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Mitt Romney Ad: Bill’s BBQ


Mitt Romney Ad: Bill’s BBQ

Bill’s Barbecue, an institution in Richmond, Virginia institution, recently closed its doors after over 75 years in business. President Obama’s promised things were going to change, but we’re not better off than we were four years ago. Bill’s Barbecue in Richmond couldn’t take four years of President Obama. Can we afford for more?

  • Former Republican

    At the time of the closing, Bill’s released a statement explaining “changing marketing realities and significant costs of upgrading operations,” make it no longer feasible for the company to operate in an economy that has struggled for five years. That timeline suggests that the company had been in trouble even before the economic meltdown of 2008 and had struggled to adjust to compete with other restaurants.

    Meanwhile, The Richmond Times Dispatch noted that other barbecue companies are expanding in the Virginia capital area. “Virginia’s Finest Barbecue,” a Richmond-based barbecue blog wrote at the time of the closing that “Bill’s needed a face lift. It seemed they were still stuck somewhere between the 70′s and the 30′s, the good ol days for them,” and observed that ” the success of a few other Richmond bbq restaurants around town that have slowly eaten Bill’s business away.”

    Additionally, it appears that Bill’s struggled to adhere to public health codes. Public health inspectors cited Bill’s locations repeatedly for critical and non-critical violations. In 2006, one location was cited for “sewage is not being properly disposed of in an approved sewage disposal system.” In 2009, another location was dinged for employees “handling ready-to-eat (RTE) food with their bare hands.”

    Today, downtown Richmond is experiencing a boom in development and was recently rated by Forbes as one of the nation’s top 50 best places for businesses and careers. Other barbecue restaurants are expanding. It seems highly misleading forRomney to now try to blame the failure of one struggling business on President Obama.

    In a 2011 debate, Mitt Romney defended the failures of numerous companies he and his Bain Capital invested in, saying, “I know there are some people in Washington that don’t understand how the free economy works. They think if you invest in a business, it’s always going to go well. And they don’t always go well.”

  • Comparing Bill’s to what we now accept as barbecue would be like comparing McDonalds to Red Robin. They were simply rendered as obsolete as a Gremlin. Saying that Obama had anything to do with this is just another example of the Romney campaign’s desperation and cynicism, and their unending ability to exploit voters who don’t have a grasp of the facts.