FACT CHECK: All's not well for 'King of Bain'

By Calvin Woodward

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Jan. 16 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

THE FACTS: Romney was in no position to plunder the toy company because he left Bain before it bought KB Toys in 2000. The retailer was finally liquidated in 2009, a decade after he moved on. Fierce competition from superstore chains was a factor in KB's collapse, not just debt.

The Boston Herald did not brand Bain's profits "disgusting," as the film claims. Instead, a story in the newspaper quoted a former worker as saying so. He was criticizing another Bain executive-turned-politician, Stephen Pagliuca, who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2009.

DDi CORP.: Romney and Bain wrung "enormous financial gain" out of the California tech manufacturing and engineering company by firing employees and dumping stock before it went into bankruptcy.

THE FACTS: The transactions charted in the film come after Romney's tenure at Bain, though he is believed to have profited from DDi stock sales after his departure. Viewers aren't told the Anaheim company blamed the bursting of the dot-com bubble for its fall, that it emerged from bankruptcy and is in business today.

AMPAD: "That hurt so bad, to leave my home, because of one man that's got 15 homes."

THE FACTS: That comment was from an interview in the film with a Marion, Ind., woman identified as a former American Pad & Paper worker, and it captures authentic grievances against Romney and Bain over the closure of the plant there in 1995. But Romney doesn't have anywhere near 15 homes, a fact the filmmakers did not feel obliged to explain.

"It was hyperbole," Tyler said Sunday. "Are we going to fact-check hyperbole?"

Romney says he owns three homes. He also has a Lake Huron cottage in Canada that has long been in the family.

Ampad is the only example in "King of Bain" that substantially overlaps Romney's tenure, and it is one he has needed to deal with before.

After Bain acquired the company in 1992, it cut 385 jobs and closed two U.S. plants, moves that became the subject of Democratic campaign ads against him when he ran unsuccessfully against Kennedy for the Senate in 1994. The episode also was in an issue in his successful 2002 race for Massachusetts governor.

Associated Press writer Jim Drinkard contributed to this report.

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