CNBC's Cramer Declares: 'Romney's Known as a Job Destroyer'

On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer followed Obama campaign talking points perfectly as he decried Mitt Romney's business record at Bain Capital: "Romney's known as a job destroyer, not a creator....I think Bain sticks. I think the idea that you bring in Bain...they fire a lot of people and that's how they get prosperity for the rich." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

At the same time, Cramer dismissed a positive forward-looking Romney ad outlining specific policy proposals: "I just don't think that this will stick." He concluded the Bain attacks against Romney were "a more resonant theme" and better "than anything that Romney's come up with."

Later during the roundtable discussion, Cramer claimed: "...when I interviewed – trying to figure out whether I'd work for Bain under Romney, came to school – I heard, 'Look, we're going to cut the fat, we're going to make these companies lean. The only way to do it is to fire as many people as possible.' And by the way, that was very chic then."

In a prior portion of the segment, Cramer took another shot a Romney, as he predicted that "if the Democrats run the table" in November, "[tax] rates are going to go up dramatically, particularly for dividends, for capital gains. And I think you can get rid of a lot of loop – the loopholes like Romney got....No more conversion of ordinary income into capital gains and rich people not having to pay that much."

While bashing Romney's wealth and time at Bain, Cramer praised President Obama for the taxpayer bailout of the auto industry: "It's about the auto industry, 15 million cars we built this year. It's a gigantic number....Ford's hiring, GM's hiring, Chrysler's hiring."

Cramer laughably argued Obama wasn't taking credit: "Obama is missing a major opportunity here, but he doesn't want to talk about bailouts.... He never takes an ounce of credit for that, Obama, not at all....Obama is missing the point. It's not Bain, it's GM and Ford."

Hitting Romney one more time, Cramer remarked: "In the meantime, Romney was against that [auto bailout]. You could've shut down the auto industry..."


Here are portions of the May 20 exchange:

10:54AM ET

DAVID GREGORY: I mean, it has to be – if it's a slam-dunk election in one way, is there more leverage? I mean, that's what you heard from the Vice President in my interview a couple weeks ago, which was like, "Hey, if we win, we're not negotiating on taxes."

JIM CRAMER: Totally true. If they win, if the Democrats run the table, then I think rates are going to go up dramatically, particularly for dividends, for capital gains. And I think you can get rid of a lot of loop – the loopholes like Romney got.

GREGORY: Yeah.

CRAMER: No more conversion of ordinary income into capital gains and rich people not having to pay that much.

(...)

GREGORY: Well, Governor Romney is looking at the totality of the problems under this first administration of President Obama. And he's got this new ad out called "Day One." I want to show a portion of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [CAMPAIGN AD NARRATOR]: What would a Romney presidency be like? Day one, President Romney immediately approves the Keystone Pipeline, creating thousands of jobs that Obama blocked. President Romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them.

GREGORY: Jim Cramer, this is an area of strength now for Romney on the economy.

CRAMER: Right.

GREGORY: I showed that chart earlier. He's got some traction.

CRAMER: Right.

GREGORY: What does this ad say to you about their approach and its potential effectiveness?

CRAMER: Well, I think that the specifics are good. In other words, people recognize that that pipeline would have created jobs. But at the same time, Romney's known as a job destroyer, not a creator. I just don't think that this will stick. I think Bain sticks. I think the idea that you bring in Bain – which is what happened in the '80s – they fire a lot of people and that's how they get prosperity for the rich. And that is a more resonant theme, I think, than anything that Romney's come up with.

(...)

GREGORY: Alright, but Jim, you say there's a legitimate hit here on Romney, his philos – his governing philosophy, whether he ran Bain or how he would run a federal budget.

CRAMER: Right. Well, look, when I interviewed – trying to figure out whether I'd work for Bain under Romney, came to school – I heard, "Look, we're going to cut the fat, we're going to make these companies lean. The only way to do it is to fire as many people as possible." And by the way, that was very chic then. We forget, that was the message that you heard as a young person trying to figure out where to work. Obama...

GREGORY: That's when people actually said chic.

CORY BOOKER [MAYOR, NEWARK, NJ]: Guys, but this...

CRAMER: Yeah. That's true.

GREGORY: There is that, yeah.

BOOKER: But this is what's crazy.

CRAMER: Obama is missing a major opportunity here, but he doesn't want to talk about bailouts. It's about the auto industry, 15 million cars we built this year. It's a gigantic number.

BOOKER: Yes.

CRAMER: Do you want to know who's hiring? Ford's hiring, GM's hiring, Chrysler's hiring. He never takes an ounce of credit for that, Obama, not at all. In the meantime, Romney was against that. You could've shut down the auto industry, make it so the Japanese car companies, the German car companies would be ascendant. It will be about Europe because Germany is ascendant. They can take down Europe and make our country weaker because of Europe. Obama is missing the point. It's not Bain, it's GM and Ford.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC