Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday elaborated further on his tenure at Bain Capital, saying in a Fox News Channel interview set to air Wednesday that he sometimes paid others more than he paid himself “because I thought they were doing a better job.”
“I didn’t see myself as a boss,” Romney said when asked what kind of boss he would have described himself as when he helmed Bain in 2001.
“I saw myself as someone that would help organize extraordinary people. And the people that worked at the firm I worked in were exceptionally bright, highly motivated with extraordinary insights, a number of them better than I on a series of dimensions.”
He added: “And I wasn’t always the highest compensated. I was the guy that set the compensation, but I paid other people more than I paid myself because I thought they were doing a better job.”
The interview comes as the Obama campaign is doubling down on its attacks of the GOP nominee’s background in private equity, a strategy that some Democrats acknowledge is not without risk.
Romney has responded to the attacks by accusing Democrats of engaging in class warfare, an argument he reiterated Tuesday.
“There’s not a nation that divides people based upon whether they’ve been successful or not,” he said in the Fox News Channel interview. “We don’t say, ‘Oh, boy, this person won the lottery and therefore they can’t understand me.’ We instead look at people and celebrate their success and their achievement and we look for people who have the skills we think will make our lives better.”
The “real need in America,” he argued, is to help the middle class and the poor increase their socioeconomic standing.
The interview was a rare joint one with the candidate and his wife, Ann Romney.
Asked what her husband had been like at a boss at Bain, Ann Romney described him as “the hardest-working person” she has ever met besides George Romney, the candidate’s father and the former governor of Michigan, who was “a crazy man.”
“But he -- crazy good, crazy unbelievable good,” she clarified.
Mitt Romney said in the interview that his father’s nickname was “The Brick.”
“That was his nickname, ‘The Brick,’” he said. “Just solid. Just couldn’t penetrate.”