Politico’s Alexander Burns reports on a never-aired commercial that Ted Kennedy’s campaign commissioned during his 1994 senate run against Mitt Romney:
The commercial — produced for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee by the firm Doak, Shrum, Harris, Carrier, Devine — highlights Romney’s role in turning around Bain & Co. during its financial distress.
“The way the company was rescued was with a federal bailout of $10 million,” the ad says. “The rest of us had to absorb the loss … Romney? He and others made $4 million in this deal. … Mitt Romney: Maybe he’s just against government when it helps working men and women.”
The facts of the Bain & Co. turnaround are a little more complicated, but a Boston Globe report from 1994 confirms that Bain saw several million dollars in loans forgiven by the FDIC, which had taken over Bain’s failed creditor, the Bank of New England.
The Romney campaign pushed back against the argument that the FDIC’s actions should be equated to a government bailout:
Romney aides pushed back strongly on the Democratic charge that Bain & Co. received anything like a TARP-style “bailout.” While the FDIC is a government agency, it is funded by deposit insurance payments rather than taxes. The agency agreed to reduce Bain & Co.’s liability to the Bank of New England, but didn’t pump new funds into the flagging firm. Other Bain creditors also took a haircut in order to avert the company’s collapse.