(WASHINGTON) — Mitt Romney surrogate and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said Tuesday that he believes the Obama administration is “cherry picking” Bain’s record, offering a “distortion” to the American people by focusing only on the private equity firm’s failures in an attempt to tarnish Romney’s business record.
“I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game,” said Sununu on a conference call with reporters ahead of Vice President Biden’s campaign event in New Hampshire on Tuesday. “What you have to do is an honest evaluation.”
Sununu, citing figures from Bain’s own statement about its record, said that 80 percent of Bain’s investments were successes, and 20 percent were not, noting that that’s a “good batting average in the private equity business.”
“So if you want to go and talk about Bain as a whole that is fair,” said Sununu. “If you want to talk about Bain on a cherry picking basis, that’s a distortion.”
“You know, the free enterprise system is the American way of life, and when you attack free enterprise, you’re attacking the American way of life,” said Sununu. “The very things that the Obama administration would like to have happen, private equity invest to create jobs, they are now going out and attacking. It doesn’t make sense, but I continue to watch them do this.”
Sununu’s remarks come after two separate Obama campaign ads that focus on companies that went under after Bain invested in them: Ampad, a paper company, and GST Steel, a Kansas-based Steel company. Since the latest ad focusing on Ampad was released, several Democrats have come out against the attacks. On Meet the Press on Sunday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker called the attacks “nauseating,” and last week Former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner called the attacks on GST “unfair.”
“This is an attack that is in fact embarrassing, nauseating, and disappointing Democrats,” said Sununu, drawing on the Democrats’ remarks. “You had Democrats like former Congressman Ford, Mayor Cory Booker, former Gov. Rendell, Steve Rattner, who was the Obama auto czar, all of these folks who understand as Democrats the importance of private sector equity investments to create jobs are embarrassed as they said, nauseated, as they said, and disappointed, as they said, in these attacks by President Obama.”
“So if he’s going to, as he said the other day, if the campaign is going to be his discussions about Bain and his cherry-picking of the investments Bain made that didn’t work out, then the American public will join Booker, Ford, Rendell, and Rattner in being embarrassed, nauseated, and disappointed at this presidency,” Sununu said.
Lis Smith, a spokeswoman for the president’s reelection campaign, said in a statement, “Mitt Romney’s partners, employees, and top supporters have all been clear: his tenure at Bain Capital was about creating wealth for himself and his investors, not creating jobs. Those are the very same economic values he’d bring to the presidency. America can’t afford ‘Romney economics.’”
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