PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Bill Clinton is the feature act tonight but the warm-up comes when Randy Johnson of Bethel Park takes the stage to rip into Mitt Romney and Bain Capital for closing his plant in Indiana.
“Mitt Romney and his buddies — they took a hundred million dollars out of it and walked away. And there were thousands of people out of work besides my plant. There were about 350 people affected there in Marion, Indiana,” Johnson told KDKA political editor Jon Delano in a satellite interview.
Johnson says he worked for a company named Ampad in Marion in the 1990’s when Bain Capital took over, fired all the workers, then hired them back at lower pay.
Johnson, who now works for the United Steelworkers International in Pittsburgh, says the public needs to know Romney’s past.
“He’s campaigning to be president of the United States, and he’s using that business record as that model. So if that’s what he’s really going to do, then we need to put it under the microscope.”
Johnson says he’s still working on his speech where he wants to say a lot in a short time.
“Hopefully, I can do that. I’m still working on it, trying to get it down to the final draft here.”
While Johnson may be warming up, it’s former President Bill Clinton who’s getting unusual attention.
Former presidents frequently speak at their party’s conventions, but none have ever really been given this prime time opportunity to speak to the nation as Bill Clinton has been invited to do by President Obama.
Clinton’s mission — to reach out to the disaffected.
“What are they going to do to help us little people out, to help the regular voter, the regular citizen?” asks Connor Norman of Downtown.
“I just know he has good experience and could be something Obama can learn from,” adds Danielle Vassello of Mt. Washington.
“Clinton is going to reach out to the country and explain that the country needs Obama as much as Obama needs the country,” says Corey Fields of the South Side.