(WASHINGTON) — Steven Rattner, a former Obama administration adviser on the auto bailout, said in a television interview Monday morning that the new Obama campaign ad attacking Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital is “unfair.”
Rattner, who was known as President Obama’s “car czar,” also said that job losses — like the ones featured in the new ad — while unfortunate, are “part of capitalism.”
“Look, Mitt Romney made a mistake ever talking about the fact that he created 100,000 jobs,” Rattner said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Bain Capital’s responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors — most of whom were pension funds and endowments and foundations.”
The Obama campaign’s new ad tells the story of a Kansas City steel company, purchased by Bain in 1993, that subsequently went bankrupt.
One of workers who lost their job at the plant, Joe Soptic, appears in the ad and says: “It makes me angry. Those guys were all rich. They all had more money than they’ll ever spend, yet they didn’t have the money to take care of the very people that made the money for them.”
But Rattner insisted that the portrayal of the private equity firm that Romney ran was skewed in Obama’s ad.
“It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly, and was a leading firm,” Rattner noted. “I do think to pick out an example of somebody who lost their job, unfortunately, this is part of capitalism, this is part of life. And I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.”
Notably, Rattner has not shied away from criticizing Romney in other instances, particularly when it comes to the former Massachusetts governor’s view of the Obama administration’s bailout of the automobile industry.
In February, ahead of Romney’s speech at Ford Field in Detroit, Rattner penned an Op-Ed for The New York Times asserting that Romney was “dead wrong” on the “substance” of his objections to the bailout.
Rattner spent six months as a top adviser on the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler before leaving his administration post.
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