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Romney’s Bain Lie

Overall, tonight was a great one for Mitt Romney. The speeches that preceded his demonstrated what an phenomenally decent human being he’s been throughout his life. And his own speech was, if not the “grand slam home run” that most pundits said he needed, at least a stand-up double, hitting the right note and continuing the process of showing that the Republican nominee is what he is: a good husband, father, and citizen.

But he stepped on that message, at least to my trained ear, by telling an absurd lie about the origin of Bain Capital. I don’t have the speech transcript available but, in essence, he claimed that, at 37, he and his colleagues risked everything to “bet on themselves.” But, as everyone who’s been following the campaign knows, that’s utter horseshit. Romney was raking in the big bucks at Bain and Company and balked at risking his and his family’s future on a new venture. As most of us would. Certainly, as I would have if I had five boys to support. Or, hell, if I was just raking in the big bucks and had only myself to support.  But he basically balked at taking a risk and insisted on a no-lose deal in which, if he succeeeded, he’d be rewarded handsomely but, if he failed, he’d go back to his old gig making the big bucks.

Again, there’s no shame in that. If I were making big bucks at my job, there’s no way in hell I’d risk my family’s future on a bet that I’d make even bigger bucks. That Romney had the leverage to demand a sweetheart deal is an indication that he was an incredible asset to Bain. That’s awesome.

But why in the hell would he tell us a lie that everyone listening would know is untrue? The true story is, after all, good enough.

UPDATE: Here’s the transcription of the relevant portion:

When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

So we started a new business called Bain Capital. The only problem was, while WE believed in ourselves, nobody else did. We were young and had never done this before and we almost didn’t get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. I had thought about asking my church’s pension fund to invest, but I didn’t. I figured it was bad enough that I might lose my investors’ money, but I didn’t want to go to hell too. Shows what I know. Another of my partners got the Episcopal Church pension fund to invest. Today there are a lot of happy retired priests who should thank him. That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story.

Is there something I’m missing here? Was Bain Capital in a sink or swim situation even if Romney had the personal option of returning to Bain and Company whole? Here’s the Wikipedia version of the origin story:

Bain Capital was founded in 1984 by Bain & Company partners Mitt Romney, T. Coleman Andrews III, and Eric Kriss, after Bill Bain had offered Romney the chance to head a new venture that would invest in companies and apply Bain’s consulting techniques to improve operations.[5] In addition to the three founding partners, the early team included Fraser Bullock, Robert F. White, Joshua Bekenstein, Adam Kirsch, and Geoffrey S. Rehnert.[6] Romney initially had the titles of president[7] and managing general partner[8][9] or managing partner.[10] He later became referred to as managing director[11] or CEO[12] as well. He was also the sole shareholder of the firm.[13] At the beginning, the firm had fewer than ten employees.[14] When new employees were hired, they were generally in their twenties and top-ranked graduates from Stanford University or Harvard University, both of which Romney had attended.[15]

In the face of skepticism from potential investors, Romney and his partners spent a year raising the $37 million in funds needed to start the new operation.[16][17][14][18] Early investors also included members of elite Salvadoran families who fled the country’s civil war.[19] They and other wealthy Latin Americans invested $9 million primarily through offshore companies registered in Panama.[20]

While Bain Capital was founded by Bain executives, the firm was not an affiliate or a division of Bain & Company but rather a completely separate company. Initially, the two firms shared the same offices – in an office tower at Copley Place in Boston[21] – and a similar approach to improving business operations. However, the two firms had put in place certain protections to avoid sharing information between the two companies and the Bain & Company executives had the ability to veto investments that posed potential conflicts of interest.[22] Bain Capital also provided an investment opportunity for partners of Bain & Company. Bain Capital’s original $37 million fund was raised entirely from private individuals in mid-1984.[6] The firm initially gave a cut of its profits to Bain & Company, but Romney later persuaded Bill Bain to give that up.[23]

The Bain Capital team was initially reluctant to invest its capital. By 1985, things were going poorly enough that Romney considered closing the operation, returning investors’ money back to them, and having the partners go back to their old positions.[24] The partners saw weak spots in so many potential deals that by 1986, very few had been done.[25] At first, Bain Capital focused on venture capital opportunities.[25] One of Bain’s earliest and most notable venture investments was in Staples, Inc., the office supply retailer. In 1986, Bain provided $4.5 million to two supermarket executives, Leo Kahn and Thomas G. Stemberg, to open an office supply supermarket in Brighton, Massachusetts.[26] The fast-growing retail chain went public in 1989;[27] by 1996, the company had grown to over 1,100 stores,[28] and by 2008, over 2,000 stores.[29] Bain Capital eventually reaped a nearly sevenfold return on its investment, and Romney sat on the Staples board of directors for over a decade.[14][18][25] Another very successful investment occurred in 1986 when $1 million was invested in medical equipment maker Calumet Coach, which eventually returned $34 million.[30] A few years later, Bain Capital made an investment in the technology research outfit the Gartner Group, which ended up returning a 16-fold gain.[30]

Certainly, it seems like the founders of Bain and Company believed in Romney and friends, giving them a pretty decent stake; it wasn’t a case of some crazy (37-year-old) kids with a wild dream throwing caution to the wind. But it does read as if that first year things weren’t going well—although well enough that Romney still had the ability to return people’s investments.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. An Interested Party says:

    To be fair, Romney’s entire speech was littered with horseshit…of course, in that regard, Paul Ryan is a tough act to follow…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  2. Jr says:

    Rubio blew Romney out the window.

    GOP should have picked him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. James Joyner says:

    @An Interested Party: Every convention speech in my memory–which goes back to the 1980 conventions—contained a fair dose of horseshit. Creative fibbing about he opponent’s record and the like is just understood as within bounds of the game. But this one, while not a game changer, just makes no damned sense. It’s a blatant lie about something that most observers already knew the truth. No fact check is needed here; it was immediately obvious as bullshit and derailed the rest of the speech for me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  4. James Joyner says:

    @Jr: I thought Rubio was decent, but not as good as Rice. But giving great speech isn’t necessarily an indicator. George HW Bush was an excellent president but not a great speechifier (although his 1984 speech was quite good).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    It’s a political speech, not a deposition.

    There also are differences between literal statements and figurative statements. In the literal sense the only occasions on which someone “risks everything” is when they play Russian roulette or when they walk through Downtown Oakland, CA, late at night, without a Kevlar vest.

    Besides, Zombieland wouldn’t know the differences between a capital contribution to an investment company partnership and a Capital One credit card. You’re conflating the sort of people who have OCD regarding politics with a category of people who don’t know and who really don’t care about the details of life, much less the gory details about private equity firms.

    P.S. — There’s always risk in starting up a partnership, whether the partnership is flipping turnaround companies or flipping hamburgers. The objective of any partnership ultimately is to obtain a return of capital plus a share of profits. But it doesn’t always work out that way. If it always worked out that way then everyone would be doing it. In business there’s pretty much no such thing as a “no-lose” deal.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15

  6. anjin-san says:

    Unfortunately, dishonesty seems to be the default position of the Romney campaign, not a fallback. Lying and politics seem to go hand and hand, but these guys have taken it to a level that is a bit Nixionian.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 5

  7. Jr says:

    @James Joyner: I agree, being a great Orator doesn’t make you a great President. But Romney speech just felt flat too me, it is going to look bad when Obama and Clinton speak next week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. JKB says:

    Whoa, the journolist was fast tonight. Let’s obsess over a small factoid in hopes of avoiding any real discussion of substance.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 26

  9. Chris Berez says:

    If we limited ourselves to only discussing substance, we’d all be sitting here staring at a blank screen right now.

    Of course, that goes for political speeches in general.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  10. JKB says:

    Here’s the early release text. Personally, I did not hear him imply that he’d lose it all except as showing common cause with his decision not to ask his church’s pension fund to invest. But I’m sure we’ll see this completely misrepresented for the next news cycle.

    When I was 37, I helped start a small company. My partners and I had been working for a company that was in the business of helping other businesses.

    So some of us had this idea that if we really believed our advice was helping companies, we should invest in companies. We should bet on ourselves and on our advice.

    ***

    That business we started with 10 people has now grown into a great American success story. Some of the companies we helped start are names you know. An office supply company called Staples – where I’m pleased to see the Obama campaign has been shopping; The Sports Authority, which became a favorite of my sons. We started an early childhood learning center called Bright Horizons that First Lady Michelle Obama rightly praised. At a time when nobody thought we’d ever see a new steel mill built in America, we took a chance and built one in a corn field in Indiana. Today Steel Dynamics is one of the largest steel producers in the United States.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  11. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    How many millions in government assistance did Steel Dynamics take?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  12. Fiona says:

    Since so much of the Romney campaign has smelled of horseshit and senseless lies, I don’t know why you’re surprised by the Bain Capital lie. I suspect Mitt was trying to show what a bold, risk-taking entrepreneur he was when, in reality, he took no real risks and was known for his relatively cautious approach.

    Large parts of the speech made me livid, particularly his jingoistic turn toward the end. Romney’s saber-rattling makes me nervous. I fear he’s ready to start another war just to prove his manhood. But, oh well, at least he finally showed some life and passion.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

  13. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    he basically balked at taking a risk and insisted on a no-lose deal in which, if he succeeeded, he’d be rewarded handsomely but, if he failed, he’d go back to his old gig making the big bucks.

    Yes. And in case anyone is interested, that story is told here:

    Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney’s return to Bain & Company was needed due to his value as a consultant. “So,” Bain explained, “there was no professional or financial risk.” This time Romney said yes.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  14. An Interested Party says:

    It’s a political speech, not a deposition.

    Whoa, the journolist was fast tonight. Let’s obsess over a small factoid in hopes of avoiding any real discussion of substance.

    It will be very interesting to see if these shining lights are singing the same tune while the Dems meet in Charlotte…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  15. bill says:

    i wish obama had a success story to tell us, even if it’s only slightly embellished……don’t think it’s gonna happen.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 33

  16. LC says:

    Maybe Romney, unlike you, doesn’t believe the true story is such a slam-dunk wonderful thing that he wants to shout it from the sky. (And, yes, under the same circumstances, if I could have gotten the same deal, I would have.)

    I suspect that many of the people in the audience and most Americans do not know the real story because they are not political junkies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  17. JKB says:

    Let’s just say this was a “composite” and call it an autobiography.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  18. Derrick says:

    i wish obama had a success story to tell us, even if it’s only slightly embellished……don’t think it’s gonna happen.

    Well, while being a Harvard grad isn’t a big deal for the son of a Governor who went to the finest schools in America and got to spend his time in Paris at an estate, Barack earning a degree at Harvard Law and becoming a Senator ain’t half bad.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  19. jukeboxgrad says:

    interested:

    Romney’s entire speech was littered with horseshit

    Yes. I like the part where he essentially said that the room was full of people who have no investments in the stock market. How did he do that? He said this:

    this president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office

    “When he [Obama] took office,” the Dow was at 8280. “Today” it’s at 13001, an increase of 57%. So when Mitt says “this president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office” this can only be true if “you” is referencing a group who have no investments in the stock market. Who knew that Republicans have no investments in the stock market? You learn something new every day.

    It’s also remarkable to learn that getting rid of OBL doesn’t mean “you are better off,” even though Mitt also admitted that “every American was relieved the day President Obama gave the order.” How stupid of us to feel “relieved” even though we weren’t becoming “better off.”

    Making sense of GOP rhetoric requires a highly flexible mind.

    bill:

    i wish obama had a success story to tell us

    bill is obviously a member of the surprising group I just described: the one that has no investments in the stock market. And also was “relieved” when Obama got rid of OBL, even though this didn’t make them “better off.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  20. Modulo Myself says:

    But why in the hell would he tell us a lie that everyone listening would know is untrue? The true story is, after all, good enough.

    Look–if you want to believe he’s a ‘phenomenally decent human being’ you’re more than welcome, but there’s not only a gay kid who was tortured by Romney who will tell you differently, but also the results of every election he’s entered. People don’t take to Romney because they really don’t think he’s a ‘phenomenally decent human being.’ They really don’t. That’s his main problem, and there’s no way to disprove that by people dragged to a convention floor saying otherwise.

    This doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be president. But the proper way to run for president as a hard-nosed businessman would be to have numbers and plans. But he has neither. All he has is lies. So we get these scenarios where James is happy to be lied to in the way he likes, but when the lie is aimed at a bunch of people who need to believe that Romney is the most swashbuckling Randian figure of all time, he balks. What gives, James? How dense are you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  21. anjin-san says:

    Barack earning a degree at Harvard Law and becoming a Senator ain’t half bad.

    Best selling author, self-made millionaire, the first black major party nominee for President, the first black President. How can he have gone through life and accomplished so little?

    I love hearing guys who don’t sound like they could be shift managers at 7.11 talking about how Barack Obama has not accomplished anything.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 3

  22. jan says:

    @bill:

    “i wish obama had a success story to tell us, even if it’s only slightly embellished……don’t think it’s gonna happen. “

    Obama can do a “composite” success story, much like the characters he made up in his autobiography, along with the misinformation he let stand for a decade or so on the cover of that book.

    @Derrick:

    “Well, while being a Harvard grad isn’t a big deal for the son of a Governor who went to the finest schools in America and got to spend his time in Paris at an estate, Barack earning a degree at Harvard Law and becoming a Senator ain’t half bad. “

    Obama also went to the finest schools in Hawaii as well as here on the mainland. I bet if you compared the privileges and money each boy received in their childhood, Obama’s was more plentiful, living with affluent grandparents. Romney’s father, however, was known for his work ethic, and having his children earn and make their own way in life. Romney apparently followed in his father’s footsteps in raising his own children in a frugal way.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 38

  23. Herb says:

    But why in the hell would he tell us a lie that everyone listening would know is untrue?

    The frog had similar questions for the scorpion.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  24. anjin-san says:

    Romney apparently followed in his father’s footsteps in raising his own children in a frugal way.

    Romney has what, four vacation homes? That’s frugal? Put the pipe down…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    jan:

    the misinformation he let stand for a decade or so on the cover of that book

    “The misinformation” you’re talking about never, ever appeared on “the cover of that book” or on the cover of any book. Speaking of “misinformation.” It was buried inside an inconsequential brochure that was probably seen by almost no one. Link.

    This lie is even more glaring than most of your lies, which is saying a lot.

    Obama’s was more plentiful, living with affluent grandparents

    More bullshit. Madelyn Dunham raised Obama in a two-bedroom apartment, and she was still living in that same apartment at the time of her death in 2008 (link). The place is probably not much larger than Mitt’s car elevator.

    Living in a two-bedroom apartment for forty years is not properly described as “affluent.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 1

  26. anjin-san says:

    the young Barack spent four years with his mother and stepfather in Jakarta, Indonesia. He returned to Honolulu at age ten to live with his maternal grandparents in the Makiki district and enrolled in the fifth grade at the Punahou School. The tuition fees for the prestigious preparatory school were paid with the aid of scholarships.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Armour_Dunham

    Only in Jan’s bizarro universe is Obama a silver spoon guy and Mitt Romney the salt of the earth…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 2

  27. some guy says:

    Because the target audience doesn’t recognize the horseshit, nor are they very likely to pay much attention if it gets called out for what it is. Your cynicism is selective, Dr. Joyner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  28. nightrider says:

    @James Joyner: I think you may mean HW’s 1988 speech (not 1984). (“Read my lips”), which was written by Peggy Noonan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. anjin-san says:

    Romney vacation home

    Here are some examples of the frugal Romney lifestyle. The cost of their toys is far greater than the total net worth of countless American families.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  30. michael reynolds says:

    I’m voting for Invisible Obama. So much more lifelike than Visible Romney.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 3

  31. An Interested Party says:

    Obama also went to the finest schools in Hawaii as well as here on the mainland. I bet if you compared the privileges and money each boy received in their childhood, Obama’s was more plentiful, living with affluent grandparents.

    Oh my, Jan continues with her unbelievable delusions…before it’s all said and done, I’m sure that Romney will be portrayed as a Dickens-like character, born in the slums of Detroit and miraculously achieving success by picking himself up by his own bootstraps…hmm, Paul Ryan would be the perfect person to present that tale…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  32. Dazedandconfused says:

    That new article in Rolling Stone by Dickerson indicates to me he rolled the dice pretty hard to bail the place out after Bain scooted with the loot, and even clawed some of it back. It’s titled “federal bailout”, but that is a bit misleading. He then used that to borrow more, even getting the government involved, and kept them in by threatening to scoot with the loot himself. Classic case of borrowing enough to make your lender your partner, and screwing him into accepting just a small percentage of what he lent. Maybe this guy is exactly what we need, vis a vis China….

    There is perhaps a lesson here in why those old 90% top rates weren’t as dumb as they looked. Can’t threaten to run with 10’s of million’s of dollars in your pocket in just one year.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

    What struck me was the lack of mention of a war that exists and only vague hopes of more wars in other places.

    The only mention of the guys in Afghanistan should not have been Clint reminding them that they are suffering for nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  33. David M says:

    @jan:

    Obama also went to the finest schools in Hawaii as well as here on the mainland. I bet if you compared the privileges and money each boy received in their childhood, Obama’s was more plentiful, living with affluent grandparents. Romney’s father, however, was known for his work ethic, and having his children earn and make their own way in life. Romney apparently followed in his father’s footsteps in raising his own children in a frugal way.

    I agree, to the GOP it’s pretty obvious the middle class upbringing of Barack Obama was much easier than the suffering Mitt Romney had to endure as the son of the millionaire CEO of American Motors Corporation and Governor of Michigan. The horror of Romney barely making it through college on the stock portfolio his father gave him. I can’t imagine how hard he must have struggled trying to juggle working at a job selling the stock and studying at the same time.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  34. C. Clavin says:

    Jan thinks Obama had a better life than Romney????
    Seriously…this woman needs help. Professional care even.

    What have we learned this week?
    Christie has started his ’16 campaign.
    Ryan is a bad liar.
    Eastwood has grown old and senile.

    Romney needs to hope voter suppression is enough.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Note the classic assertion of authority in juke’s comment.

    His indisputable source: a single source (Vanity Fair) that’s a hit piece on Mitt Romney, authored by John Kerry’s biographer, that doesn’t give any attiibutions for the key quote juke singled out.

    It’s not quite as bad as juke’s rantings about Citizens United, where his definitive source was an article that said “some experts say X, but other experts say Y.” Further, when challenged to show a single example of his experts being right, he cited a completely irrelevant example.

    As far as Kranish… remember Kerry’s pledge to release his full military records? Kerry, instead, chose to release them to three carefully-chosen reporters, and they all assured us that yeah, there’s nothing in there, trust us. One of them was Kranish.

    Is that key quote accurate or not? I dunno. All we have are the word of juke and John Kerry’s biographer.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  36. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    His indisputable source: a single source (Vanity Fair) that’s a hit piece on Mitt Romney, authored by John Kerry’s biographer, that doesn’t give any attiibutions for the key quote juke singled out.

    “John Kerry’s biographer,” Michael Kranish, also happens to be Mitt Romney’s biographer. The book is called “The Real Romney.” The “source” of the quote I presented is this book, not “Vanity Fair.” I used a Vanity Fair link because they are hosting a portion of the book.

    Instead of using a Vanity Fair link, I could have used the Amazon link for the book, where it is searchable, and where you can find the text I cited, on page 133. So you focusing on “Vanity Fair” is yet another example of you being ridiculous.

    And you describing this book as “a hit piece on Mitt Romney” is also ridiculous. How inconvenient for you that Mitt’s own site references this book as a supposedly reliable source:

    The Real Romney Was Written By Two Boston Globe Reporters And Edited By A Sunday Globe Editor. “The Real Romney was written by Scott Helman and Michael Kranish of The Boston Globe staff, and edited by Mark S. Morrow, the deputy managing editor who oversees the Sunday Globe and major news projects. It builds on the work of the many Globe staffers who have tracked Mitt Romney’s life and career over the decades, including those who contributed to a landmark seven-part biographical series published as he launched his first presidential run.” (Michael Kranish And Scott Helman, The Real Romney, 2011)

    It’s also helpful to notice Kevin D. Williamson saying this:

    According to the engaging portrait of their courtship depicted in Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s The Real Romney, Mitt rarely if ever dated another woman after meeting the younger Ann

    How odd that “a hit piece on Mitt Romney” would contain an “engaging portrait of their courtship.” There are also many other examples of NR and other conservatives treating this book as a reliable source.

    that doesn’t give any attiibutions for the key quote juke singled out

    One more time, “the key quote” is here:

    Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney’s return to Bain & Company was needed due to his value as a consultant. “So,” Bain explained, “there was no professional or financial risk.” This time Romney said yes.

    This must be your way of telling us, as you have already done so many times, that you are completely lacking in reading comprehension, and/or completely lacking in integrity. Is there something you find hard to grasp about the simple English words “Bain explained?” Yes, the passage “doesn’t give any attiibutions” except for the part where it plainly attributes the quote to Bill Bain.

    And yet another ridiculous thing about you disputing this quote is that no one else has done so. In particular, Mitt has not done so and Bill Bain has not done so. Bill Bain is still quite alive, and there is this much possibility that he would say nothing after a major reporter falsely quoted him by name in a major book about Mitt Romney: zero. The notes in the book indicate that the authors interviewed Bill Bain in 2007. Are you suggesting this interview didn’t happen? Are you suggesting that the authors falsified the quotes from this interview and both Mitt Romney and Bill Bain have decided to not complain about that? How much of a pathetic fool do you need to be to treat that scenario as plausible?

    So disputing this particular quote is one of the most idiotic things you have ever done, and that’s saying a lot, because you have a long history here of saying things that are deeply, profoundly, painfully idiotic.

    Anyway, thanks for yet another vivid demonstration of the amazing Republican capacity for rejecting any inconvenient fact, no matter how clear and well-documented the fact happens to be. As usual, your inadvertent public service is considerable.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 0

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: And yet another ridiculous thing about you disputing this quote is that no one else has done so. In particular, Mitt has not done so and Bill Bain has not done so.

    My, what intellectual dishonesty. That is exactly the same argument I used when you spouted your insanity about Romney being a “felon” — the deafening silence of those who would best be in a position to understand it. And you rejected that out of hand.

    Oh, and you harped on Romney being a felon, when he hasn’t ever been even indicted — but got hugely bent out of shape when I called convicted financial criminal George Soros a felon.

    Do you have ANY consistent principles or beliefs, or do you — as I suspect — just make it up as you go along?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 21

  38. sam says:

    @anjin-san:

    How many millions in government assistance did Steel Dynamics take?

    Many, many:

    Bain Capital began looking at investing in the steel start-up in late 1993. At the time, Steel Dynamics was weighing where to locate its first plant, based in part on which region offered the best tax incentives. In June 1994, Bain put $18.2 million into Steel Dynamics, making it the largest domestic equity holder. It sold its stake five years later for $104 million, a return of more than $85 million.

    As Bain made its investment, the state and county pledged $37 million in subsidies and grants for the $385-million plant project. The county also levied a new income tax to finance infrastructure improvements to benefit the steel mill over the heated objections of some county residents. [Mitt Romney no stranger to tax breaks, subsidies]

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  39. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    That is exactly the same argument I used when you spouted your insanity about Romney being a “felon”

    More unfettered idiocy. No, it’s not the same argument at all. This is the argument you used (link):

    Countless actual legal experts whose job it is to understand the insanely arcane laws and regulations that are our laws and codes (quite a few of those Obama political appointees) have looked at the matter, and Romney remains quite thoroughly unindicted.

    You then failed to cite any such “experts.” Instead of doing so, you presented this excuse:

    The “experts” are speaking through their silence. They’re the dog that isn’t barking in the night.

    Those “experts” are not people who have been supposedly misquoted. They exist only in your imagination, and “their silence” is therefore also a product of your imagination. You cannot name them. You have conjured them from whole cloth. Their alleged “silence” means nothing whatsoever.

    Bill Bain, in contrast, is a real, living, specific person. There is no possibility that Kranish would blatantly misquote him and Bain would fail to challenge the quote. So the comparison you’re making, like most things you say, is deeply stupid.

    And it’s not just that Bain has failed to challenge the quote, and that Mitt himself has failed to challenge the quote. It’s that no one, anywhere (as far as I can tell) has challenged the quote, except you. No one else has been nutty enough to do so. That’s quite a distinction you’ve earned.

    And speaking of nutty, it is so typical of your pathetic style that you are refusing to take responsibility for your bizarre claim that the passage “doesn’t give any attiibutions.” You running away from this problem is a great way to prove, yet again, that you are a lying moron.

    you harped on Romney being a felon

    That’s because Mitt is a felon.

    got hugely bent out of shape when I called convicted financial criminal George Soros a felon

    I simply pointed out that you have no source for that claim. So let us know if you ever find one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  40. marginoerra says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Jenos: IOW………I’ve got nothin…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  41. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    Romney’s Bain Lie

    Aside from what you mentioned, there’s another one that hasn’t been mentioned. Last night Mitt said this:

    I grew up in Detroit in love with cars and wanted to be a car guy, like my dad. But by the time I was out of school, I realized that I had to go out on my own, that if I stayed around Michigan in the same business, I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad. I wanted to go someplace new and prove myself.

    The phoniness here is mind-boggling. This narrative makes sense only if one thinks there was a wall separating Boston and Detroit, and once Mitt crossed that wall he was surrounded by people who had never heard of George Romney, the governor of Michigan. And therefore he would know that he was not “getting a break because of my dad.”

    This makes about as much sense as applying the words “struggling” and “living on the edge” to young adults who have wealthy parents and are choosing to not work, for years, because they have so much money in the bank that they simply don’t have to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  42. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “It’s a blatant lie about something that most observers already knew the truth. No fact check is needed here; it was immediately obvious as bullshit and derailed the rest of the speech for me. ”

    So he even lies about things which didn’t need lies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  43. slimslowslider says:

    Wow, my holiday weekend isn’t even underway and Juke smoked Jenos once again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  44. PD Shaw says:

    James, I have no idea why you think therer’s a lie in there. Is this the new blogging lingo? A continuous attention-seeking disorder, designed to attract the outraged and anxiety-ridden?

    Bain Capital was a new business, with no track record, and he and his partners are going door to door with hat in hand, trying to raise money. I’ve not had to do that myself, but I can appreciate the difficulty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  45. jukeboxgrad says:

    slim:

    Juke smoked Jenos once again

    slim, thanks. But let’s be fair and make sure he gets the credit he deserves; he is the gift that keeps on giving. I appreciate knowing that I can always count on him to provide that same inadvertent public service, over and over again, like clockwork. It takes a very special kind of person to do that important job, and we are blessed to have several people who have the talent and exercise it so predictably.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  46. Rob in CT says:

    But why in the hell would he tell us a lie that everyone listening would know is untrue?

    You are seriously asking this question?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  47. Drew says:

    Im not sure I understand the outrage, James.

    Consulting is a business with a short half life. Yes, he could have gone back, but those were valuable years he was giving up. As for fundraising, you simply have no idea how hard it was (and now is) to get capital commitments for investments funds. The $37mm figure says it all. And you should know there is something called the “GP Committment” which means they were putting in their own money. As a general rule, you don’t know if you are going to make any money in the business for years, sometimes 7-10. It actually was a very big career risk.

    I guess lastly, their are more entrepreneurial models than two guys in a garage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  48. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Whoa, the journolist was fast tonight. Let’s obsess over a small factoid in hopes of avoiding any real discussion of substance.

    Substance? Romney avoided substance to present a potemkin version of his business career. Of course why would he want to emphasize the fact that as an LBO specialist, he made his $250M fortune by leveraging a buy out of a company, stripping way their assets, closing plants and laying off American workers? Conservative ‘journolists’ generally whitewash that reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  49. al-Ameda says:

    Overall, tonight was a great one for Mitt Romney. The speeches that preceded his demonstrated what an phenomenally decent human being he’s been throughout his life. And his own speech was, if not the “grand slam home run” that most pundits said he needed, at least a stand-up double, hitting the right note and continuing the process of showing that the Republican nominee is what he is: a good husband, father, and citizen.

    I think it’s more accurate to say that he hit a 12-hop groundball up the middle for a single. solid for a singles hitter, disappointing for a power hitter. As for the “a good husband, father, and citizen” – who thought otherwise – every one knew he’s not Newt Gingrich.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  50. James Joyner says:

    @jukeboxgrad: While that didn’t jump out at me in the oral delivery, I noticed it in the transcript and thought it was fine. Of course being George Romney’s boy was helpful to him. Even aside from connections, just having gone to great schools without having to take out loans or get a job is an amazing head start. But, surely, it’s easier to think of yourself as a self-made man if you work you way up the ladder in a completely separate industry and another state than if you follow daddy’s footsteps in Big Auto.

    @PD Shaw: It reads better than it sounded to me last night. I took him as saying flat out that he started Bain Capitol as a bootstrap operation and risked everything; that’s simply not true—outrageously so when compared to those who actually did it that hard way. But it’s also true that, even with a pretty sweet safety net in place, Romney and his cohorts took some substantial risks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  51. grumpy realist says:

    @Drew: Well, if you end up setting up a situation where you end up with money and a job no matter what happens, it’s a bit rich to pound your chest about all the “risks” you took. You didn’t. Real risk is taking out a second mortgage on your house to provide the financial capital your start-up requires. When did Mitt Romney ever do anything that really put anything of his on the line?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  52. I’m not sure I agree with the detail of complaint, but I can see the same thing in a wider arc.

    Certainly starting a new business had risks, including legal liabilities of various sorts. Of course, that was done with the backdrop of “being George Romney’s son.” Raising money and getting contracts for Mitt, or for George Herbert Walker Bush’s son, was going to be a bit easier than for the equivalently skilled son of a streetcar conductor.

    So, the reversible contract is just a wrinkle to the bigger story, IMO. The bigger story, that James might be keying to, is that the lives of the 1% are different. And stories of their struggles ring kind of hollow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  53. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. And don’t blether to me about “career risks.” I’ve taken a heck of a lot more “career risks” than Mitt Romney ever has.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  54. Shorter: It would have been pretty hard for Mitt to bust out completely, to end up on Welfare, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  55. jukeboxgrad says:

    shaw:

    I have no idea why you think therer’s a lie in there. … Bain Capital was a new business, with no track record, and he and his partners are going door to door with hat in hand, trying to raise money … I can appreciate the difficulty.

    You’re entirely missing the point, and it’s an important point. Take a close look at what Mitt said last night:

    … some of us had this idea that … we should bet on ourselves … So we started a new business called Bain Capital. … we almost didn’t get off the ground. In those days, sometimes I wondered if I had made a really big mistake. … That’s what this President doesn’t seem to understand. Business and growing jobs is about taking risk, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always striving. It is about dreams. Usually, it doesn’t work out exactly as you might have imagined.

    The key words there are “bet” and “taking risk.” Now pay attention to what Bill Bain said:

    Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney’s return to Bain & Company was needed due to his value as a consultant. “So,” Bain explained, “there was no professional or financial risk.” This time Romney said yes.

    The heart of Mitt’s narrative is not the alleged “difficulty” of “going door to door with hat in hand, trying to raise money.” At the heart of Mitt’s narrative is a heroic Galtian figure who is courageously “taking risk.” Mitt is not telling us to admire him for doing something difficult. He’s telling us to admire him for doing something risky. Trouble is, that’s not what he did. Here’s the reality of the situation, as described by the key witness who was really in a position to know: “there was no professional or financial risk.”

    So Mitt is being an immense phony, as usual. And the subject matter here is of crucial importance.

    Mitt is all about privatizing profits and socializing losses. Mitt is all about making sure that “taking risk” only applies to little people, while people like him are insulated from risk. That’s the story of Bain: Mitt made money even when his companies failed, and especially when his companies failed. Mitt’s entire philosophy of business, economics and politics is to laugh all the way to the Cayman Islands while not giving a shit about all the little people who are crushed when companies fail. Mitt has been a pioneer in creating a system where that’s just how things work, and as president he would take us even further down that road.

    That’s why it’s quite important to know what Mitt really means when he says “business and growing jobs is about taking risk.” In his world, “taking risk” applies to other people, not people like him.

    And this is just a longer way of saying what Grumpy said: “if you end up setting up a situation where you end up with money and a job no matter what happens, it’s a bit rich to pound your chest about all the ‘risks’ you took.”

    drew:

    those were valuable years he was giving up … It actually was a very big career risk.

    Naturally. That’s why Bill Bain said “there was no professional or financial risk.” There’s no problem in the fact that he directly contradicts your claim, because we should just accept that he’s wrong and you’re right. Even though he was there, and the company is named after him, and he was running the show, and he’s the one who made the deal with Mitt. Whereas you are an anonymous internet commenter who wasn’t there and is offering no evidence whatsoever to support your claim that Bill Bain’s statement is false.

    Makes perfect sense. Yet another vivid demonstration of the amazing Republican ability to reject any and all inconvenient facts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    even with a pretty sweet safety net in place, Romney and his cohorts took some substantial risks

    Your denial is roughly as deep as Drew’s. Tell us again your basis for flatly, blatantly, diametrically contradicting what Bill Bain said.

    surely, it’s easier to think of yourself as a self-made man if you work you way up the ladder in a completely separate industry and another state than if you follow daddy’s footsteps in Big Auto

    This statement of yours is quite reasonable and valid, and the key thing to notice is that you said “easier,” not “easy.” You’re making a comparison, not an absolute statement. Trouble is, Mitt said something stronger, and it was an absolute statement. He said “I’d never really know if I was getting a break because of my dad.” His claim is this: because he went to “a completely separate industry and another state,” this suppposedly demonstrates that he knows he wasn’t “getting a break because of [his] dad.” But of course he was still getting lots of breaks because of his dad. A person who is not a phony would have no trouble admitting that, and would be careful to not gloss over that.

    A key sign of narcissism is taking undeserved credit. Mitt does this repeatedly, and this is a perfect example.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    derrick:

    the son of a Governor who went to the finest schools in America and got to spend his time in Paris at an estate

    Not to quibble, but “estate” is an understatement. It was 30 months living in a palace, with servants (link), during the Vietnam war.

    His trip began in 7/66, when he was 19. That was great timing for him: ’67, ’68 and ’69 were the worst years of the war, for us. We lost about 40,000 troops in that period, or about 2/3 of the total for the entire war.

    At the time, ordinary people his age were drafted and died, if they were too poor to escape to college or France. But just a couple of months before he escaped to France, Mitt joined a demonstration “[proclaiming] his support for Lyndon Johnson’s ever-expanding draft” (link). So his attitude was that the war was a great idea as long as it was fought by someone other than him. (Notice how this corresponds with his attitude about “taking risk” in business.)

    And his thinking along these lines apparently applies to the next generation, too. It seems to not be a problem for him that the total military service of his five grown sons adds up to zero. Here are his thoughts on the subject:

    It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation, and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country.

    Touring Iraq in a Humvee, touring the US in a Winnebago, what’s the difference?

    (By the way, George Romney also never served, but he at least had the decency to raise questions about the war, despite being a Republican. It’s too bad that this had the effect of terminating his political career.)

    fiona:

    Large parts of the speech made me livid, particularly his jingoistic turn toward the end. Romney’s saber-rattling makes me nervous. I fear he’s ready to start another war just to prove his manhood.

    Yup. And he knows that lots of people not named Romney badly need a job and therefore can be counted on to fight that war.

    Similar “saber-rattling” from, say, Palin would be marginally less despicable, because she at least has a son who served.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  58. James Joyner says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Oddly, I think it’s a defensive mechanism rather than a character flaw. I think he hates talking about this stuff. He comes from a culture that says the rich shouldn’t talk about their money. But he has no choice: not only is he being attacked for the “vulture capitalism” but his business acumen is his only selling point.

    Interestingly, I was at an off-the-record thing with Romney very early in the cycle, shortly after he wrapped up the nomination. In his introductory remarks he said, essentially, “Shucks, anybody could have made a lot of money doing what I was doing given how fast the market was growing. I got lucky.” There were too many of us there for me to get in a question but I wanted to tell him, “Governor, I appreciate your modesty but you might need to refine your sales pitch a little.”

    I don’t mind the “I worked hard and earned my money” story. Even with his enormous head start, I think it happens to be true. But I think he over-corrected last night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  59. Drew says:

    I have the same comment for those who want to critique and think its all so easy: come on in, the water is fine. What are you waiting for? EZ money!

    Of course, no one will do so, because they find out their simple minded notions of how easy it is…..are, well, simple minded.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  60. @James Joyner:

    What I was just thinking was that given both campaigns are less than forthright on the real problems with job creation, I’m going to ignore that part of it. I’m also going to ignore the intangible “just trust me” because that is obviously designed to be a wide net, to catch as many rubes as possible.

    So I’m just going back to my fiscal responsibility, and go with cost accounting on published plans.

    Barack Obama Debt Plan Reduces Deficit While All Other Republican Candidates Increase Deficit

    I won’t fall for a “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  61. Heh, from that:

    The only candidate that achieves deficit reduction in the “intermediate-debt scenario” projections is Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), whose budget is tied with Obama’s at the debt-to-GDP level in 10 years.

    Maybe Paul’s delegates seated themselves at the wrong convention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  62. @JKB: A journolist that includes someone that was at Romney’s secret bloggers meeting (James Joyner)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. Rob in CT says:

    Drew: the argument is not that investment is easy. The argument is that Mitt Romney grew up extremely privileged and that helped tremendously. He started on 3rd base. Further, when he set up Bain Capital, he made sure he had an exit plan in place (which is smart, and I don’t have a problem with it at all!), so he wasn’t taking some huge personal risk for which he deserves kudos.

    James,

    Interestingly, I was at an off-the-record thing with Romney very early in the cycle, shortly after he wrapped up the nomination. In his introductory remarks he said, essentially, “Shucks, anybody could have made a lot of money doing what I was doing given how fast the market was growing. I got lucky.” There were too many of us there for me to get in a question but I wanted to tell him, “Governor, I appreciate your modesty but you might need to refine your sales pitch a little.”

    I don’t mind the “I worked hard and earned my money” story. Even with his enormous head start, I think it happens to be true. But I think he over-corrected last night.

    Fascinating. Too bad that candid self-awareness doesn’t show up in his policy proposals (nowadays, anyway).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    Oddly, I think it’s a defensive mechanism rather than a character flaw.

    I think you’re trying really hard to avoid facing the sad reality of who this man is.

    I think he hates talking about this stuff. He comes from a culture that says the rich shouldn’t talk about their money.

    Naturally. That’s why he can’t stop blurting out things like this:

    I have some friends who are NASCAR team owners.

    And this:

    Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.

    And this:

    I’m also unemployed.

    And this:

    Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks, $10,000 bet?

    And this:

    I’ve been extraordinarily successful

    And this:

    I like those fancy raincoats you bought … Really sprung for the big bucks.

    These are all ways of saying this: ‘look how rich I am, especially compared with you.’

    I’m deeply familiar with the culture you’re talking about. Mitt “comes from a culture that says” this about money: it’s an object of worship, and having a lot of it is an indication of great personal virtue (and the reverse is also true: poor people deserve to be poor). And while it’s considered déclassé to be too ostentatious, it’s quite normal to drop lots of hints so everyone can know your status in the pack. Because status is everything, and the key to status is money.

    But he has no choice: not only is he being attacked for the “vulture capitalism” but his business acumen is his only selling point.

    But he does have a choice: he can talk honestly about his business career, and take credit for doing various things that required him to be smart and industrious, while also acknowledging that he was handed a very big head start. And while also showing real empathy for the rest of us who are not so lucky. He fails miserably at this.

    “Shucks, anybody could have made a lot of money doing what I was doing given how fast the market was growing. I got lucky.” There were too many of us there for me to get in a question but I wanted to tell him, “Governor, I appreciate your modesty but you might need to refine your sales pitch a little.”

    I have no idea why you reacted that way, because glossing over the importance of luck (in both directions) is a key element of Randism. So in this remark of his he was being uncharacteristically human and adult. He was also refraining from his normal narcissism of taking undeserved credit.

    I don’t mind the “I worked hard and earned my money” story.

    It becomes a problem when he glosses over the importance of being born on 3rd base (to use the image that Rob mentioned), and also glosses over the importance of every other kind of luck. And glossing over these things is a central and pernicious part of the economic and political philosophy that he represents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  65. jukeboxgrad says:

    drew:

    I have the same comment for those who want to critique and think its all so easy … their simple minded notions of how easy it is

    As usual, your reading comprehension sucks. No one said it’s “easy.” What Bill Bain said is that it was free of risk. Let us know if you’re not familiar with the meaning of those small words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    david:

    The horror of Romney barely making it through college on the stock portfolio his father gave him. I can’t imagine how hard he must have struggled trying to juggle working at a job selling the stock and studying at the same time.

    The full horror of that struggle begins to really hit home when you contemplate their diet at the time. As Ann Romney said the other night:

    There were many reasons to delay marriage. And you know what, we just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on saw horses, our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. But those were the best days.

    Most people don’t realize how much restraint she showed by refraining from mentioning the cement floor. That came up in an earlier interview, in 1994. So did a lot of other things (link):

    They were not easy years. You have to understand, I was raised in a lovely neighborhood, as was Mitt, and at BYU, we moved into a $62-a-month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income.

    It was tiny. And I didn’t have money to carpet the floor. But you can get remnants, samples, so I glued them together, all different colors. It looked awful, but it was carpeting.

    We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time.

    The stock came from Mitt’s father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt’s birthday money year to year — it wasn’t much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it so we could live and pay for education.

    Mitt and I walked to class together, shared housekeeping, had a lot of pasta and tuna fish and learned hard lessons.

    We had our first child in that tiny apartment. We couldn’t afford a desk, so we used a door propped on sawhorses in our bedroom. It was a big door, so we could study on it together. And we bought a portable crib, took the legs off and put it on the desk while we studied. I had a baby sitter during class time, but otherwise, I’d hold my son on my lap while I studied.

    The funny thing is that I never expected help. My father had become wealthy through hard work, as did Mitt’s father, but I never expected our parents to take care of us. They’d visit, laugh and say, `We can’t believe you guys are living like this.’ They’d take us out to dinner, have a good time, then leave. …

    Remember, we’d been paying $62 a month rent, but here, rents were $400, and for a dump. This is when we took the now-famous loan that Mitt talks about from his father and bought a $42,000 home in Belmont, and you know? The mortgage payment was less than rent. Mitt saw that the Boston market was behind Chicago, LA and New York. We stayed there seven years and sold it for $90,000, so we not only stayed for free, we made money. As I said, Mitt’s very bright.

    Another son came along 18 months later, although we waited four years to have the third, because Mitt was still in school and we had no income except the stock we were chipping away at. We were living on the edge, not entertaining. No, I did not work. Mitt thought it was important for me to stay home with the children, and I was delighted.

    Right after Mitt graduated in 1975, we had our third boy and it was about the time Mitt’s first paycheck came along. So, we were married a long time before we had any income, about five years as struggling students. …

    Now, every once in a while, we say if things get rough, we can go back to a $62-a-month apartment and be happy. All we need is each other and a little corner and we’ll be fine.

    I find it slightly interesting that the exact same phrase (“a lot of pasta and tuna fish”) comes up in statements she made in 1994 and 2012. I have a feeling that she likes to say those words and has a lot of practice. But the best part is how she says “they were not easy years … we couldn’t afford a desk … [we were] struggling students … we were living on the edge … [we] learned hard lessons” while also admitting that they both had “wealthy” parents and that they were both unemployed by choice because they were able to live off the stock portfolio handed to them by George Romney. But the other day she wanted us to know that “our dining room table was a fold down ironing board.”

    Like Mitt, she has the narcissistic quality of expecting undeserved credit.

    Colbert empathizes with the suffering of these “struggling students:”

    Can you imagine? It must have been so awkward when the maid interrupted their dinner to iron. … So hard – they were living hand-to-phone-to-stockbroker-to-mouth.

    So much for this entirely fictional claim from jan:

    Romney’s father, however, was known for his work ethic, and having his children earn and make their own way in life.

    Naturally. George Romney was so intent on “having his children earn and make their own way in life” that he handed Mitt all the money he needed to live without working, for years.

    It’s helpful to remember something else Ann Romney said this week:

    as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success

    Of course not. Even though he had “wealthy” parents who handed him so much money that he and his wife never had to work (or seek student loans) while he spent years getting an expensive education. The theme of the convention is “We Built This.” Which applies to Mitt’s fortune, as long as you ignore everything that was handed to him on a silver platter.

    And the problem is not that they were handed so much. The problem is that they were handed so much and could still see themselves as “struggling” and “living on the edge,” and still claim, even now, that “Mitt Romney was not handed success.” Except that he was “handed success.” He took that success and built even more success (largely by hurting little people), but what happened first is that he was indeed “handed success.”

    The cluelessness is spectacular. So Mitt is the perfect person to implement Ryan’s Galtian budget, because Mitt has no clue what life is like for the people who live outside the bubble that has sheltered him since birth. Which means that he can keep on doing what he’s been doing for his entire career: crushing little people while being unconstrained by any sense of what their suffering is like.

    By the way, in a comment above I said this:

    This makes about as much sense as applying the words “struggling” and “living on the edge” to young adults who have wealthy parents and are choosing to not work, for years, because they have so much money in the bank that they simply don’t have to.

    I meant to post that after posting what’s in this comment. Because I posted in the wrong order, there was no way to know who I was quoting when I mentioned “struggling” and “living on the edge.” Sorry for the confusion.

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  67. DRS says:

    How long before he claims he was born in a log cabin?

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  68. DRE says:

    @Drew: I have the same comment for those who want to critique and think its all so easy: come on in, the water is fine. What are you waiting for? EZ money!

    Yes. We are waiting for someone to provide EZ money to capitalize whatever ideas we might have at no risk to ourselves. Although some of us didn’t wait, and financed our efforts through student loans, home equity loans (after working for 20 years to get some home equity) and credit card debt. Stupid, I know, but I forgot to ask my Dad to provide a stock portfolio and pay for my education…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  69. Drew says:

    I would officially like to invite the entire commenting crew here at OTB to enter into the private equity community. I’d be happy to give you each a list of names of potential limited partners.

    I look forward to the announcement of the successful first closing on your funds. It’s easy money’, man. Can’t believe you guys haven’t been in on the gig yet. Easy money.

    You will send me those announcements, right? (Snicker)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  70. jukeboxgrad says:

    I’d be happy to give you each a list of names of potential limited partners.

    Then why haven’t you posted the list?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  71. Rob in CT says:

    As juke is saying: totally ignoring (not downplaying a little bit – TOTALLY IGNORING) privilege is now central to RW ideology.

    We can have a reasonable discussion about how to weigh privilege/luck vs. hard work/other merit. That’s fine. But over and over and over I see this total rejection of even accepting there is such a thing as privilege (in particular) or luck.

    The guy was born the son of a CEO and governor of a state, paid for college by selling stock dad gave him, weathered Vietnam in France on a mission while apparently being all for the war and the draft for others, and on and on and on. 3rd base is underselling it. Dude was born mid-slide into home plate.

    He is the antithesis of self-made, even if he worked very hard and is very good at what he does

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  72. David M says:

    @Drew:

    Somehow you again fail to realize no one is saying Romney’s work at Bain, sucking money and life out of companies while providing nothing of value to the economy was easy. We’re saying that to describe it as a risk, while having a his old job and a cover story waiting for him as a backup is pretty much understood to be the opposite of risky.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  73. Rob in CT says:

    @Drew:

    Willfully obtuse.

    You are making no attempt whatsoever to address the actual argument.

    It is not that private equity is “easy.” It’s that the Mitt Romneys of the world have it easy. The two are not one and the same.

    Taking what you’ve said here in the past at face value, you != Romney. Totally different situations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  74. ElizaJane says:

    @James Joyner:

    You know, I’d respect Mitt Romney a lot more if he did say “Shucks, anybody could have made a lot of money doing what I was doing given how fast the market was growing. I got lucky.” I’d respect him if he said, “I had both good luck, and a very fortunate position from which to work my way into the financial world and to become extremely wealthy. I’ve been privileged and blessed, and now, I want to give back to America for all that I was so able to accomplish here. Not everybody has the privileges or the luck that I enjoyed. I want to reach out and help those people achieve their dreams too.”

    Of course if he said that, he’d be a Democrat. I might even vote for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  75. Drew says:

    I used to think the thumbs up thumbs down thing was stupid. I now know its very useful.

    I always know I’m doing my job when I get overwhelmingly thumbs down. I also know who the crew is who just sucks each other Johnson’s with the overwhelming thumbs up. It’s fascinating.

    You losers have a nice day. When you want take your heads out of your asses and make something of yourselves and not just bitch and whine an Internet site you let me know.

    And if you want in on the easy money gig let me know. It’s abundantly clear that there are fabulous investors commenting here just waiting to be discovered. (snicker)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  76. David M says:

    @Drew:

    Were you cross posting? Your responses just now appear don’t appear to actually address the subject being discussed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  77. DRE says:

    @Drew:
    We are in the presence of obvious brilliance, and unworthy of his wisdom. (snicker)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  78. Drew says:

    @David M:

    Sorry, David. I’ve stopped reading most of the responses here. I’ve also sworn off debating turnips.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  79. @Drew:

    Two things. First, if you’ve got reasonable an experienced people who agree with you, you don’t need to farm out their money here. Just get them to post. If they are patient and rational, they can make their case.

    On your latest offer .. it’s funny how much it parallels a thought I was having based on your earlier comments. I was thinking that if some random unemployed person talked to me about jobs, I could just say “hey, why don’t you just program Android apps? I can hook you up. If you want in on the easy money gig let me know.”

    Of course, I’d have to be a monumental dick to say something like that, because many people didn’t have the advantages I did. They didn’t have a dad who bought them college. They didn’t learn a trade that just happened to be in great demand.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  80. mantis says:

    @Drew:

    And if you want in on the easy money gig let me know.

    I do! Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  81. David M says:

    @Drew:

    I’ve stopped reading most of the responses here.

    Could that be the cause of your reading comprehension problems? Most people would describe jumping into a conversation before figuring out what was being discussed as “unhelpful”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. anjin-san says:

    @ Drew

    crew is who just sucks each other Johnson’s

    Comments like this are getting to be a habit for you. It’s tedious. Do you have anything to contribute beyond telling us how rich you are and dick chat?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  83. @anjin-san:

    I think Drew had a happy view of his own comments before the ratings went in. He’d say “I’m Drew, and here’s what I think” and assume that most people just accepted his argument from authority. What a shock the first round of voting must have been!

    Of course the sad thing is that he hasn’t learned how to game the system. If he was as bright as he thinks he is, he could. He would just write patient, explanatory, arguments which come around to something “right” but not “mean.”

    To double down on the “mean,” to rack up the down-votes, to convince oneself that “it is all of you it’s not me” …. not as good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  84. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “P.S. And don’t blether to me about “career risks.” I’ve taken a heck of a lot more “career risks” than Mitt Romney ever has. ”

    For 90% of us, every day is more of a career risk than Mitt’s taken in his entire life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  85. bill says:

    @Derrick: meh, there’s 100 other senators who got elected somehow- still nothing makes my leg tingle about obama. he’s just not qualified for such a job.
    remember, the kennedy clan were all silver spoon kids, but they squandered the money instead of building something of substance with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  86. An Interested Party says:

    When did Mitt Romney ever do anything that really put anything of his on the line?

    Well, to be fair, his reputation is certainly taking a beating the longer he is in the presidential race…

    Then why haven’t you posted the list?

    To be fair once again, it might be a little difficult to come up with such a list while one is comfortably ensconced in one’s mother’s basement…

    I also know who the crew is who just sucks each other Johnson’s with the overwhelming thumbs up.

    Hmm…perhaps like sad little Tsar Nicholas, Drew also suffers from projection, as this is a trope that he has mentioned on more than one occasion…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. jukeboxgrad says:

    drew:

    if you want in on the easy money gig let me know

    I did let you know. I asked you for the list (“I’d be happy to give you each a list of names of potential limited partners”). So where is it?

    I should have realized that taking what you said seriously was a mistake. It always is.

    I’ve stopped reading most of the responses here.

    That would explain why the things you say don’t come anywhere near addressing what other commenters have said (as David also pointed out).

    I’ve also sworn off debating turnips.

    Promises, promises. Your oath is obviously worthless.

    I always know I’m doing my job when I get overwhelmingly thumbs down.

    Another important Replican trait: the ability to take any data from your environment and figure out how to make it support your existing beliefs, even if this requires twisting the data inside out. This is a good way to make sure you never learn anything new. But thanks for helping us learn this about you, and the group you so nicely exemplify. If you can’t learn anything, the next best thing is the way you inadvertently help the rest of us learn something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  88. Drew says:

    @john personna:

    Nice straw man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  89. @Drew:

    Shrug. Why don’t you just get someone to ghostwrite for you? If you are as awesome as you say you are, you can get Noonan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  90. jukeboxgrad says:

    One of my favorite things about the internet is when illiterates mumble the words “straw man” in a way that makes it obvious that they have no idea what the term actually means.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  91. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    I always know I’m doing my job when I get overwhelmingly thumbs down. I also know who the crew is who just sucks each other Johnson’s with the overwhelming thumbs up. It’s fascinating.

    Why are so many conservatives obsessed with sex?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  92. Drew says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Weak, just like all the other responses.

    Good night, ladies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  93. jukeboxgrad says:

    The misogyny is also a nice touch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  94. An Interested Party says:

    Good night, ladies.

    Hmm…homophobia, or perhaps misogyny, and an obsession with sex…it must get lonely in mom’s basement…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  95. grumpy realist says:

    @Drew: Sure–I’ve got three projects I’m working on right now. I estimate that one of them will need roughly $200K in capital (educational software to teach Chinese characters via video games) one will need several million since it’s a VC fund (international nanotech investing), and the third is a wild-assed crazy project (high-altitude energy generation) that needs money for research as well as launch capabilities. Anything your guys might be interested in?

    (Then there’s also the long-term ideas I have where am waiting for the technology to get just a little bit better. Forget finding the next Facebook–I want better carbon nanotube production methods. And better energy beaming technology. And more efficient solar cell technology….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  96. grumpy realist says:

    (There’s also the work done by a mad scientist acquaintance of mine on trying to get carbon sp2 orbitals to re-fuse into sp3 orbitals. That’s what I was–production of diamond blocks, a meter on a side…)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  97. al-Ameda says:

    @Drew:

    Weak, just like all the other responses.
    Good night, ladies.

    Weak, just like your unexplained obsession with gay sex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0