Focusing on Romney, Obama campaign plans Bain attack

January 25, 2012

By Andy Sullivan and Jeff Mason

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s campaign is preparing to attack Republican Mitt Romney’s business record with video of former workers from a Kansas City steel mill that went bankrupt while owned by Bain Capital, the company Romney co-founded.

The move is the latest sign that Obama’s campaign is firmly focused on the former Massachusetts governor despite Romney’s decisive loss to Newt Gingrich Saturday in the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina.

In defeating Romney, former House Speaker Gingrich captured the momentum in the state-by-state race to determine who will face Obama, a Democrat, in the November 6 elections.

However, Romney’s fundraising and organization generally are superior to Gingrich’s, and after the January 31 primary in Florida the campaign heads to several states where Romney has significant advantages.

While tossing a few barbs Gingrich’s way, the Obama camp is directing much of its energy toward Romney and his career as a private equity executive to try to cast him as a job killer.

Bain Capital was involved in saving companies such as Staples and Sports Authority but also in laying off thousands of workers at companies it did not save.

Joe Soptic, a former mill worker in Kansas City, said the Obama campaign had filmed him and other former workers discussing how the plant became more dangerous under Bain’s tenure.

Soptic also discussed how he lost retirement benefits and health-insurance coverage when the plant went bankrupt in 2001.

Romney is “worth $250 million,” Soptic said he told the Obama crew. “He has more money than he’ll ever spend, or his kids will ever spend, or their kids will ever spend. How much is enough? … How could you go to sleep at night knowing you’ve destroyed peoples’ lives?”


An Obama campaign official said no decision had been made on how, whether or when to use the video footage.

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