In a conference call with reporters on Friday, senior strategist to President Barack Obama David Axelrod sought to underline the differences between the economic strategies of the two candidates for president. Pointing to a Washington Post article published this morning that detailed Bain Capital's extensive record of outsourcing jobs to other countries, he said that the American people need to decide, "Do they want an outsourcer-in-chief or do they want a president who's going to fight for American jobs and for the middle class?"
The two candidates, said Axelrod, contrast sharply. Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) spent years at the helm of the venture capital firm Bain Capital, where "his fundamental role was not to create jobs or better paying jobs, but to create maximum returns for him and his partners and investors."
President Obama, however, has ushered the nation through one of its most perilous financial times and has launched programs designed to "insource" jobs, he said. Led by the stimulus of the auto industry, the U.S. is currently undergoing resurgence of domestic manufacturing. The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that small and midsize suppliers are among the companies currently feeling the effects of an industrial boom taking place across the country, according to a white paper issued by The Boston Company's Asset Management division.
Romney, said the Post, presided over Bain Capital's investment in several firms that specialized in outsourcing U.S. jobs to "low-wage countries like China and India."
In spite of the fact that Romney has built the bulwark of his campaign on rescuing the U.S. economy and bringing jobs back from overseas, "During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission."
With regards to the struggles currently facing American workers and the dramatic 70 percent decline in the net worth of American families between 2007 and 2010, Axelrod said, "One of the major downward pressures over the last several decades is the outsourcing of American jobs," the blame for which he lays squarely at the feet of business philosophies like Bain's.
Asserting that the "central issue of our time is how to reubild economy so the milddle class is growing not shrinking," he said that the scrutiny into Bain's outsourcing record is no less than Romney deserves.
"When you offer your experience in business as a road map of how you would govern as a president, people are going to examine exactly what it was you did."
(image of David Axelrod via WikiMedia commons)