Jim O'Toole reviews the Obama camp attacks on Mitt Romney's business past, many of them through Bethel Park's Randy Johnson (above), who was laid off from his job after a Bain takeover:
Beyond the inevitable posturing of the political season, the controversy over the lessons of Mr. Romney's business background stems from the fact that both the candidates and his critics lump together two different issues. Mr. Romney speaks about his record of helping to create jobs, but his chief responsibility at Bain was, appropriately, the interests of his investors.
Mr. Booker and another Obama ally, former auto czar Steven Rattner, have criticized the attacks on Bain as an unfair indictment of investment banking. But the Romney campaign itself has left room for controversy with an emphasis on Bain's role as a jobs creator.
At different times, Mr. Romney has estimated the number of jobs he helped create as 10,000 or more than 100,000. His chief communications aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, endorsed the higher number in an MSNBC interview Monday. But the documentation behind those figures, according to various media fact-checking efforts, remains murkily imprecise. Mr. Romney has counted jobs at Bain success stories, such as the big box store, Staples, that came into being after he left the investment firm.
Hey look -- it's Ed Rendell courting second-day contrarian controversy, from Buzzfeed:
“I think they’re very disappointing,” Rendell said of the ads attacking Bain. “I think Bain is fair game, because Romney has made it fair game. But I think how you examine it, the tone, what you say, is important as well.”
UPDATE 9:43 AM. Rendell's comments have already been highlighted by the Romney camp:
"Two days after Mayor Booker first called President Obama's attacks on free enterprise 'nauseating,' another leading Democrat – former DNC Chair and former Governor Ed Rendell – is rebuking the president. Governor Rendell and Mayor Booker are among those who recognize this election is about the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work, not desperate political attacks from a president who doesn't have what it takes to get our economy moving again." – Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson