Bain Employees Fight Back After Campaign Attacks
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Workers at private-equity firms are not happy that their business is becoming a dirty word in the presidential campaign. Of course, private-equity firms buy companies, try to improve their value, then sell them again. That has led to rebukes from people like Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, in South Carolina.
GOV. RICK PERRY: I understand the difference between venture capital and vulture capitalism.
INSKEEP: The unhappiness at those attacks runs especially deep at Bain Capital in Boston, the private-equity firm started by Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, which has come in for most of the attacks.
Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR.
CURT NICKISCH, BYLINE: Romney's former colleagues at Bain have been notoriously quiet - until now. The firm's managing director, Steve Pagliuca, says those charges of looting companies and destroying jobs are hyperbolic. He says he's extremely proud of Bain's record of building and growing great companies.
Geoff Rehnert worked with Mitt Romney at Bain from the very start.
GEOFF REHNERT: It is not, and was not, private equity's fault that there were sectors of the U.S. economy that were poorly managed, poorly run, and unable to compete in a global economy. Private equity actually saved a lot of those companies from going bankrupt.
NICKISCH: The industry's trade group is launching a campaign of online ads and video testimonials. Venture capitalists feel like they're being dragged into the mudslinging, too. Jamie Goldstein is a partner at the Boston firm North Bridge.
JAMIE GOLDSTEIN: To suggest that venture capital is somehow bad for our economy, is ludicrous.
NICKISCH: Many in these industries expected Mitt Romney's private-equity pedigree to come up. They're just surprised that it's pro-business Republicans who are making those ties an issue.
For NPR News, I'm Curt Nickisch in Boston.
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