Wednesday 24 January 2018

Romney branded 'vampire' over vast fortune

Peter Foster in Washington

THE Obama campaign yesterday attacked Mitt Romney as a "vampire" who amassed his vast fortune by exploiting ordinary workers, a day after it emerged that the US president and his wife are worth up to E6.2m.

The criticism of Mr Romney's record as boss of Bain Capital came as the presumptive Republican nominee appeared to be gaining ground on Mr Obama. His surge in the polls followed the switch in his campaign's focus to joblessness and a sluggish economic recovery.

The Democratic attacks, led by vice-president Joe Biden campaigning in Ohio yesterday, focused not on the size of Mr Romney's $250m (E196m) personal fortune, but on how he made his money.

"Romney made sure the wealthy played by a separate set of rules, he ran massive debts and the middle class lost. And folks, he thinks this experience will help our economy," Mr Biden said.

Redundancies

Mr Biden used the case of a Kansas City steel mill, bought out by Mr Romney and his partners in the 1990s, which then went bust eight years later causing 750 redundancies.

"When the company finally filed for bankruptcy, they reneged on their contract with the workers. No health care, lower pensions. Everyone lost their jobs," Mr Biden said.

"But not everyone got hurt. The top 30 executives walked away with $9m. And Romney and his partners walked away with at least $12m."

The Biden attacks follow an Obama campaign ad featuring laid-off steel workers talking bitterly about Mr Romney and Bain, including one employee, who said: "It was like a vampire who came in and sucked the life out of us."

The offensive is seen as an attempt to neutralise Mr Romney's bid to portray himself as a "turnaround guy", with the private-sector experience needed to kick-start the economy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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