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Romney aide: Bain debate welcome because it turns focus on Obama economic record

at 01:10 PM ET, 05/23/2012

A top adviser to Mitt Romney told reporters Wednesday that he welcomes a continued debate over the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s career at private equity firm Bain Capital.

President Obama this week defended his campaign’s attacks on Romney’s role in overseeing layoffs at some companies during his tenure at the buyout firm he founded as “fair game.” On Wednesday, Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said he thinks Obama’s focus on Romney’s successful business career brings more focus to the president’s stewardship of the economy.

“We like the fact that the discussion is centered on jobs and the economy and we intend to continue to talk about the plight of 23 million Americans today who are faced with either no employment or they’re stuck in part-time jobs when what they really want is full-time work,” Fehrnstrom said on a conference call with reporters.

Romney has not personally responded to the Bain attacks since Obama’s comments at a Monday news conference. Earlier Wednesday, aboard his campaign’s chartered plane en route to Washington, Romney declined to answer reporters’ questions about the issue.

Fehrnstrom said Bain Capital invested in about 100 companies during Romney’s time as chief executive. “Many of them are big brand names that you’re familiar with, like Staples and Sports Authority, and some of them were struggling and some of them could not be saved,” Fehrnstrom said. “That’s the nature of our free enterprise system.”

Fehrnstrom also said Romney helped create between 30,000 and 40,000 jobs in Massachusetts during his four-year term as governor.

“That is more jobs created in the tiny state of Massachusetts during Mitt Romney’s leadership there than President Obama has created in this entire nation,” Fehrnstrom said, adding: “We’re happy to compare Governor Romney’s record of success both at the State House in Massachusetts and as a businessman for 25 years in the private sector to the lack of real world economy experience of President Obama.”

 
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