President Barack Obama went after presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney this week for Mr. Romney’s work at Bain Capital, a private equity firm that restructured businesses that were facing bankruptcy. Mr. Obama attacked Romney’s experience in the private sector, saying: “Now I think my view of private equity is that it is set up to maximize profits, and that’s a healthy part of the free market.”
President Obama then added, “When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. Your job is to think about those workers who get laid off and how are we paying for their retraining.”
Obama then slammed Romney for campaigning on a business background.
“The reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Gov. Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. He’s not going out there touting his experience in Massachussets. He’s saying, ‘I’m a business guy, and I know how to fix it,’ and this is his business.”
The unemployment rate was at 7.6 percent in January of 2009 when President Obama took office and is currently at 8.1 percent. Some Democrats distanced themselves from President Obama’s attacks on Bain like Mayor of Newark, New New Jersey Corey Booker (who quickly back peddled) and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.
Senator Joe Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, spoke with the Washington Times affiliated radio program America’s Morning News on Wednesday. He believes that the private sector is better at picking winners and loser in the free market than government.
“I believe in the free enterprise system. I believe business and labor have to work together. I think if you have a good business, you’ll have good workers and if you have good workers then that’s a good place to work,” he said. “I think with the balance that we have, the markets have always done a much better job (in picking winners and losers in the free market) than what we’ve done in government.”