(CNN) – Opponents calling into question Mitt Romney's tenure as the chief executive of Bain Capital are "attacking the American way of life," according to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a top surrogate for Romney's presidential campaign.
Speaking on a conference call Tuesday, Sununu said he was outraged Democrats would attack Romney's track record at the private equity giant.
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"I am amazed at listening to President Obama and Vice President Biden attacking free enterprise in general, and their specific attacks on Bain," Sununu said. "The free enterprise system is the American way of life, and when you attack free enterprise you're attacking the American way of life."
Over the past week and a half, Democrats have used web videos and television ads to paint Romney as a job killer during his tenure at Bain. They have focused on companies that were acquired by the company and later went bankrupt. Representatives for Obama's campaign have been careful to add they aren't attacking private equity as a whole, but rather trying to assess the "lessons and values" Romney learned while in the business.
Sununu did concede that Bain was "fair game" in the presidential campaign, but said Romney's record at the firm needed to be presented in its entirety, not in bits and pieces.
"I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game," Sununu said. "What you have to do is do an honest evaluation. The Bain record is about 80% they were able to save jobs at companies, and 20% when they invested in companies that were in such bad shape they weren't able to save jobs."
Sununu's assertion echoed a response from Bain Monday, which released a statement decrying the recent ads and touting the firm's successes.
"Despite political attacks that emphasize the few companies that have struggled, the facts are that during Bain Capital's ownership, revenues grew in 80 percent of the more than 350 companies in which we have invested," the statement read.
Obama's campaign was quick to pounce on Sununu's claim, releasing a statement calling it "dishonest."
"John Sununu's dishonest attacks ignore the reality of Mitt Romney's record in the public and private sectors: his focus wasn't on creating jobs, it was about creating wealth for himself and his investors, no matter the cost to workers, companies or communities," Danny Kanner, an Obama campaign spokesman, wrote.
Sununu said the Romney record at Bain was "certainly better than the batting average in trying to save jobs in alternative energy," referring to the Obama administration's role in Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar energy firm that received millions in federal subsidies. Sununu pointed to that company as evidence of failed White House job creation policies. The constant attacks on Bain are simply cover for a poor record on economic growth, Sununu said.
"This administration has been a failure," Sununu said. "The Obama administration has been an abject failure. What you see with the attacks on Bain is an effort of President Obama to hide his failed presidency from the voters of America. I think it's a disgrace for him to pretend that his attacks on Bain are anything else but character attacks on Gov. Romney."