President Obama has appointed Jeff Zients as head of the National Economic Council. A former executive of Gov. Mitt Romney’s Bain & Company investment firm—Zients worked at Bain & Co. from 1988 to 1990. Romney was running Bain Capital at the time, so the two did not work directly together.
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.
Bain Capital was heavily criticized by the 2012 Obama campaign as an 'outsourcing pioneer' responsible for closing plants, devastating U.S. communities, and even contributing to the deaths of disenfranchised workers.
Zients work at Bain was one of many lucrative positions at corporate management and media firms that allowed him to build a multimillion dollar fortune. He has worked as a close aid to Obama since 2009, serving twice as the president's acting budget director, among other positions. He will now ascend to head of the National Economic Council, replacing Gene Sperling, who says he is departing for personal reasons.
The appointment was leaked to the New York Times and reported by the paper Friday morning and formally announced by the White House later in the day. The article failed to mention Zients' former tenure at Bain.
Obama has already been slammed for ushering in corporate influence and pursuing policies that deepen poverty and unemployment for the vast majority, flipping on his campaign promises to stand up for the common person. Studies show that Obama has overseen the widest income gap between top 1 percent earners and everyone else since 1928—the year before markets crashed.
Obama heaped praise on the new appointee Friday, declaring, "Jeff has a sterling reputation as a business leader."
Yet, his glowing praise contrasts strongly with the picture he painted of Bain Capital during his 2012 campaign, which he repeatedly slammed as an uncaring corporation that outsourced jobs to China while cutting jobs and suppressing wages at home, running roughshod over people's lives to increase bottom-lines.
In one video, the Obama campaign suggests that Bain's role in closing a GST Steel plant in Kansas City contributed to the death of a former worker's wife because of his lost health insurance. The video can be viewed below.
This is not the first time Obama has contradicted his campaign criticisms of Bain Capital. Obama has received over $182,000 in donations from the company, while the Democratic Party has received millions.