During a press conference Monday afternoon, President Obama hit back against critics — including surrogate and Newark Mayor Cory Booker — who have expressed disappointment over his campaign’s effort to attack Mitt Romney’s record of job creation at Bain Capital, a leveraged buyout firm the former Massachusetts governor headed from 1984 to 1999.
“The reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president, is his business experience,” Obama said. “He is not going out there touting his experience in Massachusetts. He’s saying, ‘I’m a business guy, I know how to fix it.’” Obama explained that while private equity is “set up to maximize profits” for shareholders, the president is responsible for the health of the economy as a whole and fostering job creation:
OBAMA: But understand that their priority is to maxmize profits. And that’s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers…And when you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everyone 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? Your job is to think about how those communities can start creating new clusters so they can attract new businesses. Your job as president is to think about how do we set up an equitable tax system so that everybody is paying their fair share that allows us then to invest in science and technology and infrastructure, all of which will help us grow. And so, if your main argument for how to grow the economy is, ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors, then you’re missing what this job is about.’
Romney has placed his career at Bain the center of his campaign. On several occasions he has asserted that, while at Bain, he was responsible for creating 100,000 jobs. Multiple independent fact checkers have concluded that Romney’s claims on jobs are simply false.