Romney’s NEW OP-ED: What I Learned at Bain Capital

Mitt Romney at Bain

Romney Economics! Investing in Companies and Creating Jobs.

The original may be found on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page.

The back-to-school season is here, and as parents take their children to shop for school supplies, I suspect that many of them will be visiting a Staples store. I’m very familiar with those stores because Staples is one of many businesses we helped create and expand at Bain Capital, a firm that my colleagues and I built. The firm succeeded by growing and fixing companies.

The lessons I learned over my 15 years at Bain Capital were valuable in helping me turn around the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. They also helped me as governor of Massachusetts to turn a budget deficit into a surplus and reduce our unemployment rate to 4.7%. The lessons from that time would help me as president to fix our economy, create jobs and get things done in Washington.

A broad message emerges from my Bain Capital days: A good idea is not enough for a business to succeed. It requires a talented team, a good business plan and capital to execute it. That was true of companies we helped start, like Staples and the Bright Horizons child-care provider, and several of the struggling companies we helped turn around, like the Brookstone retailer and the contact-lens maker Wesley Jessen.

My presidency would make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the investment dollars they need to grow, by reducing and simplifying taxes; replacing Obamacare with real health-care reform that contains costs and improves care; and by stemming the flood of new regulations that are tying small businesses in knots.

My business experience confirmed my belief in empowering people. For example, at Bain Capital we bought Accuride, a company that made truck rims and wheels, because we saw untapped potential there. We instituted performance bonuses for the management team, which had a dramatic impact. The managers made the plants more productive, and the company started growing, adding 300 jobs while Bain was involved. My faith in people, not government, is at the foundation of my plan to strengthen America’s middle class.

I also saw firsthand through these investments how energy costs impact the ability of a business to grow. Today, energy costs are weighing on job creators across America because President Obama has limited energy exploration and restricted development in ways that sap economic performance, curtail growth, and kill jobs. I will take a sensible approach to tapping our energy resources, which will both create jobs and make energy more affordable for every sector of our economy.

In the 1990s, when the “old-technology” steel industry in the U.S. was failing, Bain Capital helped build a new steel company, Steel Dynamics, which has grown into one of the largest steel producers in America today, holding its own against Chinese producers. The key to its success? State-of-the-art new technology.

Here are two lessons from the Steel Dynamics story: First, innovation is essential to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. We are the most innovative, entrepreneurial nation in the world. To maintain that lead, we must give people the skills to succeed. My plan for a stronger middle class includes policies to give every family access to great schools and quality teachers, to improve access to higher education, and to attract and retain the best talent from around the world.

The second lesson is that we must have a level playing field in international trade. As president, I will challenge unfair trade practices that are harming American workers.

Running a business also brings lessons in tackling challenges. I was on the board of a medical diagnostic-laboratory company, Damon, when a competitor announced that it had settled with the government over a charge of fraudulent Medicare billing. I and fellow Damon outside board members joined together and immediately hired an independent law firm to examine Damon’s own practices.

The investigation revealed a need to make some changes, which we did. The company, along with several other clinical-laboratory companies, ended up being fined for billing practices. And a Damon manager who was responsible for the fraud went to jail. The experience taught me that when you see a problem, run toward it or it will only get worse.

That will be my approach to our federal budget problem. I am committed to capping federal spending below 20% of GDP and reducing nondefense discretionary spending by 5%. This will surely result in much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington. But a failure of leadership has created our debt crisis, and ducking responsibility will only cripple the economy and smother opportunity for our children and grandchildren.

I’m not sure Bain Capital could have grown or turned around some of the companies we invested in had we faced today’s anti-business environment. Andy Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants Inc., which employs about 21,000 people at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, has said that the “current unfriendly economic environment perhaps best explains why American companies are sitting on over $2 trillion which they could invest.”

President Obama has piled on excessive regulations, proposed massive tax increases, added more than $5 trillion in federal debt, and failed to address the coming fiscal cliff—all of which is miring our nation in sluggish growth and high unemployment.

I know what it takes to turn around difficult situations. And I will put that experience to work, to get our economy back on track, create jobs, strengthen the middle class and lay the groundwork for America’s increased competitiveness in the world.

A few comments from Paul Johnson, if you’ll indulge, about why what Mitt says is so important:

1. Mitt’s succeeded before. We have some serious problems, but Mitt has displayed an unusual ability to solve difficult issues. From his tenure at Bain, to establishing and turning around other companies, to turning around the Olympics, Mitt Romney knows success and how to replicate it. (more…)

Mitt Romney Selects Paul Ryan as his Choice for Vice President

Governor Mitt Romney and his Vice Presidential running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan

If your home is anything like ours, discussions of late have centered on the Olympic Games and whom Governor Romney would choose as his VP running mate and the timing of the announcement. Well, speculation is over; almost. This piece is published prior to the official event of the announcement.

Congressman Paul Ryan is an outstanding choice for many different reasons. Those of us that have researched and written to promote Governor Romney for years know him to be a strong, proven conservative leader. Is there any doubt now about his conservative vision for this ticket? No! We know Governor Romney as a man of great courage; Congressman Paul Ryan too is known for bold, assertive leadership. (See YouTube below for a glimpse of how Rep. Ryan is likely to handle any debate with Mr. Biden)

For the next two weeks leading into the Republican National Convention, we will be bombarded with details of Paul Ryan’s politics, leadership, background, families, etc. What do we know of this great American?

Character / Reputation

Ryan is a fighter who will never back away from a good scrap involving truth and he will fiercely defend against any of the many Obama elitist soothsayers and hacks like Burton. He is a passionate conservative – brilliant, articulate, energetic, and hard working. Many conservatives believe Ryan typifies the future of the Republican Party.

Families / Interests

One television news report from last night stated Ryan has 67 cousins living in and around Janesville, WI (his birthplace and current hometown). He is 42 years old, born January 29, 1970 to Paul, Sr. (lawyer) and Elizabeth Ryan. He is the youngest of four children; siblings include his sister Janet and brothers Tobin and Stan. Ryan’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks between the ages of 55 and 59 (his father died when Paul, Jr. was 16). He is of Irish and German ancestry.

The Paul & Janna Ryan Family

Paul Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney, almost 12 years ago. They have three children, Liza, Charlie, and Sam. They are Roman Catholic.

Ryan is a fan of the Green Bay Packers, a fitness enthusiast, and a hunter who enjoys hunting with bow and arrows. If he is like my Cheesehead friend, Steve Miller, Ryan considers Wisconsin “God’s Country.”

Education / Political Career

Paul Ryan attended Joseph A. Craig High School and earned a BA at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio in economics and political science (he originally wanted to be an economist). He was first elected as a United States Congressman in 1998 at age 28 and is currently serving in the House in his seventh term. He is chairman of the Committee on the Budget and a member of the Committee on Ways & Means and the Subcommittee on Health.

Representative Ryan is an active and committed mentor to up and coming Republican leaders; he has been instrumental in guiding several individuals in their successful campaigns to elected office at the federal level. He is one of three founders of the Young Guns Program. Prior to his election to the House, he served as a speechwriter to several elected and appointed federal officials.

Social Media

Paul Ryan’s Twitter handle is @RepPaulRyan and he follows only one Twitter handle: @NationalDebt (at the time this post was published, his last tweet was August 5th). Check out the Paul Ryan YouTube Channel.

On April 29, 2012, The New York Times reported,

WASHINGTON — Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.

At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.

He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.

[…]

That is not bad for a man who was once just another minion on Capitol Hill, working for a research group, then for a member of Congress, and moonlighting as a waiter at the Hill hangout Tortilla Coast and as a personal trainer at a gym. Co-workers at the conservative policy group Empower America admonished him for hanging his workout clothes out to dry at work rather than laundering them.

