TAMPA, Fla. -- Ann Romney on Tuesday recounted her husband's life story in her prime time convention speech, describing his effort to launch Bain Capital as a struggle with a high amount of risk.
"I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn't going to work. Mitt's reaction was to work harder and press on," she said.
"Today that company has become another great American success story," she said. "Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams? Yes, it has."
Ann Romney's story of struggle is similar to how Mitt Romney has described his adventure on the campaign trail. "I left a steady job to join with some friends to start a new business," Romney said when launching his campaign. "It had been a dream of mine to try and build a business from the ground-up. We started in a small office."
The tale the Romneys are telling, however, is not true. Romney only agreed to run Bain Capital after he had been promised that he could have his old job back if it failed, plus raises he would've missed. He was also promised that if it failed, a cover story would be crafted so that he took none of the professional blame.
For their book "The Real Romney," Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman interviewed Bill Bain, the founder of Bain & Co., who asked Romney to head Bain Capital. The story he tells couldn't be more different than Mitt and Ann Romney's.
From "The Real Romney:"
He saw the opportunity, of course, but he also saw risks. First, he felt comfortable in his life. He already had a great job and had five young sons at home. Second, he and the partners in the new firm would be expected to contribute significantly to the investment fund, and thus, if deals went south, they could lose their own money. Romney explained to Bain that he didn't want to risk his position, earnings, and reputation on an experiment. He found the offer appealing but didn't want to make the decision in a 'light or flippant manner.' So Bain sweetened the pot. He guaranteed that if the experiment failed, Romney would get his old job and salary back, plus any raises he would have earned during his absence. Still, Romney worried about the impact on his reputation if he proved unable to do the job. Again the pot was sweetened. Bain promised that, if necessary, he would craft a cover story saying that Romney's return to Bain & Company was needed because of his value as a consultant. 'So,' Bain explained, 'there was no professional or financial risk.' This time Romney said yes.
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