Bain Capital defends record in wake of Obama team attacks

screenshot of Obama for America video hitting Romney on his record at Bain Capital OFA, YouTube

Bain Capital, Romney
Screenshot of a video released Monday by President Obama's re-election team, focusing on a factory shuttered by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital.
OFA, YouTube

(CBS News) Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Mitt Romney founded in 1985, released a statement Monday defending its business record, following the Obama campaign's intense scrutiny of the company's practices.

Starting last week, President Obama's re-election team started hammering Romney for his record at Bain, arguing that the business philosophy to which he adhered as "a corporate buyout specialist" would be bad for the country's economy. The most recent attack focuses on Ampad, an Indiana office supply factory that filed for bankruptcy in 2000 after Bain made $100 million dollars in profit off of it. The Obama video uses local news reports and workers to tell a story of slashed jobs, reduced wages and cut pensions after Bain took over.

In its statement, Bain suggested the Obama team's attacks ignore facts that help explain the factory's failure. It also suggests the focus on failed factories like the Indiana Ampad factory give an inaccurate picture of Bain's overall success. The full statement reads:

"Throughout Bain Capital's 28-year history, we have been focused on growing businesses and improving their operations. We acquired Ampad from Mead Corp. in 1992, and grew the overall business during the four years we controlled the company. The Marion plant was a challenging situation in a business that was performing well overall, growing revenues and adding jobs. Our control of Ampad ended in 1996, fully four years before it encountered financial difficulties due to overwhelming pressure from 'big box' retailers, declines in paper demand, and intense foreign price pressures. Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested."

As Mr. Obama's re-election campaign has sought to pick apart Romney's record at Bain, it has insisted it's not attacking the private equity industry. That message has been complicated, however, as Democrats like Newark Mayor Cory Booker criticize the new attack ads. Booker said Sunday on NBC'S "Meet the Press" that it was unfair to "indict private equity."

"To me, we're getting to a ridiculous point in America, especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital," he said. "If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses."

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