Mitt Romney claimed that the collapse of Solyndra demonstrates "...the difference between private sector and governmental sector" while delivering a speech on government spending on November 4, 2011 in Exeter, NH:
Now, let me compare that with a government initiated enterprise called Solyndra.
Now you know the story of Solyndra. Did you know they put in about $500 million?
Oh, by the way, at the beginning of Staples, I think it was about $5 or $10 million of investment from a number of different firms.
Solyndra, they took $500 million from the federal government.
And did you see their factory? Large enough to hold five football fields inside of it.
Their corporate headquarters looked like the Taj Mahal. They had showers that looked like spa showers.
All of these guys were living high because it was government money. It was someone else’s money. It was the taxpayers’ money.
That’s the difference between private sector and governmental sector.
While the collapse of a solar firm that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy is indeed disturbing, fact checkers warn too much has been made of the Solyndra's failure.
The Department of Energy has provided close to $38 billion in loan guarantees for energy projects, according to the Washington Post, with Solyndra representing just 1.3 percent of that total.A complete video of Mitt Romney's speech in Exeter, NH is available on YouTube. Romney's remarks about Solyndra begin at the 8:20 mark: