COLUMBIA, S.C. (SatireWire.com) – Efforts to paint Mitt Romney as a heartless corporate raider were reinforced today after a 1992 videotape surfaced showing Bain Capital executives urinating on helpless, laid-off workers.
Romney, the former Bain CEO, distanced himself from the footage by pointing out he was not in it. He conceded, however, that Bain regularly urinates on the unemployed, “but only from companies we ourselves take over and shut down, as is our right.”
The grainy video, taken when Romney led the private investment firm, clearly shows five executives urinating on employees they had just fired from the Grohl paper plant in Ohio — a plant Bain had bought only six months before.
Romney’s Republican primary opponents condemned the act as “utterly deplorable” and another example of the GOP frontrunner’s disrespect for the unemployed. Romney, however, accused his rivals of disrespecting capitalism.
“People see this video and they think, ‘Oh my God, what are they doing?’ Well I’ll tell you what they’re doing. They’re participating in America’s free enterprise system,” said Romney. “In a private equity firm like Bain, when you take over a company, you try to help it grow. And if you can’t, you have to let people go. And urinate on them. It’s part of the process.”
Asked why, Romney bristled.
“Why?” he said. “Gee, I don’t know. Why does the sun come up in the morning? Why do the stars not fall on our heads? Why is America the greatest country on Earth? It’s just the way things are.”
Rival Newt Gingrich immediately accused Romney of degrading the victims of economic failure, a tactic Romney said will backfire.
“This just shows how little Newt understands modern business,” Romney said. “In America today, when a company fails, it’s not the unemployed who are the victims. It’s the private equity investors, people whose tens of millions of dollars may be reduced to lesser tens of millions of dollars. We don’t urinate on them. That would be awful.”
At a speech in Columbia, S.C., Texas Gov. Rick Perry called it “shocking” that Romney would take part in the ritual. But Romney again fired back.
“First of all, I personally never took part in these sessions. Ever,” he said. “You know, stage fright.
“And the only thing shocking about this is that by attacking capitalism, my Republican colleagues are suddenly sounding an awful lot like Barack Obama, a man who has never created a job or urinated on an ex-employee in his life.”
In nearby Orangeburg, Rick Santorum called it another example of Romney favoring the wealthy. The frontrunner quickly accused his rivals of wrongly waging class warfare when the facts show Bain did not favor the rich over the poor.
“When we fired employees, we didn’t just target the factory workers and the hourly wage folks,” he said. “For instance, when we took apart (photo album company) Holson Burnes in South Carolina, we had to fire the CEO, fire the President, fire the entire board of directors. And urinate on them. Obviously.”
Gov. Perry, however, refused to let up and continued to hammer away at the belief that private equity firms like Bain were “vultures” that monitored struggling companies and then swept in to “eat the carcass.”
Romney called the assertion, “the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard yet.”
“You don’t eat the carcass after you’ve urinated on it,” he said. “That’s just common sense.”
At a campaign stop today in Gaffney, S.C., the former Massachusetts governor urged voters to instead focus on all the good Bain did under his tenure.
“Yes some of our investments failed, but many of them succeeded,” he said. “At Bain we created more jobs than we lost, meaning we didn’t urinate on more employees than we did.
:More jobs, less urination. That’s my prescription for America.”
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