign he’s going down since my previous crushes have all washed out.

      Just one thought … may be TOTALLY not applicable but it popped into my head just now. I was somewhat on the inside of a situation that a prominent member of a group that shall remain nameless refused to discuss with reporters. He was criticized for that, but I happen to know he chose to take that heat in order to keep an innocent out of the limelight.


      • I see where you’re coming from and Mitt could be totally correct in his assessment of the situation. It’s just difficult for me to make that determination. It “sucks” if he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak, but it seems to be a pattern for him to withhold as much information as possible.

        It also bothers me that he asked Newt in the middle of the last debate to admit that some of the information in the movie is incorrect and Newt acknowledged that it may not be 100% accurate, but that, to his knowledge, they tried to be as accurate as possible. He then turned it around and asked Mitt to correct some of the erroneous info in commercials put out by one of his PACs and Mitt’s response was basically, “Im not responsible for that information,” with no acknowledgement that there’s even a possibility it could be inaccurate.

        I just really get the Obama vibe when I watch Mitt debate. It drove me crazy back in ’08 watching Obama and McCain go back and forth and neither one of them answer any of the questions. Maybe I’m in the minority with that. Or maybe the average uninterested voter (you know…the ones who only watch the debates right before the general election to make their decision) are really susceptible to that tactic, but it drives me CRAZY!

        Again…if there is some good reason Mitt’s not talking, I feel bad. I really want to like all of the Republican candidates (including Ron Paul). I just haven’t been able to connect with him, because it seems like he holds back so much. If that made me suspicious of Obama, it’s got to make me wonder about Mitt, too. I wish I knew the right answer, but I don’t.


        • chrissythehyphenated

          I really appreciate your viewpoint, esp since I am not watching debates etc. I don’t enjoy politics as a spectator sport and the NY primary isn’t even on the countdown page yet.

          ITA about the debate non-answer thing. I knew Obama was slimey, but McCain’s debating skills made my teeth hurt.


          • If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch any of the debates, last night’s was, by far, the best one. The candidates really spoke out on where they stand on the various issues and answered the questions really well. I thought they ALL did an excellent job and it made me feel really good about this election going forward. I didn’t agree with them all on everything (obviously), but they used sound reasoning in making their arguments. There is hope for this country yet!



            • chrissythehyphenated

              Wow, can I really watch it online?! We don’t have t.v. and our radio reception is lousy. Thanks for the link, Rose! This is so cool :).


              • If you follow the link I posted on the Candidates page or Countdowns page (at the bottom), it will take you to a debate schedule, which includes links to watch all of the debates that have already occured and links for upcoming debate livestreams. Sometimes, they’re not updated ’til the last minute. So, check back if what you want to watch isn’t there. I will warn you that some of the livestream feeds have been terrible, so it’s a bit of a gamble.


                • chrissythehyphenated

                  If you haven’t been thanked properly for the Candidates and Primary sections, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I’m going to go pimp them to my bloggy listers. Terrific resource for all of us.


  3. I still can’t generate any enthusiasm for Mittens. The Bain capital thing is not a huge deal one way or the other for me. I do have a problem with the way these venture capitalists bought relatively successful companies, sold off the attractive assets, leveraged the remaining company to the hilt and then let it sink under the debt load. Bain wasn’t the only company to do that, and it was legal, but it really wasn’t “productive” in terms of growing businesses or the economy. So the Bain part of his resume is a negative, but not a deal breaker for me.

    My biggest issue with Romney is that I think he truly is a moderate/liberal Republican but he won’t be honest about it because he knows it will cost him the election. Bottom line – the guy is fundamentally dishonest with his prospective employers (us) and I just don’t think it’s smart to hire a guy you know is not willing to be totally upfront with you. We’ve already got one of those in the WH now.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      I look at him and see PR packaging. But I’ve been discounting that, because I have a fundamental prejudice deep in my soul against pretty, charming men … too many experiences with the arrogant, “god’s gift” attitude these Ken doll types seem prone to. Bill Clinton has always had it big time and he makes me throw up a little in my mouth every time I even think about him.

      (P.C. disclaimer: Yes, I am a terrible person for judging others by their looks. If you’ve never done it, feel free to throw the first stone.)


  4. chrissythehyphenated

    Got this in email from one of my bloggy listers: “Interesting read Chrissy. Santorum happens to be my favorite, but b/t Newt and Romney, I see good and bad. I’m not great with policy-just get a feeling that Newt has great ideas and is very bright, but can be very egocentric and maybe “whiny” when things don’t go his way. Personal life poor. Romney’s personal life great, think he’s a nice man, but found that answer re: will you share your income tax returns from tonight’s debate of “Maybe” to be very poor. Very late, but interesting-I do agree with Sarah Palin though-the candidates have “sharpened” each other.”

    I’m really enjoying and learning from all the comments y’all have made on this blog. Makes me feel I’ve done something worthwhile when a comment thread gets lively like this one. 🙂


    • I think that e-mail’s probably very accurate. I think Newt is brilliant, but his style is difficult for some people to work with. That’s a problem, but as a counselor, I find it difficult to lay blame completely at one person’s feet when there is a conflict in working styles. So, I give him a little leeway there. There are also plenty of people who have no problem working with him, so…

      I thought he gave a great explanation last night about why he completley rebuilt his campaign team and it had a lot, I suspect, to do with this reasoning. If he can put good people around himself that he can work with, I think he’ll do well. And on that note…


      Oh…and I wish I had more time to comment, but recent circumstances have just left me really busy! I try to at least skim everything everyday, but I really enjoy it when I can get in on the conversation.