It's never good news when Mitt Romney comes to town.
It wasn't good news when Romney was in the business world, experience upon which he has staked his entire candidacy. Just ask the folks at Dade Behring.
After Romney's investment firm bought the profitable medical-equipment company and ran it into the ground, 850 workers in Miami -- and twice as many nationwide -- lost their jobs. For most businesses, that would count as a devastating failure. For Romney and his fellow corporate raiders at Bain Capital, it was a rousing success: they made nearly $250 million by driving Dade Behring into bankruptcy.
Romney is running as a self-described "job creator," but the facts at that factory and so many others across the country tell a much different story. His own business partner even admitted the idea was never to put people to work -- it was to put money in their pockets by making profit at any cost. Like one of Romney's victims at Dade Behring said, "He didn't create jobs. He slashed and burned jobs."
As voters discover the truth about the kind of business Romney practiced, the candidate is finding out that coming to town now means bad news for his popularity. The more voters learn about him, the less they like him. It's not hard to see why.
Romney has profited handsomely at the expense American taxpayers, enriching himself off Medicare fraud at another medical business that he oversaw. Damon Corporation pleaded guilty to defrauding the Medicare system of $25 million while Romney served on its board of directors, which cost taxpayers $40 million. The U.S. Attorney called it a case of "corporate greed run amok" and the company was fined $119 million. Again, not an experience most business leaders would remember fondly. But when Damon was sold, Romney walked away with $473,000.
Of course, Romney doesn't want Floridians to think about the workers he laid off, the greed for which the companies he oversaw were punished, or the fortune he made in the process. So he's running on what he calls a record of job creation.
But Romney has flailed and failed while trying to explain that claim. He used to claim Bain created more than 10,000 jobs, then "tens of thousands." In recent weeks he's offered figures ranging from 100,000 to 120,000 to just "thousands." His gyrations inspire more dizziness than confidence.
And Floridians should ask themselves: if Romney's time at Bain prepared him so well to create jobs from elected office, why did Romney leave Massachusetts 47th in job creation and bleeding manufacturing jobs at double the national average?
This week the Florida sunshine will expose even more of Romney's record and ideas. They'll pale in comparison to the president's record of creating more than 3 million jobs over 22 straight months of private-sector growth, and his vision of a fair, job-creating economy that's built to last and rewards hard work and responsibility.
Just last week the president came to Disney World to announce new support for our travel and tourism industry. His campaign has already been here for months, with nine offices across the state and an army of volunteers who have held thousands of one-on-one conversations and planned hundreds more events in the coming weeks.
After the Republicans go home next week and the national media follow them out, the president's campaign will still be here talking with Floridians about his record of job-creation, transparency and restoring the values that made America great. For Mitt Romney, that's just more bad news.