The Obama campaign isn't backing off the attacks on Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital – doubling down with its latest ad. Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, discusses.
Obama was asked about his campaign’s attacks on Romney’s experience in private equity. He insisted that the issue was not a “distraction.” And he made the case this way, per NBC’s Jordan Frasier: “I think there are folks that do good work in that area [private equity] and there are times when they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries. But understand that their priority is to maximize profits. And that's not always going to be good for communities or businesses or worker. And 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. … And, when you're president, as opposed to when you're 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.”
He added, “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. That doesn't mean you weren't good at private equity. But that's not what my job is as president.”
AP: “It was Obama’s most expansive argument yet against Romney, and the president delivered it from a world stage in his home town.”
Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama cast his race against Republican Mitt Romney as a contest against a private-equity executive whose goal was maximizing profits, while the president’s job is to ‘figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot.’”
The Boston Globe called it a “pointed defense.”
The Boston Globe on the Ampad attack: “The saga of SCM Office Supplies Inc. in Marion, Ind., was used by Kennedy in television ads and campaign trail appearances by SCM workers to undercut Romney as he mounted the most serious reelection challenge of Kennedy’s career. Bain-owned American Pad & Paper bought SCM in 1994, only to cut wages and benefits before closing the Marion plant a year later. Over 200 workers lost their job. By 2000, Ampad itself was declaring bankruptcy, while the Romney-led Bain and its investors had reaped over $100 million in profits.”
Priorities is using Romney’s GOP opponents against him in a new video on Bain.
Buzzfeed looks at Obama sometimes strains in corralling young, black leaders like ex-Rep. Artur Davis, ex-Rep. Harold Ford and Neward Mayor Cory Booker. “[F]ew figures have proven more troublesome than that cadre of black leaders, each of whom was seen at some point as a candidate for the post which only Obama will ever hold: First Black President,” Buzzfeed writes, adding, “The men have, for reasons of politics and personality, found themselves largely to the right of the president and well outside his inner circle.”
The reality is, though, as the story points out, Davis’s and Ford’s politics are more to the right of Obama because they were trying to win statewide in southern states, Ford makes millions from Wall Street, and as Davis says in the story, “Cory Booker has a very close relationship with a number of people in the private equity world and the hedge fund world.”
Birthers, birthers everywhere… As the Washington Post puts it, last week it was Arizona, now it’s Iowa: O. Kay Henderson: “The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party’s platform committee says the group is intentionally questioning President Obama’s citizenship with the wording in one section of the document. It calls for presidential candidates to ‘show proof of being a ‘natural born citizen’ of the United States.’
“Don Racheter, chairman of the Iowa GOP’s 2012 platform committee, spoke with Radio Iowa by phone this afternoon. ‘There are many Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ because his father was not an American when he was born and, therefore, feel that according to the Constitution he’s not qualified to be president, should not have been allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008, so this is an election year. It’s a shot at him,’ Racheter said.”
Rahm’s role: “President Obama’s reelection campaign is taking strategic advice from former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whom one operative described as the ‘Democratic Party’s Karl Rove,’” The Hill writes. “Emanuel, a friend of both campaign manager Jim Messina and senior strategist and fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, periodically weighs in ‘very clearly’ on what the campaign should be doing, a Democratic official said.”