In Ohio, Biden continues attack on Romney's time at Bain

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at M-7 Technologies, Wednesday, May 16, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio. Biden is pouncing on Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney in swing state Ohio, casting him as a corporate raider more interested in making profits than in the needs of workers.
AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at M-7 Technologies, May 16, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio.
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

(CBS News) Youngstown, Ohio -- Kicking off his first of two economy-focused campaign events in Ohio on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden continued the Obama campaign's attack against Mitt Romney's experience in the private sector at Bain Capital.

Biden told the story of Randy Johnson, who used to work at Ampad, a paper plant in Marion, Indiana, that was acquired in 1994 by a company owned by Bain and became SCM Office Supplies.

"The workers were fired, including Randy, and told they could reapply for their jobs but the wages would be lower, health benefits would be less," Biden said, speaking about Johnson, who introduced the vice president. "Then a year later they shut the plant down -- everyone lost their jobs."

"They brought in security guards. They fired us all," Johnson said, as he shared his story to the crowd. "They walked us out of the building."

Johnson said he and some of the other employees who were hired back eventually held picket lines in protest to cuts in their pay and benefits. The factory was later closed.

Johnson currently works for United Steelworkers in Pennsylvania.

A Romney spokesman at the event talked to the press afterwards and dismissed Johnson as a liberal union activist.

"It is not surprising that liberal special interests groups would attack Governor Romney," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. "Look, Governor Romney is proud of his business record. We are willing to stack up Governor Romney's record with the private sector and as governor of Massachusetts against Barack Obama's failed economic policies and his disappointing performance in office."

During his speech, Biden cited President Obama's past years in office as a positive for the country and contrasted it with Romney's record.

"Laying on debt, laying off workers, doing what is good for those at top while everyone else fends for themselves?" Biden said. "We can't afford that in the nation."

Biden's event was held at M7 technologies, a manufacturing company who says their business is growing 40 percent each year. The next stop for the vice president will be on Thursday in Martins Ferry, Ohio.

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    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.