Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Romney Calls American Education 'Third-World,' Something He Recognizes From Outsourcing Days at Bain

"I know better than Barack Obama what a third-world education looks like; I've outsourced thousands of jobs to third-world countries." -- Mitt Romney

BOSTON, Mass. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Bain Capital, a private equity and assets management firm co-founded by Mitt Romney, outsourced a staggering number of American jobs to economically depressed countries under Romney's watch. "If you just look at some of the Bain startups, like Sports Authority, Staples, Bright Horizons, the job number you come up with is in excess of 100,000," the Romney campaign boasted during the January 2012 debates. And most of those jobs went to cheap labor in foreign markets. But that's also the tremendous benefit of Romney's overseas experience -- he has proven more instrumental than President Obama in creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, embracing globalization, and keeping overhead low for business owners. Now, that same experience in third-world countries is giving Mitt Romney an edge over Obama in, of all things, education reform.

Obama and Romney have exchanged blows over education, the economy, and foreign policy, with potential voters seemingly unfazed. But Obama's experience with the economy pales in comparison to Romney's private sector successes. Romney aides also point out that although Obama has been embroiled in complicated foreign policy affairs, including the inheritance of two wars, his expertise reaches back only four years. "Mitt Romney has been dealing with second- and third-world countries for decades as a jobs outsourcer," a campaign strategist explained.

In 1992, Bain closed down the South Carolina Holson Burnes plant and offshored more than 75 percent of its manufacturing. As a result, the company transformed a $12.4 million loss into a $3 million profit. In 2002, while serving as a Bain executive and Governor of Massachusetts, Romney helped implement an internal IT system by ditching local New England contractors in favor of resources in China and India. In fact, Bain's website touts its ability to help companies ship jobs to third-world countries: "We help clients ensure that IT offshoring and outsourcing decisions are based on business strategy and help set up deal structures, capability networks and sourcing agreements to deliver enduring results -- lower costs now and flexibility for the future."

Romney has been reluctant to stray too far from economic issues, but he ignited a new debate Wednesday by declaring that millions of American children are receiving a "third-world education."

"I know better than Barack Obama what a third-world education looks like; I've outsourced thousands of jobs to third-world countries," Romney said. "In doing so, I've seen some of the worst living and educational conditions imaginable. Most of the children who toil away in those sweatshops never learn to read. Their education, if it exists at all, is archaic, rudimentary, non-competitive, and there's no system for rooting out poor performing teachers. What I'm seeing in the United States under Barack Obama is no different: outdated curriculum, teacher's unions that protect seniority over ability, and a system that prepares our children for little more than repetitive assembly line work -- which isn't really available anymore because those jobs have been sent overseas."

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.

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