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Columns

August 11, 2012

Here's the speech Romney should give on Bain Capital

Mitt Romney cannot run from his record at Bain Capital. So he might as well give this speech. ...

Ladies and Gentlemen:

You have heard plenty about my previous life as a rich businessman. Yes, I made some $250 million in free enterprise and am proud I did — just as Berry Gordy is proud that he produced millions at Motown and Steve Jobs was proud he yielded billions at Apple.

Like these respected and wealthy entrepreneurs, I added value, delivered products and services that people wanted and created thousands of careers along the way.

At Bain Capital, my team and I took small and sometimes struggling companies, injected cash and eight times out of 10 made them blossom. Among our triumphs: Bain seeded Staples with $650,000. Its 1,500 stores now employ 88,000 people who generated $25 billion in revenues last year. Bain helped Sports Authority boom from 10 stores to almost 700 outlets and 15,000 employees.

Brookstone reportedly was in “dire straits” before Bain’s 1991 investment. It then opened 104 new shops, hired 741 people and tripled net sales from $95 million to $270 million by 1999.

Atop private money, we added our management expertise to help our portfolio companies refine, manufacture and sell their market offerings. When we succeeded, we enjoyed the fruits of our labors. When we failed, we internalized our losses.

Contrast our venture capitalism with President Barack Obama’s “venture socialism,” as Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., calls it. Obama has “invested” $34.7 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees for “green” companies. The Energy Department boasts that this money has created 60,000 jobs. That equals $578,333 per position. This is nine times the private-sector cost.

Even worse, at least 10 of these companies took your tax dollars and then went broke. Beyond Solyndra and the $528 million it flushed down a solar toilet, consider these Obama-led bankruptcies:

Raser Technologies got a $33 million stimulus grant. Its geothermal ambitions turned to steam, and it went bankrupt in April 2011. Ener1 received a $118.5 million government grant to make electric-car batteries. It lost power last Jan. 26. Aptera scored a $150 million federal loan to make three-wheeled electric cars. It drove into a ditch last Dec. 2.

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