Jerry Nadler and Jay Jacobs Do A Delicate Dance Around The Private Equity Question

Mitt Romney is currently on a fundraising swing through New York City and Democrats like Congressman Jerry Nadler and state party chairman Jay Jacobs used the occasion  to blast, as Mr. Nadler framed it, Mr. Romney’s economic “wizardry.”

Of course, neither Mr. Nadler or Mr. Jacobs would attack the financial industry with the same rhetoric as officials in other parts of the country — Mr. Nadler’s district contains many people who work in Wall Street and Mr. Jacobs undoubtedly raises plenty of money from that constituency as well.

“I don’t think the campaign is attacking private equity per se. Private equity is  a great business that very often rescues companies, restructures them and saves jobs,” Mr. Nadler said in response to our question about Democrats feeling skittish about the president’s rhetoric. “What the campaign is saying is that private equity can also be used by people with very little conscience to destroy companies, to take value out of those companies, to make profits for a few people and destroy lots of jobs. Mitt Romney — as head of Bain — did that.”

“Most private equity people do a fine job and help the economy and take fair profits,” he said later. “What the campaign is saying is not that there’s anything against private equity when done right, it’s against some people who do it wrong. Like Mitt Romney.”

Mr. Nadler’s argument was echoed by Mr. Jacobs. People who work in Mitt Romney’s field aren’t bad, but he the candidate still needs to be judged by his “ruthless” practices, especially as he has stressed his own business record in the campaign.

“He needed to practice a very ruthless form of business, and I’m not characterizing it as good or bad, but it’s just a very different type of business that needs to be done if you want to be President of the United States,” Mr. Jacobs said. “As president, you don’t have that luxury. You don’t have the luxury to be ruthless. Your constituency is everybody in America: the rich and the poor; the succeeding and the failing; the businessmen and the worker; and the strong and the weak.”

Jerry Nadler and Jay Jacobs Do A Delicate Dance Around The Private Equity Question