The phrase “corporate raider” has a particular meaning in the world of finance. Here’s the definition on Investopedia:
“An investor who buys a large number of shares in a corporation whose assets appear to be undervalued. The large share purchase would give the corporate raider significant voting rights, which could then be used to push changes in the company’s leadership and management. This would increase share value and thus generate a massive return for the raider.”
In other words, this is generally an adversarial stance, in which an investor sees an undervalued asset and forces management to spin off assets, take the company private or break it up.
In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered renowned corporate raiders such as Carl Icahn and his ilk. We also have closely studied Bain Capital and can find no examples that come close to this situation; its deals were done in close association with management. Indeed, Bain generally held onto its investments for four or five years, in contrast to the quick bust-em-ups of real corporate raiders. So calling Romney a “corporate raider” is a real stretch.
So how does the Obama campaign justify this phrase? It cites a single Reuters story from last August, about a campaign stop in New Hampshire, written by a stringer, Jason McLure, who was previously based in Africa. Buried in the article is a reference to Romney as a “former corporate raider.”