The labor organizer who spoke out against Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful 1994 bid for Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat, and again on behalf of the Obama campaign earlier this year, resurfaced in another Obama re-election ad that hits Romney on his record at Bain Capital.
In the video, former SCM employee Randy Johnson interviews other employees laid off by the paper mill after American Pad & Paper (Ampad) -- under the guidance of Bain -- acquired it. The ad comes amid escalating debate over the Obama campaign's ad narrative against Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital.
He takes from the poor and the middle class and gives to the rich, says one former worker of Romney. He's just the opposite of Robin Hood.
The new nearly six-minute ad -- titled Romney Economics: Job Loss and Bankruptcy at Ampad -- has the same message as the commercial released by Obama's campaign last week in battleground states; one worker laid off by GST Steel after Bain acquired the company in the 90s called the presumed Republican nominee a vampire.
Bain acquired Ampad, an Indiana paper mill, in 1992, and Ampad later bought SCM in 1994 while Romney was managing the private equity firm. When benefits and salaries were slashed, the workers went on strike and the company went bankrupt in 2000. Bain, according to the video, came out with $100 million in profits.
When you have to sit there and watch people faces, and they're looking to you for the answers, they just break down, and it'll choke you up, Johnson said.
Johnson campaigned for Obama last December, where he made media rounds describing Romney as a greedy capitalist who destroys jobs.
The union organizer's story was also used in incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy's senatorial run against Mitt Romney nearly two decades ago. Kennedy launched a similar campaign that attacked Romney as a jobs-destroyer using Ampad's bankruptcy, and Randy participated in rallies against Romney, according to ABC News. According to a 1994 New York Times article about an anti-Romney protest, Johnson was demoted from slitting machine operator, at $10.04 an hour, to file folder packer, at $2.16 less.
Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski also pointed out that another woman interviewed in the new Ampad video also made an appearance in an Kennedy attack ad in 1994.
The new commercial comes amid debate on both sides of the aisle on whether or not Obama going negative on Mitt Romney's record at Bain is appropriate. Obama surrogate and Newark Mayor Cory Booker denounced the tactic, later to backtrack his comments and claim that Bain was fair territory.
To me, it's just we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people invest in companies like Bain Capital, Booker said Sunday morning on Meet the Press.
In a YouTube video released later that day, Booker said it was reasonable - in fact, I encourage it to analyzie Romney's time at Bain in the 90s because he has made it a centerpiece of his campaign.