Right-Wing Media Can't Get Their "Bain" Straight On New OMB DirectorJanuary 18, 2012 12:20 PM EST ››› TODD GREGORY
The Washington Examiner blog Beltway Confidential put up a post yesterday reporting that President Obama's acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, worked at Bain & Company in the late 1980s. The Examiner suggested that this could "undercut attacks on Republican Mitt Romney's career as a venture capitalist, because Zients and Romney are both alumni of Bain & Company."
This is a distortion. The criticism of Romney has focused on his work at Bain Capital, not his time at Bain & Company.
To be clear: Bain & Company is an entirely separate entity from Bain Capital. Bain & Company is a business consulting firm that was founded in 1973. Bain Capital is a private investment firm that was founded in 1984.
Bain & Company's website states:
Bain Capital was formed as a separate entity by former Bain consultants to further leverage Bain's results creation capability. Bain Capital is a venture capital company; it is not a sister company nor a division of Bain.
Romney's fellow Republican presidential candidates have been critical of his work at Bain Capital -- not at Bain & Company. From a blog post by ABC's George Stephanopoulos:
Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry calls his rival Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital a potentially "fatal flaw" which could imperil Republican chances to win back the White House in November.
Perry, who is trailing badly in the polls, spent the week attacking Romney as a "vulture capitalist," whose work at Bain allowed him to reap huge profits by dismantling companies and laying off workers.
Others in the right-wing media are blurring the distinction between the two Bain entities.
The Drudge Report linked to the Beltway Confidential post with the headline "OBAMA PICKS BAIN MAN FOR OMB...":
Meanwhile, The Blaze took the Examiner's bait and used the headline "No Bainer: Obama's New Budget Chief Worked for Bain Capital, Too":
The Blaze also misidentified the source of its information as The Washington Times, rather than The Washington Examiner:
But what some might be interested to know is that Zients actually worked at the much-maligned company Bain Capital -- the same company Mitt Romney once ran, and which has been the topic of several attacks by both Republicans and Democrats. The Washington Times has more:
Romney worked at Bain & Company, first from 1977-1984, and then again from 1991 and 1992, when he was the Bain & Company chief executive officer.
UPDATE: The Blaze has changed its headline and the text of its post to say that Zients worked at Bain & Company, not Bain Capital. The headline now reads "No Bainer: Obama's New Budget Chief Worked for a Bain Company, Too."
The Blaze said a former employee of Bain & Company emailed them to request that they make the distinction clear.