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The latest from Day Two

  • Standing up for the American worker

    Randy Johnson, a former employee of American Pad and Paper, is here in Tampa. The Republican Party is preparing to nominate for President the man who destroyed his livelihood, the company he worked for, and his community. Randy is ready to speak out.

    "I saw firsthand how Romney and his economics worked, how they hurt families, workers, and the communities we live in," says Johnson. "When you live that and you see that, you will never forget it."

    Johnson was working at an office supply plant in Marion, Indiana, when it was acquired by Romney's corporate buyout firm. What happened next is something Johnson and the community will never forget: "When Romney and his partners took over our plant, they brought in security guards, they walked us out of the building. We had no warning whatsoever. We didn't have a chance to get our affairs in order. That's the way our life changed immediately on July 5, 1994, and it was changed forever."

    The company agreed to re-hire a few people but steeply reduced their wages and benefits. They no long had a retirement plan, and after a year, the once profitable plant was shuttered for good. "Your future was gone," says Johnson. "People were going to lose their homes because they couldn't afford to make the payments. That's the real Romney Economics."

    Johnson and his co-workers reached out to Romney directly. "We asked Romney for help and his involvement," says Johnson, "but he has never helped. He has never done anything for the average worker."

    American Pad and Paper eventually went bankrupt, but Romney and his partners made $100 million.

    Johnson's story isn't an anomaly. In his two decades in the private sector, Romney made a fortune loading companies up with debt and laying off workers—and this is the experience Romney believes qualifies him for the presidency. Johnson sees it differently: "What kind of person says he likes firing people? I don't care what context it is, it's wrong. It's morally wrong. And I don't see how we can let anyone like that even get close to the White House and bring his policies and economic philosophy to it. It would be wrong for the country."

  • The GOP’s extreme platform

    The GOP has adopted an extreme platform that is incredibly out of touch. Take a look at just ten of the policies Republicans hope to enact under a Romney presidency:

    Ban all abortions, with no exception for victims of rape and incest

    • "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage."

    Harsh treatment of immigrants

    • "In order to restore the rule of law, federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, and federal funding should be denied to universities that provide instate tuition rates to illegal aliens, in open defiance of federal law."

    • "We insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use of the E-verify program—an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees—must be made mandatory nationwide."

    • "We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens."

    Restrict voting rights and civil rights

    • "With a Republican Administration, the Department will stop suing States for exercising those powers reserved to the States, will stop abusing its preclearance authority to block photo-ID voting laws, and will fulfill its responsibility to defend all federal laws in court, including the Defense of Marriage Act."

    Oppose marriage equality

    • "[W]e believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage."

    Extreme on taxes

    • "We call for a Constitutional amendment requiring a super-majority for any tax increase with exceptions for only war and national emergencies, and imposing a cap limiting spending to the historical average percentage of GDP so that future Congresses cannot balance the budget by raising taxes."

    Extreme on the environment

    • "The most powerful environmental policy is liberty, the central organizing principle of the American Republic and its people. Liberty alone fosters scientific inquiry, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and information exchange. Liberty must remain the core energy behind America’s environmental improvement."

    Attack human rights for LGBT people living abroad

    • "The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda."

    Put airport security in the hands of private firms

    • "We call for the private sector to take over airport screening wherever feasible and look toward the development of security systems that can replace the personal violation of frisking."

    Scrap the Wall Street Reform law that protects our economy

    • "But no peril justifies the regulatory impact of Obamacare on the practice of medicine, the Dodd-Frank Act on financial services, or the EPA’s and OSHA’s overreaching regulation agenda. A Republican Congress and President will repeal the first and second, and rein in the third."

    Kill Obamacare

    • "We agree with the four dissenting justices of the Supreme Court: 'In our view the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.' It was the high-water mark of an outdated liberalism, the latest attempt to impose upon Americans a euro-style bureaucracy to manage all aspects of their lives."