“It’s amazing to all of us because Paul was just an ordinary guy,” said A. Mark Neuman, an old friend.

Rep. Ryan and Governor Romney

Late yesterday, Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol wrote in The Weekly Standard,

Romney and Ryan bonded as they barnstormed Wisconsin in the days leading up to the state’s decisive April 3 primary. Over the course of their travels together, Ryan went from a small role as the guy who introduced Romney at their first event,to someone who shared the stage with him, taking some of the questions and bantering easily with Romney. The expanded role, Ryan told TWS in May, was Romney’s idea. “He knows how I talk and what I say. And I’m pretty clear about that stuff. I think he’s comfortable with that.”

Thursday, August 9th, the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal published its main opinion column titled, “Why Not Paul Ryan?” – A strong endorsement of Representative Ryan:

Beneath it all you can hear the murmurs of the ultimate Washington insult—that Mr. Ryan is too dangerous because he thinks politics is about things that matter. That dude really believes in something, and we certainly can’t have that.

[…]

The case for Mr. Ryan is that he best exemplifies the nature and stakes of this election. More than any other politician, the House Budget Chairman has defined those stakes well as a generational choice about the role of government and whether America will once again become a growth economy or sink into interest-group dominated decline.

[…]

Personalities aside, the larger strategic point is that Mr. Romney’s best chance for victory is to make this a big election over big issues. Mr. Obama and the Democrats want to make this a small election over small things—Mitt’s taxes, his wealth, Bain Capital. As the last two months have shown, Mr. Romney will lose that kind of election.

To win, Mr. Romney and the Republicans have to rise above those smaller issues and cast the choice as one about the overall direction and future of the country. Americans tell pollsters they are anxious and unhappy precisely because they instinctively know the country is troubled in ways it hasn’t been since the 1970s. They know the economy is growing too slowly to raise middle-class incomes, while the government is growing too fast to be affordable.

Above all, Americans are hungry for leadership. They want leaders willing to take on the hard issues, preferably without the rancor and polarization that have defined Mr. Obama’s Presidency. But they will reward leaders who succeed despite the rancor, as Wisconsin voters showed by their huge turnout in support of Governor Scott Walker this year.

Whatever doubts Americans may have about Mr. Romney’s empathy or background, more of them will turn out for him if they see a leader with a vision and plan worthy of the current difficult moment. This is the kind of candidate and message that voters need to see in the Republican convention this month and into the fall, and it is the message that Mr. Romney’s choice of a running mate should reinforce.

Watch how Rep. Paul Ryan completely dismantles ObamaCare in front of national leaders including President Obama and Vice President Biden; he leaves them virtually speechless:


THANKS to Jayde Wyatt for contributions to this post.


American Values: “In God We Trust” — “Liberty” — “E Pluribus Unum”

Twitter Follow: @VicLundquist – Dedicated to all members of The United States military and their families

The Romney Record Vs. The Obama Record: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Obama Vs. Romney

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul sets the tone for the below graphic:

Having abandoned ‘Hope and Change,’ the Obama campaign only ‘Hopes To Change The Subject’ from an abysmal jobs report. We’re happy to compare the 4.7% unemployment rate Mitt Romney achieved in Massachusetts to President Obama’s weak record any day.

President Obama’s policies have failed to get Americans back to work – it’s time for a president who has worked in the real world economy and understands how to get this economy moving again.

We’ve added this graphic to our Pinterest page, and tweeted it to all our followers — hope you’ll do the same!


Follow @LukeGundy on Twitter…

Romney Responds to Obama’s Three Year Budget Fail: “Extraordinary, Unfortunate” (radio interview)

Obama got a big ‘F’ smackdown on his budget plan – again. Fail.

On Wednesday, U.S. senators voted 99-0 to resoundingly defeat the president’s offering. In March, the House rejected his plan 414-0. That equals not a single vote of support.

Trounced:

Republicans forced the vote by offering the president’s plan on the Senate floor.

Democrats disputed that it was actually the president’s plan, arguing that the slim amendment didn’t actually match Mr. Obama’s budget document, which ran thousands of pages. But Republicans said they used all of the president’s numbers in the proposal, so it faithfully represented his plan.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, even challenged Democrats to point out any errors in the numbers and he would correct them — a challenge no Democrats took up.

“A stunning development for the president of the United States in his fourth year in office,” Mr. Sessions said of the unanimous opposition.

Amazingly, not one Senate Democrat has voted in favor of any budget for three years and they have not offered a plan of their own. Imagine that. For three years in a row, the federal government has operated WITHOUT A BUDGET.

On Hugh Hewitt’s national radio program last night, guest-hosts Guy Benson (Townhall) and Mary Katharine Ham (Townhall alum ) interviewed Governor Mitt Romney. Romney responded to Obama’s budget being bounced to the curb:

Guy Benson: Okay, Governor, last night, something extraordinary happened in the United States Senate. President Obama’s budget for the second consecutive year was defeated unanimously. This time around, it was 99-0. I’m curious what you think the implications of that vote are, and whether you see it as an indictment of this president’s leadership?

Mitt Romney: There’s no question in my view, Guy, but this is a underscoring of the president’s failure to lead. This is, after all, a body which is held by Democrats. If he wanted to see a budget passed, he should have worked with them. If they wanted to make adjustments, to make it more palatable, he should have found ways to make those adjustments. We’ve now gone on for three years without a federal budget? This is absolutely extraordinary. There’s not a business in this country that could operate the way the federal government is operating. And the fact that we have a president who is so inexperienced as a leader that he doesn’t know how to lead his own party, let alone reach across the aisle and work with Republicans, is a very unfortunate and potentially damaging element to our nation and to our economy. It’s something which I really think may well be unprecedented to have the president’s budget defeated in both the House and the Senate by unanimous votes. It’s very amazing.

GB: Right, right. It was 513-0 this year in those two bodies combined. You mentioned this failure over the last three years to have a federal budget, and this in an era of $16 trillion dollars of the national debt and growing. I know your campaign’s been spending a lot of time focusing on deficits and debt. So I really have to know, as you watch Europe, because the Euro Zone again is experiencing significant tremors this week. Greece appears to be teetering on the brink. I know the easy conservative talking point is to frame all of that, and the implosion of the European welfare state, as a cautionary tale for us here. But setting that aside, if you were president today, what would you be doing, what would you be watching over there, and how is it possible, if at all, for a president to help shield the U.S. economy from a potential damaging series of shock waves coming across the Atlantic Ocean?

MR: Well, when there is turbulence in industrial and financial markets, the best thing you can do is make America the place that people want to come both with their capital, with their innovations, with their business expansions. And so this is an opportunity for America to show that we have taken action that Europe did not take, that we have reformed our entitlements to make them solvent long term, that we are dealing with our budget crises, that we’re taking action to make America an attractive place for businesses and for job creators. This means that people will be looking to make investments elsewhere, and we want them to look towards us, not looking towards Asia, as in some cases they will be concerned about Europe. So the best thing we can do to help ourselves is to make America a more attractive place for enterprise. And unfortunately, what the president has done is make us less attractive as a place for enterprise, and he’s also failed to be willing to even address seriously either our entitlement crisis or our budget crisis. And so we will, if Europe goes through pains here, we’re going to suffer pains as well, in part because of the failure of this president to improve the attractiveness of America as a place for growth and investment and job creators.

In the 15 minute plum interview with Romney, the wide-ranging conversation not only included Obama’s failed budget, but included Jeremiah Wright, the Euro debt crisis, Biden’s hits on Bain Capitol, Obama’s personal assassination campaign strategy, and how Romney is approaching the task of selecting a vice president:

Excellent interview! Read the entire transcript here.

By Lisa Benson - May 18, 2012



(emphasis added to text)

› Jayde Wyatt