Mitt Romney: “I Started at the Bottom” at Bain and Company

Mitt Romney<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/politicalpulse/6601212237/sizes/m/in/photostream/">WEBN-TV</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


On Sunday, Mitt Romney said he knew the pain felt by Americans on the brink of unemployment. “I know what it’s like to worry whether you’re going to get fired,” he said. “There were a couple of times I wondered if I was going to get a pink slip.” But when pressed by the New York Times later that day, the Romney campaign couldn’t come up with a single occasion when Romney thought he’d actually get the pink slip.

A day later, at a factory in Hudson, Romney was asked for specifics on his pink slip claim. He replied, “I came out of school and I got an entry level position, and like anybody who starts at the bottom of an enterprise, you wonder when you don’t do so well, whether you’re going to be able to hang onto your job.”

Here’s his full response:

“Well, as you probably know in your profession, you never quite know what’s gonna happen. And I think people imagine that I came in at the top of Bain and Company, the consulting firm, or the Boston Consulting Group. I started at the bottom.

“I came out of school and I got an entry level position, and like anybody who starts at the bottom of an enterprise, you wonder when you don’t do so well, whether you’re going to be able to hang onto your job and you wonder if the enterprise gets in trouble, will you be one of those that’s laid off. That’s what happened to a lot of people around the country today and it breaks your heart to see people lose their jobs. Like anybody else in the private sector knows, there’s some prospect that you might lose your job.”

To be clear, accounts of Romney’s rise at Boston Consulting Group and Bain and Company (not be confused with Bain Capital, the private equity firm he was tapped to lead) don’t quite depict him as a Horatio Alger-type. His story is certainly a far cry from that of, say, Lewis Ranieri, the legendary investor who started at Solomon Brothers in the mailroom. Romney was a prized commodity coming out Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, and succeeded right out of the gate at both BCG and Bain.

The question is, will voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere sympathize with Romney’s claim that he feared the pink slip at BCG and Bain? Or will they chalk it up as the usual faux populism spouted all too often on the campaign trail?

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.