    • "Through Obamacare, the current administration has promoted the notion of abortion as healthcare."

  • Comparing President Obama's and Mitt Romney's small business records

    Small businesses are the engines of our economy, creating two out of every three net new jobs in this country. President Obama and Mitt Romney take starkly different approaches to supporting America's small business owners. While the President aggressively pursues policies that support their growth, Mitt Romney has championed policies that undermine the ability of entrepreneurs to expand and hire.

    Just take a look at what happened to small businesses in Massachusetts while Romney was governor:

    • Start-ups fell: Under Romney, the number of business start-ups fell by 10%, hitting their lowest point in his last year in office. Each year Romney was in office, start-up growth in Massachusetts lagged behind the national average.

    • Small businesses shut their doors: When Romney took office, more entrepreneurs were starting small businesses than shutting them down. When he left, the opposite was true—the number of small businesses shrank during his term.

    • Job creation suffered: With fewer new businesses starting, and existing small businesses closing shop, Massachusetts fell to 47th out of 50 states in job creation during Romney’s term.

    Click here to read more about Romney's small business record in Massachusetts.

    President Obama, on the other hand, has a long record of support for small businesses. Here are just a few things he's done:

    • Signed 18 tax cuts to support small businesses

    • Supported a record volume of small business loans last year, and more than 150,000 loans since he took office, allowing business owners to expand and hire more workers

    • Invested $2 billion in Small Business Administration funding for early-stage businesses and businesses in underserved communities or emerging business sectors

    Click here to learn more about how the candidates compare on support for small businesses.

    President Obama has put forward a plan that would support small businesses by cutting taxes for entrepreneurs who hire and expand, and investing in infrastructure, innovation, and education. Romney’s plan, on the other hand, would slash investments that support small business growth while putting millions of small businesses at risk of a tax increase to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

    To distract Americans from what his own plan would do, Romney is deliberately editing the President's words to make it appear as if the President was insulting small business owners. The facts are clear and, no matter how much Romney tries to distort the truth, his record reveals exactly what his policies would mean for small businesses. Watch Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter lay out what's at stake this year, and then share the facts with your friends.

  • Setting the record straight in Tampa

    Republicans are in Tampa all week, holding their convention to nominate Mitt Romney for president. They're telling their side of the story—but not the full story. As they nominate the former governor of Massachusetts, Republicans won't talk about how Romney led his state to 47th out of 50 in job creation. And they won't talk about how Romney is proposing massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans—paid for by the middle class.

    That's where we come in.

    Democrats are holding a counter-convention just blocks from the Tampa Bay Times Forum convention hall. This morning, we kicked things off with a press conference, where elected officials, the founder of Carmax, and a paper worker who lost his job when Romney and Bain Capital took over, shared their stories.

    • Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley knows what it's like to run a state and create jobs there—and he explained why Romney's experience in the private and public sectors aren't what the American people are looking for in a president.

    • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, who is chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, noted that the only thing Romney has actually built are "a bank account in Switzerland, investments in Bermuda and the Caymans, and an inexplicably large IRA."

    • Mayor Joe Curtatone of Somerville, Massachusetts, experienced Romney Economics firsthand and shared how it led to a terrible business climate in his state—which has been on the rebound since Romney left office.

    • Austin Ligon, the co-founder and retired CEO of Carmax, talked about how he helped build a business from scratch—and why Romney's policies don't give him confidence that he knows how to move the economy forward.

    • And Randy Johnson, who lost his job at Ampad when Romney and Bain helped bankrupt the company, shared how Romney Economics devastated him, his co-workers, their families, and their community.

    Listen to the entire press conference here—and see more photos on our Flickr page.

  • Romney Economics: The infomercial

    Want to make a profit, whatever the cost? Tired of employees getting pesky wages and benefits? Then Romney Economics is for you! Side effects may include bankruptcy and job loss. Watch the infomercial, then share it with your friends.