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Monday, May 21, 2012

"Big Bain Backfire", Romney Campaign Releases Ad With Booker's Words

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Obama: Bain's fair game

President Barack Obama on Monday defended his campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's business record, denying that they are a distraction or a side issue.

"This is not a distraction. This is what this campaign is going to be about," Obama said at a press conference in Chicago. "Both the upsides and the downsides are worth examining."

Obama's campaign is in the second week of an ad campaign about Mitt Romney's time as a private equity buyout specialist at the helm of the Boston-based consulting firm Bain Capital. Obama's campaign has highlighted layoffs and pension cuts at two firms as an example of Romney's business practices — firms and factories that were shuttered even as Romney's company made a profit.

"My opponent, Gov. Romney, his main calling card for why he should be president is his business experience," Obama said. "When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits."

"So, if your main argument for how to grow the economy was 'I knew how to make a lot of money for investors' then you're missing what this job is about. That doesn't mean you weren't good at private equity. But that's not what my job is as president," Obama said.

Obama repeated a claim that his surrogates have been making, saying that he is not attacking private equity as a practice.

"My view of private equity is that it is set up to maximize profits. And that's a healthy part of the free market. That's part of the role of a lot of business people," Obama said. "I think there are folks who do good work in that area."

Harold Ford: ‘I Agree’ With Cory Booker’s Remarks

Appearing on “Morning Joe,” former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford (D) said Monday he agrees with Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, who criticized the Obama campaign’s recent attacks on Mitt Romney’s time with the private equity firm Bain Capital over the weekend.

“I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker,” Ford, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2006, said on the MSNBC program. “The substance of his comments on ‘Meet the Press,’ I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out… private equity’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.”

Sources: AP, CBS News, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, Politico, Talking Points Memo

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