Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod defended the campaign’s continued attacks on Mitt Romney’s work with Bain Capital in an appearance on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports this afternoon. Mr. Axelrod said Bain is a legitimate campaign issue because Mr. Romney regularly touts his business career and because some of the episodes at the company are “disturbing.”
“Governor Romney offers his business experience as his principal and really his chief credential for running for office, he never talks about his years as Massachusetts governor and I think for good reason because they weren’t stellar years. This is his argument: ‘I was a businessman. I can lead the economy.’ So it behooves us to ask exactly ‘what did you do?’” Mr. Axelrod said. “Some of these cases are disturbing and deserve to be looked at. … He can’t walk away from this.”
Mr. Axelrod specifically cited GST Steel, a Kansas City company that went bankrupt while being managed by Bain. The Obama campaign has released an ad focusing on GST Steel.
“He was there throughout when they loaded this company with debt and he was there when they filed for bankruptcy,” Mr. Axelrod said. “He shared in the proceeds of that when they made money even as workers lost not just their jobs, but also their retirement benefits. And that’s not right.”
The Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain were criticized as “nauseating” Sunday by Newark mayor and campaign surrogate Cory Booker in an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press. Mr. Booker subsequently released a video clarifying his comments by saying the focus on Bain is legitimate because Mr. Romney has made his work there “a centerpiece of his campaign.”