Romney’s record at Bain up for debate in ads

Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital dominated the campaign trail on Monday, as rival campaigns released dueling ads about the private equity firm the likely GOP nominee founded.

Following a Newt Gingrich-style tactic, President Obama’s campaign started today’s ad war over Romney’s role in a now-defunct steel plant in Kansas City, Missouri. Romney’s company bought out GST Steel in 1993 and declared bankruptcy in 2001. In the two-minute ad airing in five swing states, former factory workers compare Romney to a vampire, running a company that “came in and sucked the life out” of them after rounds of layoffs and lost pensions. “This is about whether the lessons and values Romney drew from his time as a buyout specialist,” said deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters on a conference call. “What those values are — what they tell us about what type of president Mitt Romney would be, and whether the voters want that in the Oval Office.”

Romney camp’s argued he left the firm two years before the plant went under. To offset Obama’s ad, Team Romney released a their own video today highlighting Steel Dynamics as “the perfect entrepreneurial story.”

“We welcome the Obama campaign’s attempt to pivot back to jobs and a discussion of their failed record,” said Romney’s spokeswoman Andrea Saul in a statement. “Mitt Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and more jobs as governor of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation.”

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Romney's record at Bain up for debate in ads