Ms. Gay was not kidnapped as Romney’s campaign ad implies, she was not in need of “saving,” and there is no evidence that the Bain Capital search was responsible for Ms. Gay’s safe return
“At first blush, this seems like a genuinely great campaign ad — the story of how Mitt Romney basically closed down his business, Bain Capital, in 1996 when the daughter of one of his partners went missing in New York City and Romney sent dozens and finally hundreds of employees to New York to engage in a massive search through the streets for her,” writes John Podhoretz in a Commentary Blog post titled Mitt Romney … Helped Save My Daughter—um, yes, OK., only he really didn’t.
It was indeed a selfless and noble thing to do. However, the ad implies Melissa Gay had been kidnapped or something equally sinister, and that is not what happened. As a quick search of the New York Times and Boston Globe archives reveals, she went missing after she traveled to New York from Ridgefield, Conn., on her own, took Ecstasy at a concert on Randalls Island, ended up at a party under the Whitestone Bridge in The Bronx, met a boy there who took her to his house in New Jersey, and stayed with him for a few days, too embarrassed (I would wager) to call her parents and have them come get her. No charges were filed against the boy, which suggests her presence in his house was consensual. I’m sure it was a nightmarish time for her parents, and it was unquestionably was a noble thing Romney did to step in and direct the resources of his firm, including its employees, to search for her. But a) she wasn’t in need of “saving” in the way the ad’s narrative implies and b) there’s no evidence in the open record that the Bain Capital search, wonderfully well-intentioned, was responsible for Melissa’s safe return to her family … etc.
This is Romney doing his best impression of Ross Perot:
… Just prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the government of IranU.S. ArmySpecial Forces Colonel Arthur D. (‘Bull’) Simons. When the team couldn’t find a way to extract their two prisoners, they decided to wait for a mob of pro-Ayatollah revolutionaries to storm the jail and free all 10,000 inmates, many of whom were political prisoners. The two prisoners then connected with the rescue team, and the team spirited them out of Iran via a risky border crossing into Turkey. The exploit was recounted in a book, imprisoned two of his employees in a contract dispute. Perot organized and sponsored a successful rescue. The rescue team was led by retired On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett, which became a best-seller. In the 1986 miniseries, Perot was portrayed by Richard Crenna. (See also Iran hostage crisis.) …