Democratic-aligned Super PACs are going after Mitt Romney on what they depict as essentially his own Solyndra, a further sign that Democrats see the writing on the wall and that they believe Romney will be President Obama's opponent this fall.
A video produced by American Bridge, called “Romney’s energy loan hypocrisy,” hits Romney for loans made while he was governor of Massachusetts to two companies that eventually failed or moved away – and had ties to Romney campaign donors.
The video starts off with Romney saying the following on FOX: “The whole idea of the federal government investing in these companies, particularly when there’s such a connection with Democratic fundraisers leaves a very bad taste in people’s minds and suggests a pattern of crony capitalism and that’s something for which Americans simply can’t stand for.”
And then a title comes up on the screen with “Pattern of crony capitalism??? You should know Mitt.” It then hits Romney for loans to companies called “Acusphere” and “Spherics.”
Citing a Boston Herald piece from December, Priorities USA Action pens a memo, stating: “When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, ‘the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.’ Romney lured one of the companies to Massachusetts by offering a direct loan from the state and his Administration bragged about using government loans to attract business.”
Full memo below:
TO: Interested Parties
FR: Bill Burton, Priorities USA Action
RE: Memo: Candidate Romney’s Attack Boomerangs on Governor Romney
Mitt Romney today has adopted the message of former Tea Party candidate Michele Bachmann in a transparent attempt to appeal to her extremist supporters. Romney’s phony outrage about “crony capitalism” is particularly surprising considering Romney’s record in Massachusetts.
When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, “the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.” Romney lured one of the companies to Massachusetts by offering a direct loan from the state and his Administration bragged about using government loans to attract business.
But, now that Romney is running for President, he claims that government loans to private companies are “crony capitalism.” It’s the worst kind of hypocrisy from a candidate who has proven he will do or say anything to advance his political career.
Romney Today Accused Obama of Crony Capitalism. According to the Associated Press, “Mitt Romney on Thursday labeled President Barack Obama as a "crony capitalist," invoking a theme that Rep. Michele Bachmann used before she left the presidential race…As examples, Romney pointed to controversial appointments Obama made Wednesday to the National Labor Relations Board and to the bankruptcy of California energy company Solyndra after a $528 million federal loan from the Obama administration.” [Associated Press, 1/5/11]
Romney as Presidential Candidate: Government Investing in Companies of Contributors is “Crony Capitalism” On Fox News, Romney said, “The whole idea of the federal government investing in these companies, particularly when there’s such a connection with Democratic fund-raisers, leaves a very bad taste in people’s minds and suggests a pattern of crony capitalism. And that’s something which America simply can’t stand for.” [Fox News via Boston Globe, 11/17/11]
Romney as Governor: Two Companies Run by Campaign Contributors Received Government Loans Then Defaulted. According to the Boston Herald, “GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has hammered President Obama for his administration’s tax-funded investment blunders — but when Romney was governor, the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The two companies — Acusphere and Spherics Inc. — stiffed the state on nearly $2.1 million in loans provided through the state’s Emerging Technology Fund, a $25 million investment program created while Romney was governor in 2003 that benefitted 13 local firms. Acusphere, a biotechnology firm headed by a Romney campaign donor, got $2 million in 2004 that it was supposed to put toward a $20 million manufacturing facility in Tewksbury, which never became fully operational. Calls to Acusphere’sheadquarters in Lexington were not returned.” [Boston Herald, 12/1/11]
Romney Jobs Plan in Massachusetts Based on Government Loans to Private Companies. According to the Boston Herald, “Romney's effort would use $ 8 million for low-interest loans to help with operational expenses at distressed firms looking to stay or expand here, D'Souza said. Romney would also direct $ 10 million toward grants andloans for high-tech companies that agree to create at least 250 jobs in thestate in a year, D'Souza said. That would come from $ 25 million the Legislature recently approved for an "emerging technology fund."” [Boston Herald, 3/23/04]
“Romney lured Spherics, a pharmaceutical company, away from Rhode Island by offering a $2.5 million direct loan” According to the Washington Examiner, “Romney didn’t compete for business through lower taxes and regulation: He tried to enticethem to the state with special subsidies. In 2005, Romney lured Spherics, apharmaceutical company, away from Rhode Island by offering a $2.5 million direct loan from the states Emerging Technology Fund. That same year, he signed a bill creating the Massachusetts Film Office that wasempowered to hand out special tax credits to studios filming movies in the Bay State.” [Washington Examiner, 5/16/11]
Romney Administration Took Credit forRelocating Spherics to Massachusetts. According to a press release from the State of Massachusetts, the Romney Administration took credit for luring Spherics toMassachusetts with the $2.5 million loan."Creating and fostering a business-friendly environment attracts companies like Spherics," said Ranch C. Kimball, Governor Mitt Romney's secretary of economic development and chair of MassDevelopment. "Spherics' move is a tangible result of the combined and coordinated efforts of the public and private sectors to highlight the benefits of locating in Massachusetts." [MA Release, 8/12/05]