By Ben Geman - 05/29/12 11:54 AM EDT
Mitt Romney’s campaign is out with a new video that takes aim at White House support for the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra and other taxpayer-supported green energy companies.
The video released Tuesday revives GOP attacks on green energy programs and adds to the political thrust-and-parry between Romney and President Obama over their records on economic stewardship.
“Obama is giving taxpayer money to big donors. And then watching them lose it,” the ad states.
Solyndra, the bankrupt California company that made advanced solar panels, received a $535 million Energy Department loan guarantee in 2009 and went belly-up last year. The turbulent global solar market has also created problems for companies such as First Solar.
Obama administration officials have strongly defended the billions of dollars in loan guarantees issued through the 2009 stimulus law (using authority first provided in a bipartisan 2005 energy bill).
Defenders of the loan guarantees say that while Solyndra's demise was unfortunate, the overall program has succeeded in backing companies that have created jobs and helped expand renewable component manufacturing and green power generation.
Obama administration officials have pointed to the White House-commissioned outside review released in February that provided a lower estimate of taxpayer risk than an earlier forecast.
Despite allegations about political donors influencing loan decisions, the lengthy House GOP probe of Solyndra did not show political favoritism.
But it did lead to other revelations that were embarrassing for the White House — including emails showing internal administration concerns about the wisdom of approving the loan guarantee — and prompted calls for a better vetting process when companies seek loans.
Romney’s campaign on Monday said the financial support is “just another example of President Obama’s pattern of picking winners and losers and wasting taxpayer money.”
The ad arrives as Obama’s campaign bashes Romney’s stewardship of Bain Capital to undercut the presumptive GOP nominee's efforts to show that his business experience will help him revive the economy.