An unusual personal story gives us insight into Mitt Romney. It is 1996. Mitt Romney is the head of Bain Capital in Boston. One of his employees comes to him, utterly distraught. His 14-year-old daughter snuck out of the house to go to a rave in New York and has been missing for three days. One of her teen friends said he gave her ecstasy and that he last saw her partying under a bridge.
Did Romney offer sympathy and hope? Write a check for a private detective? Wait for the government to solve it? No -- he took responsibility. He took action. He shut down the firm and brought all the employees to New York. For 48 hours, they scoured the streets, going everywhere, asking teenagers if they'd seen the missing girl. Romney called on business associates to send more people to help until they numbered 200. He printed 300,000 fliers and got Duane Reade, one of Bain's success stories, to put fliers in every shopper's bag in their 52 stores. Romney set up a hotline. A broken-off phone call was traced; the girl was discovered in the basement of a house in New Jersey and reunited with her family.
"Mitt's done a lot of things that are nearly impossible, but for me the most important thing he's ever done was to help save my daughter," says the girl's father.
Hear Romney describe what happened in this of a town hall meeting.
Wow.I did what you all would do. I was responsible for a business. One day one of my partner's came...and said my daughter...is lost....I said, "Let's close the company. Let's all of us fly down to New York and try to find her."The words are a bit awkward. The story as he tells it will not move you to tears. But when I tell the story to friends, I am so moved, I do get tears in my eyes. Romney shows the missing girl's photo to a teenage girl on the street. She says to him, "No, I haven't seen her, but you're not the first person who came up and asked if I'd seen her. I wish my parents cared enough about me, to do something like this for me.""I did what all of you would do," Romney says. Really? It would never have occurred to me in a million years to respond to a friend's missing daughter by organizing everyone I knew and going to look for her myself.
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