Washington: US President Barack Obama's re-election campaign on Monday launched a brutal assault on his Republican rival Mitt Romney, ripping off his record as a business manager to portray him as an economic "vampire" who reaped quick profits at the expense of workers and communities.
An advertisement released today by Obama's campaign hit hard at Romney's business records and alleged that the philosophy of the former Massachusetts Governor would take the country backwards.
The six-minute video featured the story of GST Steel, a Kansas city cased steel plant, that was taken over by Romney's firm Bain Capital and subsequently shuttered after more than 100 years in business.
"After purchasing the company, Mitt Romney and his partners loaded it with debt, closed the Kansas City plant and walked away with a healthy profit, leaving hundreds of employees out of work with their pensions in jeopardy," the campaign alleged.
In a statement, the Obama campaign again targeted Romney's record on outsourcing, pointing out that in a career of "buying and selling companies", Romney has reaped profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities.
"Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits," it said.
The campaign also released another two-minute ad featuring the story of GST Steel that will run in select battleground states, besides announcing the launch of a new website www.RomneyEconomics.Com, that again targets Romney's policies.
"It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us," says one of the men featured in the video.
"What Bain Capital did was not capitalism, it was bad management," says David Foster, lead negotiator for workers at GST Steel.
The campaign alleged that Mitt Romney has repeatedly cited his business experience as his chief qualification to be President, claiming he would use it to boost the economy, create jobs, and reduce the deficit.
"While Mitt Romney wants to go back to the philosophy that created the economic crisis, President Obama is moving America forward - to an economy built to last, where hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and everyone has a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules," it said.
"RomneyEconomics.Com examines what kind of businessman Mitt Romney actually was - and what that would mean for our economy. The website that allows the American people to learn the real story of Mitt Romney's business record. The website includes case studies of other companies that suffered under Mitt Romney's management, as well as a breakdown of the questionable business practices used by Mitt Romney and his partners," it said.
The sharp attack alleged that Romney's business strategy was hardly about strengthening companies and creating jobs for long-term economic growth and set different rules for investors and workers.
"... And it certainly wasn't about creating an economy built to last by rewarding hard work and responsibility and strengthening the security of middle-class families," it said.
"In Romney's economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules - one for people like him, another for everyone else," it alleged.
First Published: Monday, May 14, 2012, 20:13