Mitt Romney is arguing that, despite criticism that he was a predatory businessman interested only in making profits, his stint running Bain Capital, a private-equity firm, shows that he was committed to creating jobs and improving communities across the country.
In a new Web video, "American Dream," Romney's Republican presidential campaign says Bain helped many people find a better life and, as an example, says that Bain played a role in helping Steel Dynamics Inc. of Indiana survive.
The video shows Steel Dynamics employees talking about how the company overcame hard times, and a narrator says it wouldn't have been possible without the intervention of Romney and his "private sector leadership team." Critics note that the state government of Indiana also subsidized the company with millions of taxpayer dollars, a point that Romney's ad doesn't mention.
The Romney film is a response to a hard-hitting Web video by President Obama's re-election campaign attacking Romney because Bain closed a Missouri steel company after draining profits from it like "a vampire."
A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, reacting to the new Romney ad, said, "Mitt Romney continues to mischaracterize his private sector experience, which hinged on reaping quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities, not on creating jobs as he claims." The Obama spokeswoman said government incentives and other factors were more important to Steel Dynamics than Bain's involvement.
Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News digital weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter.