The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Mitt Romney
Press Release - Romney For President Launches New Television Ad, "Searched"
December 19, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Boston, MA – Today, Romney for President launched its newest television ad, "Searched." In the ad, Robert Gay, a former business partner of Governor Romney, recounts the story of his daughter who disappeared in New York City in the summer of 1996. When no one could find her, Governor Romney and his colleagues stepped forward and closed down their company in Boston, Bain Capital. Together, they headed to New York City to aid the search. Spreading out across the city, they set up command centers, combed through neighborhoods, passed out fliers and drew media attention to the case. Through their efforts, Robert Gay was reunited with his daughter. This ad is their story.

The ad will begin airing today as part of the campaign's rotation in New Hampshire. Script and viewing link are below.

Script For "Searched" (TV:30):

ROBERT GAY: "My fourteen year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for three days. No one could find her.

"My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York.

"He said, 'I don't care how long it takes – we're going to find her.'

"He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney.

"Mitt has done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he's ever done is help save my daughter."

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "I'm Mitt Romney and I approved this message."

To watch "Searched," please see: http://tv.mittromney.com/?showid=728176

This Is The Story Of "Searched" ...

On Saturday, July 6, 1996, Robert Gay Saw His Daughter, Melissa, For The Last Time Before She Disappeared In New York City. "The frantic parents of a 14-year-old Connecticut girl, missing since Sunday after she attended an all-night dance party on Randalls Island, came to New York City yesterday seeking help in finding their child. Melissa Gay, of Ridgefield, Conn., known also as Missy, left her home Saturday night without telling her parents she was going to New York City, said her father, Robert Gay, a managing partner of Bain Capital, a leveraged buy-out firm." (Shirley Leung, "Investment Firm Shuts To Help Find Girl," The Boston Globe, 7/12/96)

"I JUST HOPE THAT SOMEBODY

COULD FIND IT IN THEIR HEART TO

CALL AND LET US KNOW HOW SHE IS."

- Lynette Gay, Mother

Melissa Was Last Seen In New York City On Sunday, July 7, 1996. "A distraught Connecticut family desperately searched yesterday for their teenage daughter, last seen early Sunday after partying at an all-night rave concert on Randalls Island. 'I just hope that somebody could find it in their heart to call and let us know how she is,' said the mother of 14-year-old Melissa Gay. 'I know she's afraid of the dark,' added Lynette Gay, 44. 'She's a courageous, spunky girl, but she also likes her hugs and kisses.' The girl was last seen Sunday at 11 a.m. in a park under the Whitestone Bridge. She wore a blue or red-striped shirt and tan pants. She is blond, 5-feet-3 and weighs 105 pounds." (K.C. Baker, "Fearful Kin Seek Missing Teen," New York Daily News, 7/12/96)

By Wednesday, With The Investigation Going Nowhere And His Business Partner Walking The Streets Of New York City Trying To Find His Daughter, Mitt Romney Closed Down His Company In Boston And Headed To New York City With His Colleagues. "On Wednesday he walked the streets of Manhattan looking for his blonde daughter, who was last seen wearing a blue or red-striped shirt and baggy tan pants. Gay, who has worked for Bain for eight years, kept his ordeal to himself, confiding only in Romney. But Wednesday, Romney decided to tell the other 11 managing directors, and they decided that finding a missing daughter was more important than operating a $1 billion investment firm." (Shirley Leung, "Investment Firm Shuts To Help Find Girl," The Boston Globe, 7/12/96)

"OUR CHILDREN ARE WHAT LIFE

IS ALL ABOUT. ... EVERYTHING ELSE

TAKES A BACK SEAT."

– Mitt Romney

By Thursday Morning, Mitt Romney, 56 Bain Capital Employees And 250 Colleagues From Wall Street Were Working The Streets Of New York City In Search Of Melissa. "The executives decided not only to give their time but their money, paying all expenses for the search for the fifth of Gay's seven children. That night, 16 employees flew to New York, turned a function room of the Laguardia Marriott Hotel into a 'war room,' and got printing giant R. R. Donnelly to print 200,000 fliers with a color picture of Melissa. They also hired a private investigator and set up an 800-number hot line. Another 40 employees caught an early morning shuttle yesterday, and later were joined by about 250 colleagues from other Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, Price Waterhouse and Bankers Trust." (Shirley Leung, "Investment Firm Shuts To Help Find Girl," The Boston Globe, 7/12/96)

Romney And Bain Capital Used All Of Their Connections To Further The Search. "Bain Capital's partners closed down the firm and drew on friendships and connections to find volunteers for the search. R. R. Donnelly, the firm's printer, printed more than 300,000 fliers bearing Ms. Gay's picture and last known whereabouts. Duane Reade, a drugstore chain in which Bain Capital is an investor, had clerks at 52 stores insert fliers in shopping bags. Price Waterhouse, which does the firm's accounting, sent nearly 100 volunteers to distribute the posters, and Goldman Sachs, Bankers Trust and Morgan Stanley dispatched more than 60 people." (Charisse Jones, "Volunteers Search For Missing Girl," The New York Times, 7/12/96)

Romney And Bain Capital Coordinated A "Five-Pronged Attack" To Find The Gays' Daughter. "The searchers prepared a 'five-pronged attack,' said Stephen Pagliuca, another Bain Capital managing director. The plan included: hiring private investigators; coordinating with New York authorities; lining up help from business associates; blanketing the city with 250,000 flyers; and organizing a media blitz that landed news reports on three local TV stations. Nearly all of Bain Capital's 50-plus employees got involved, Pagliuca said. A 'skeletal crew' answered phones and handled essential business in Boston while the rest flew to New York. By 4 p.m. Thursday, the search involved 300 people, Pagliuca said." (Eric Convey, "Bain Staff Swung Into Action For Child Search," The Boston Herald, 7/13/96)

With The Help Of Bain, The Gays Were Reunited With Their Daughter. "The saga ended late Thursday night when Melissa Gay of Ridgefield, Conn., was found safe and sound at a suburban New Jersey home. The discovery of 'Missy' followed 24 hours of intensive work by Bain Capital employees and their contacts that began soon after Robert Gay, one of the firm's 12 managing directors, told co-workers his daughter was missing. ... The hunt went on until a family in Montville, N.J., heard of it and called police later to say Missy was with them and fine." (Eric Convey, "Bain Staff Swung Into Action For Child Search," The Boston Herald, 7/13/96)

At An End-Of-The-Year Meeting, Bain Capital Listed The Search For Melissa Gay As Their Greatest Accomplishment. "Last week, the partners of Boston's Bain Capital Inc. drew up their annual list of accomplishments: Number one was the week they spent last July combing Manhattan in search of Melissa Gay, the missing 14-year-old daughter of one of the partners. 'It really overshadowed everything we did from a money standpoint,' said Mitt Romney, the Bain Capital founder who won the 1994 Massachusetts Republican Senate nomination partly on his reputation as a venture capital wiz." (Peter S. Canellos, "Bain Capital Recalls NY Search," The Boston Globe, 12/8/96)

Romney Never Forgot What He Saw As He Sought To Help A Friend In Need. "Now back in school and fully recovered, Melissa and her parents are doing well, Romney said. The partners, however, are still taking stock of their visit to the dark corners of New York, putting up posters and talking to runaways outside seedy nightclubs and peep shows. Romney said he can't escape some of the images he carries with him from his week in the New York underworld. 'It was a shocker,' he said. 'The number of lost souls was astounding.' Romney said one partner still talks about a runaway he spoke with in search of information about Melissa.
'The girl asked, "Why are you looking for her?" and he said,
"Because her parents miss her,"' Romney said. 'She replied,
"I wish my parents missed me like that."'"
(Peter S. Canellos, "Bain Capital Recalls NY Search," The Boston Globe, 12/8/96)

Citation: Mitt Romney: "Press Release - Romney For President Launches New Television Ad, "Searched"", December 19, 2007. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=95467.
 
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