This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Obama Recycles Romney Steel Mill Closure in New Ad

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Barack Obama's campaign appears to have dug up an attack from Mitt Romney's 2002 gubernatorial race.

The president launched an ad on Monday that criticized Romney's handling of a steel mill that went bankrupt under the management of Bain Capital.

Reuters reported details of the story in January as it called GST Steel (the spotlighted mill) Romney's "steel skeleton in the Bain closet," but former Democratic opponent Shannon P. O'Brien used GST Steel late in her unsuccessful 2002 race for Massachusetts governor.

"Democrats are hoping GST will become the Ampad of this campaign, and workers from the steel company are expected to come to Massachusetts next week to dog Romney," The Boston Globe reported in October 2002.

Ampad refers to an Indiana paper mill owned by Bain Capital that saw workers' benefits cut and then was shuttered in 1995. The issue was brought up during Romney's unsuccessful 1994 U.S. Senate run against the late Ted Kennedy.

Indeed, the GST Steel story features some damning facts: GST Steel eliminated some 750 jobs, cut pension benefits and eventually shuttered the business, which had previously employed as many as 4,500 people.

It's hard to determine how this ad will affect voters. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told Politico on Monday that the ad was "an invitation to engage in a larger debate about jobs."

Obama, though, had a familiar face call the ad "unfair."

Former Obama-appointed "car czar" Steven Rattner, who the administration tapped to lead the team that eventually devised the bailout plan for the American automotive giants , said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Romney's mistake wasn't cutting jobs -- that's a part of capitalism -- but rather a previous comment from the presumed GOP nominee that he created 100,000 jobs.

"Mitt Romney made a mistake ever talking about the fact that he created 100,000 jobs," said Rattner. "Bain Capital's responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for his investors, most of whom were pension funds, endowments and foundations."

Current Romney senior aide Eric Fehrnstrom in 2002 said Romney had not been involved in the GST Steel layoffs as he was busy preparing for the 2002 Winter Olympics, according to a previously mentioned Globe story. But aides to his opponent reportedly produced documents that proved Romney was still a Bain Capital principal when it sold GST in 2001. Fehrnstrom responded that it was possible that Romney had still been a principal but that he didn't have decision-making authority.

Romney managed to overcome the late-race GST Steel attacks and win the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial election with 49.8% of the vote against O'Brien's 44.9%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $118.03 -0.71%
FB $105.41 -0.31%
GOOG $748.15 -0.02%
TSLA $229.64 5.22%
YHOO $33.16 0.61%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,813.39 +1.20 0.01%
S&P 500 2,088.87 -0.27 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5,116.1430 +13.3350 0.26%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs