Ex-employee of Bain-managed firm: ‘Personal experience’ tells me Romney likes to fire people
By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, September 6, 2012 14:13
As America enters the final throes of the 2012 presidential election, rife with it’s own unique set of problems and platitudes, the Obama campaign appears determined to party like it’s 1994 by resurrecting a powerful jobs-based platform that crushed Mitt Romney’s first election bid for national office.
That’s why former AmPad employee Randy Johnson was on the front lines of the Democrats’ rhetorical war on Wednesday night, just as he was in Romney’s 1994 campaign against Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). “Mitt Romney once said, ‘I like being able to fire people,’” Johnson told convention delegates. “Well, I can tell you from personal experience, he does.”
Johnson was one of about 350 people suddenly fired one morning in 1994, after his company had been purchased by the Bain-run AmPad. “They rushed in the security guards and we weren’t even allowed to take our personal items. They handed us job applications and told us, ‘If we want you, we’ll let you know.’ Now, the truth is, some folks were hired back. Lower wages, fewer benefits, no retirement. But many others weren’t. And seven months later, they closed our plant for good.”
That should sound familiar to astute political junkies who recall the 1994 campaign. Johnson and the closure of AmPad turned out to be terrifically effective public relations, and Sen. Kennedy used it to bludgeon Romney’s aspirations into defeat. And even though Johnson skipped a few important facts, like the labor dispute and strike that occurred while Romney says he wasn’t actively running the company, Bain did ultimately fire everyone once Romney was back the helm in 1995.