Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The PolitiFact guide to the anti-Romney 'King of Bain' video

Using a style reminiscent of Michael Moore, <i> King of Bain </i> portrays Mitt Romney as a greedy corporate raider who pillaged companies.
Using a style reminiscent of Michael Moore, King of Bain portrays Mitt Romney as a greedy corporate raider who pillaged companies.

King of Bain, a video attacking Mitt Romney’s record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, made its Internet debut this week.  Winning our Future, a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, produced the movie. It’s 28 minutes and six seconds long, packed with sinister accusations about Romney’s financial dealings and Michael Moore-style testimonials from downtrodden Americans. Don’t have 28 minutes to watch it yourself? We watched it (repeatedly!) for you -- and now can’t get that song by The Police out of our heads!

We'll be fact-checking some of the claims in the video in the next couple of days. In the meantime, here's a helpful summary of what happens in the video, minute by minute:

0:20 Cue the inspirational piano music, as clouds rush against a blue sky. "Capitalism made America great," a voiceover says. Scientists are hard at work. Dads stroll with their kids.

0:24 The sky turns black.

0:50 We meet our villain. A grainy photo of Romney appears. "His mission: to reap massive rewards for himself and his investors."

1:28 A young Romney holds up a dollar bill. Men around him have money gripped in their teeth and stuffed in their collars.

3:17 Dateline: Marianna, Florida. The UniMac Corporation, the largest commercial laundry equipment manufacturer in North America. "Romney and Bain upended the company and gutted the workforce. Now they were ready to make a handsome profit."

6:45 Numbers flash:
230 percent profit
400 jobs lost in Florida
300 jobs lost in Kentucky
130 jobs lost in Ohio

7:17 Romney, looking grainy again, tells an interviewer that "for an economy to thrive, there are a lot of people who will suffer as a result of that." Cut to image of fired UniMac employees.

8:05 Adorable puppets sing a jingle for KB Toys stores. "Romney and Bain bought the 80-year-old company in 2000, loaded KB Toys with millions in debt, then used the money to repurchase Bain stock. The debt was too staggering. By 2004, 365 stores had closed."

8:37 Scared child’s face. "Romney and other top executives’ take: $120 million."

9:46 Image of Romney on an airport tarmac, getting his shoes shined.

10:12 We meet a Bain-financed technology company called DDi. "Helped by a favorable rating from Bain’s Wall Street friends, DDi’s12 million-share IPO raised a quick $170 million."

11:14 A chart fills the screen. "Just after six months, Bain sold shares, making $39 million. Then they dumped the rest just four months later, collecting $54 million more. All the while, the Wall Street banks they hired gave cover, issuing glowing reports. DDi ended up losing $400 million. A little over two years later the stock was nearly worthless." Line graph turns angry red.

12:57 We move to the heartland: Marion, Indiana. A paper company called Ampad is Bain’s next target.

13:14 More images straight from the Michael Moore playbook: A man in a Vietnam veteran’s cap appears and says, "They told us we’d been bought ... and that we were all fired."

14:15 Several forlorn former Ampad workers talk from their living rooms. "I think the hardest part for me is the day we had to load up the U-haul because we done lost our home."

20:02 Bain’s profit on Ampad: $100 million. Cut to Romney stump speech, wherein he tells heckling crowd, "Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

21:57 Mansion on a rocky cliff. "Romney had made himself rich beyond imagination."

22:34 More numbers. Romney’s net worth: $264 million. Bain Capital’s: $65 billion.

23:48 Deserted homes, foreclosure signs and empty warehouses appear as Indiana workers provide voiceovers about losing their livelihoods. That’s interspersed with shots of a smiling Romney and a few out-of-context quotes, such as, "There are a lot of reasons not to elect me."

26:59 Piano music again. We’re reminded that Romney is very, very rich.

27:39 The final shot: Romney saying something in French.