With less than two weeks until South Carolina’s Republican primary, presidential candidates are stepping up their attacks on Mitt Romney’s past as a corporate raider with Bain Capital. True to form, Rick Perry gave Bain the most colorful description yet on Tuesday while speaking to voters in the Palmetto State.
“They are vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick,” Perry said (h/t CNN’s Peter Hamby). “Then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that and they leave the skeleton.”
Does that remind anyone else of how grown-up Peter Pan’s son describes his father’s job in the movie Hook?
Peter says his job is just boring-old mergers and acquisitions, but Jack knows the score. “When a big company’s in trouble, Dad sails in,” Jack tells Wendy. “And if there’s any resistance, he blows them out of the water!”
We imagine Wendy would be equally shocked at how Bain once plundered over 150 South Carolina jobs with Romney at the helm. The Associated Press described last month how Bain swooped in and bought the Cherokee County-based Holson Burnes Group in 1987 before they “wrung profits out of the company by slashing costs and trimming its work force.”
For Bain, the plan was a financial success: Holson Burnes raised $24 million from its initial public offering on the over-the-counter trading market, with Bain executives retaining the majority of the company’s shares. Bain, in the end, reaped more than double the return on its initial investment. But workers were left jobless just as the local economy began to slump.
Captain Hook would be proud.