Mitt Romney cites Bain Capital lessons in Wall Street Journal op-ed column

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney, in an effort to steer the conversation back to positive aspects of his business experience, wrote an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal focused on his long tenure at Bain Capital.

The column, with the headline, “What I Learned at Bain Capital,” comes days before Republicans gather in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Romney as their presidential candidate, a four-day event that is designed to promote Romney’s strengths.

Romney’s experience at the Boston-based Bain has been the subject of harsh criticism, from Republicans during the primary race and from Democrats in recent months.

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They have accused him of loading companies with debt and triggering bankruptcies while reaping millions for himself, his business partners, and their investors.

Romney accentuates the positive, highlighting companies they helped start – like office-supply store Staples and child-care provider Bright Horizons – and struggling companies they helped get going again – like retailer Brookstone and contact-lens maker Wesley Jessen.

“A broad message emerges from my Bain Capital days: A good idea is not enough for a business to success,” Romney wrote. “It requires a talented team, a good business plan, and capital to execute it.”

Romney details some of the ways he would use that philosophy and apply it to the federal government, as he did when he ran the 2002 Winter Olympics and when he served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

Romney also said he would reduce the amount of government regulation.

“I’m not sure Bain Capital could have grown or turned around some of the companies we invested in had we faced today’s anti-business environment,” he wrote.