We at AmericanLP have created a new ad to spotlight Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on the issue of bailouts. By now, most observers have learned that Mitt Romney was against a bailout for Detroit. But what even many political insiders don’t realize is that Mitt Romney has been the beneficiary of a Federal bailout of sorts. As head of Bain and Co in the early 90s (he had been brought back from Bain Capital to sort out the mess at the mother company), Romney was in charge of keeping Bain from imploding under a huge mountain of debt. In addition to firing lots of people (naturally), Romney also squeezed suppliers and other creditors. What’s more, Bain had a $38 million loan from the Bank of New England, and that the Bank of New England had its own problems and had been taken over by the FDIC.
Romney shrewdly re-negotiated the Bain loan from $38 million to $28 million. So what does that mean, exactly? Well, since the FDIC is an arm of the Federal government, that means, essentially, that the FDIC (ahem, taxpayers) ate the difference. In other words, Romney conned the government into giving him and his cronies a $10 million bailout.
Yes, this was legal for Romney to do—other business people do it all the time. But it was a bailout to the tune of $10 million, Romney did personally benefit, and it’s a bit rich for Romney to be so sanctimonious about other people getting bailouts. Critics of our ad would suggest that it is unfair to imply that Romney benefited personally from the $10, million write-offs. While the money went to Bain and Co, Romney actually benefited to a much greater degree than $10 million. If Bain and Co had not gotten the bailout, it would have likely imploded. If Bain and Co had imploded, it would have likely tainted Bain Capital to such a degree that it would have been destroyed. If Bain Capital had been dismantled, Romney would have never been able to make his quarter billion that has allowed him the life of the perpetual candidate. Yes, this stuff is complicated—but that’s why rich finance guys like Romney are able to play the system to their advantage.
We start the ad with images of Ronald Reagan talking about the Chicago welfare queen in a Cadillac. This was a story Reagan told over and over again in the 1976 and 1980 campaigns. Even though Reagan never specified it was a black woman, it was widely assumed by most observers across the spectrum that Reagan was in fact talking about a black woman from Chicago with 80 different fake names. (It turns out that Reagan didn’t have his facts straight on this—surprise, surprise)
By showing Reagan at the beginning of the ad, we are trying to evoke the warm feelings conservative Republicans have toward Reagan and his beliefs about “welfare queens.” That is why we are literally showing what appears to be a woman driving a pink Cadillac in an inner city. We then show that in fact the “woman” is none other than Mitt Romney in drag. Romney should actually be seen as a modern day welfare queen who ripped off the government for more than any “welfare queen” from the inner city could ever imagine.
By portraying Romney this way, we are attempting to turn ugly racist beliefs on their head and make people realize that the biggest freeloaders on the government system are actually people who look like Mitt Romney.
At the end of the ad, we show Mitt Romney’s vacation mansion worth $10 million. We aren’t suggesting that Romney criminally stole tax dollars to buy his house illegally. But money is fungible, so any money that benefits Romney in one account can be used to purchase luxuries from any other account.
The point is that Romney and his colleagues at Bain were already wealthy by the early 1990s when the difficulties with the loan arose. Because, as we know, “corporations are people,” Romney and his cronies weren’t personally liable for the full $38 million. Instead, just the corporate entity of Bain and Company was liable. But there was nothing stopping Romney or his wealthy colleagues at Bain from paying back the full $10 million out of their own pocket at the time. For that matter, Romney and his colleagues could have paid the Government back in later years, after they’d all become super, super rich.
The bottom line is Romney got the best deal he could, just because he could. And yet he belongs to a political party that says people who do that are evil parasites for not being “rugged individuals” and succeeding on their own merits.
Finally, our goal here is to make conservatives sickened by the hypocrisy of Romney taking bailouts and for moderates and independents to be disgusted by Romney for making himself richer at the expense of average taxpayers. This bailout for Romney is a perfect window into why Romney should be seen as an utterly detestable and phony candidate regardless of one’s ideological position. Please take a look at the ad below.
More info on www.americanlp.org