We all know the story by now. Mitt was the king of job killers during his time at Bain. Among his many sins, shipping tons of jobs overseas while leaving starving Americans holding out their hands. The oft maligned Factcheck.org takes a looks at the claims and – this time – finds them coming up short.

  • One TV ad, called “Come and Go,” claims that Romney “shipped jobs to China and Mexico.” But two examples cited by the Obama campaign occurred after Romney left Bain. There’s no clear evidence that a third company shipped jobs to China under Romney.
  • A second ad called “Revealed” mocks Romney’s tough talk about cracking down on China’s trade practices by saying “all he’s ever done is send them our jobs” and citing the Washington Post article. But the newspaper article contained no examples of U.S. jobs being shipped to China while Romney was working at Bain.
  • The “Come and Go” ad casts Romney as a “corporate raider,” but that term, loaded with negative connotations, is simply inaccurate. Bain didn’t engage in hostile takeovers when Romney was at the helm.
  • That ad also repeats the claim that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney was “outsourcing state jobs to India.” But it wasn’t the state that outsourced contracts. Rather, Romney vetoed a measure that would have prevented the state from doing business with a state contractor that was locating state customer-service calls in India.

Analysis

Ours was not a comprehensive review of every company Bain Capital invested in — there are hundreds — nor every one of the transactions the company undertook on behalf of those companies. It is incumbent upon the Obama campaign to back up its claims. Our conclusions are based on the examples provided by the Obama campaign and — because the Obama ads cited a Washington Post story — the examples cited in that newspaper’s account.

Outsourcing is a problem for the American economy,and anyone who denies that is living in a dream world. Recent reports have confirmed that some of our largest employers, most notably IBM, are still draining jobs like a whirlpool while expanding their total employment numbers overseas. But before one goes pointing that hot-button gun at a target they need to be able to back it up.

It’s important to note that Romney’s time at Bain was a while ago, when outsourcing was still just getting its feet under the table. Bain wasn’t specializing in sending jobs anywhere, though arguably some of the restructured companies moved their facilities to states with more favorable tax laws. But that’s very different from outsourcing as we know it today.

Patrick Pexton has some details on this you should probably read to fill in the blanks on both sides.

The companies that Bain identified and invested in, while Romney was at the helm, and that were the subject of the disputed June 22 Post article, were these U.S. companies helping the Microsofts of the world to outsource and offshore.

These companies were small in the late 1990s, but they’re giants today. Stream Global Services, ModusLink, and StatsChipPac — present-day descendants of three companies that Bain heavily invested in during Romney’s era — are now among the biggest outsourcing companies in the world, with call centers, factories and facilities, mostly in Asia, but also across the globe, that support U.S. high-tech companies.

Of course, it’s a buzz-phrase that polls pretty well so Team Obama will hit it as hard as they can. In this case, though, the attack comes up long on hyperbole and short on facts.