Mitt Romney, last night’s Iowa caucus winner, has been on the campaign trail claiming that the private equity firm he ran, known as Bain Capital, was responsible for creating loads of jobs. Romney responded to criticism about his time at Bain by saying, “I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”
When a group of Romney backers ran an ad making the same claim, they were unable to back up the number with data. And as it turns out, the Romney camp can’t either, as it admitted that the statistic is nothing but cherry-picked job growth from a few companies that did well after they were bought by Bain:
[Romney spokesman Eric] Fehrnstrom says the 100,000 figure stems from the growth in jobs from three companies that Romney helped to start or grow while at Bain Capital: Staples (a gain of 89,000 jobs), The Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), and Domino’s (7,900 jobs).
This tally obviously does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved — and are based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain. (Indeed, Romney made his comments in response to a former employee of American Pad & Paper Co. who says he lost his job after Bain Capital took it private.)
Bain Capital has been responsible for thousands of layoffs at companies it bankrupted, such as American Pad & Paper, Dade International, and LIVE Entertainment, which Romney’s stat completely leaves out. He’s also taking credit for jobs created long after he left the firm to launch his political career. To sum it up, the stat Romney uses is incredibly dishonest, like much of his jobs rhetoric.
One of Romney’s Bain business partners has said that he “never thought of what I do for a living as job creation.” “The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors,” he added. And Bain has certainly done that, maximizing earnings “by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits.” Due to a lucrative retirement deal, Romney is still making millions from Bain, as he goes across the country calling himself “middle class” and joking about being “unemployed.” [HT: Greg Sargent]