Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani defended Mitt Romney’s business career during an appearance near Richmond Friday, saying the Republican presidential candidate’s sole responsibility in the private sector was to make money, legally, for investors.

Rudy Giuliani (Robert Barker/AP)

In a series of TV ads airing heavily in Richmond, President Obama claims that Romney’s work for the private equity firm resulted in American jobs being sent overseas. Obama dubs him “outsourcer-in-chief.” The Romney campaign has disputed those charges, asserting that overseas operations created with Bain’s help actually resulted in the creation of more jobs at related businesses in the United States.

Giuliani’s defense took a different tack.

“Forget all these ads that Obama is putting up — probably because he’s jealous,” he told the crowd at the grand opening of Romney’s Henrico County campaign office, his 25th in the state. “The man was fabulously successful at Bain doing what you legally are supposed to do at Bain, and doing it legally. And he made a fortune. God bless him. I’m not jealous. I’m not envious. I just want to read his book and follow his program.”

In attending the opening in a suburban office building west of Richmond, Giuliani served as a high-profile surrogate for Romney one day before Obama also visits Henrico — territory that Pete Snyder, chairman of the GOP’s 2012 Virginia Victory Campaign, told the crowd was “the number one battleground in the number one battleground state.”