June 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Romney smiles at Clinton compliment

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Friday embraced a comment made by Bill Clinton the previous night, in which the former president praised Romney's private equity career, despite a recent flood of Democratic attacks against the presumptive nominee's corporate resume.

Romney defended his former firm, Bain Capital, on Friday and pointed to its record of successful investments compared to its small minority of buyouts that later went bankrupt.

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"I think Bain Capital has a good and solid record," Romney said in a CNBC interview. "I was happy to see President Clinton made a similar statement today and called my record superb."

The former president, however, used the word "sterling" to describe Romney's business career instead when he discussed the candidate in an interview on CNN Thursday.

"The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold," Clinton said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

The comment raised eyebrows among many Democrats, who have been highly critical of Romney's business experience over recent weeks.

"I don't think that we ought to get into the position where we say 'This is bad work. This is good work,'" Clinton continued.

He later added: "I think the real issue ought to be, what has Governor Romney advocated in the campaign that he will do as president? What has President Obama done and what does he propose to do? How do these things stack up against each other?"

While Republicans have since seized on the comments, using them to counter recent Democratic attacks, the White House brushed off Clinton's remarks on Friday. A spokesman told reporters aboard Air Force One that he didn't see any news in the remarks.

And the president's re-election team also glossed over the remarks, focusing instead on one line where Clinton described the tactics some private equity investors use.

"Invest in a company, run up the debt & force people to lose their retirement and fire them," a senior campaign official pointed out in paraphrase.

However, Clinton was making a comparison of two kinds of investors. Those who buy, strip and destroy companies for profit, and others also driven by profit, but with the goal of making the companies better, even though they too can fail with equal consequences.

Also see:

Obama campaign launches assault on Romney's Massachusetts record

Obama campaign releases third set of Spanish ads

Gonzales says Romney must make personal connection to Hispanics

Wisconsin guv up in third straight poll


Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Mitt Romney
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. pm

    Clinton went on to say that comparing the two candidates ideas about the economy, Obama's plan has a much better chance at succeeding and will help many more Americans and Romney's plan will only help the people who don't need it...Clinton, unlike the gOP, wants to look forward and create ideas to help us in the future, so he's critical of Obama's attack on Mitt because of Bain...I think Obama should just replay all of the remarks the GOP and Tea Partiers have made about Mitt over the past sevral years, especially over the past year. Expose the etch-a-sketch for who he really is...

    June 1, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Joan

    Actually what Pres. Clinton said is basically true but I wouldn't be surprised if he and the Obama campaign had this all planned. Pres. Clinton is pretty shrewd about what he says. He really said that Romney was good at his job at Bain which means he was great at making money for who? -the 1%. This actually ties into what the Obama campaign has said all along that he is tied to big business, would work for the rich 1% and is miles away from knowing what the middle class needs. Pres. Clinton then went on to say that Pres. Obama would do a better job but of course the media doesn't cover that and the Republicans cherry picked the part they thought would look good for them. Pres. Clinton will clarify this you can be sure and it will come back to bite the Republicans.

    June 1, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Bill Clinton complimented Mitt Romney and all hell breaks loose? Give me a break. Would that more politco's complimented each other instead of trying to destroy each other with false innuendos ... oh, I don't know ... of where a candidate was born or who his daddy was.

    Fact is Mitt may have been a great business man and very good a what he did. What he didn't do, however, was create jobs. Either at Bain, or in the past decade or so since he's been running for President. No jobs he is willing to discuss at any rate.

    June 1, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Investment Advisor

    Just dropped in to see what the looney left is up to... Lynda/Minnesota and Woman in California....Very insightful posts...How about putting your efforts into finding one of those Obama jobs?

    June 1, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    This is not going to bite the Republicans. People heard what Clinton said about Romney.

    June 1, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will Mittens acknowledge that he did not create hundreds of thousands of jobs at Bain? That was his claim, but Bain is not in the business of creating jobs, their success is in a profit for their investors.

    June 1, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Julie Deckert

    You know all this talk doesn't mean much we have heard all this before. What we need to remember is that the Republican party is they favor big business at the expence most of us in what used to middle class.

    June 1, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    Democrats, keep trying to deny Romney created jobs, the more you deny it the more everyone knows about Romney's creating jobs. The only ones that are foolish is you guys for continuing to mock, trash, bad mouth Romney and Bain Capital. Is not like people don't know who Romney is and has been for many, many, many years. Seriously, most people don't live under a rock like you guys.

    June 1, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door asked:

    Yeah, because in your world bankrupt companies employ more people?!?! Tell us how that works, Rudy.
    --------------------
    Two words. Bain Capital.

    If you wish to be bamboozled into thinking "80% of Bain investments returned a profit" equates to "80% of Bain investments created jobs" be my guest. Mitt Romney doesn't fool me, and he hasn't fooled many people in the past with that tranparent lie. He has lost most elections running on that platform, in case you have not noticed.

    June 1, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. Expat American

    President Clinton is a private citizen; so he can compliment anyone he chooses and in the manner that he chooses too.
    But Romney and/or his supporters are naïve to take this as an endorsement of any kind.

    June 1, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    Bain Capital....CHINA for Jobs!!!

    June 1, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Investment Advisor

    Just dropped in to see what the looney left is up to... Lynda/Minnesota and Woman in California....Very insightful posts...How about putting your efforts into finding one of those Obama jobs?
    -----------------–

    To what purpose? I've lived out my 30+ years of employment and am now enjoying my retirement years to the fullest.

    June 1, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. fuolber

    Lynda: I love you brain-dead parrots. How many jobs has Obama created in his LIFE? Better yet, how many real jobs has he ever had in his life? He's an incompetent president in over his head because he believes in a lot of theory his puppet masters passed down to him. He has no real-world experience so he doesn't know how damaging his regulate and tax policies really are to us that are trying to run businesses, but have to jump the faqing gov read tape at every corner. Then they send in big brother to monitor our business so they can fine us. Didn't know private businesses had bosses now did you? You like being told how to live your life? I HATE you liberals so so so so very much. Tipping point even.

    June 1, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    @Rudy NYC – I hate to tell you but all those thousands of people employed by Bain Capital companies are looking at their paychecks and I'm sure they're glad not to be standing in the unemployment line. Lucky for you not to be standing in the unemployment line and it sounds like you have never been in the unemployment line. These employees are not into all this foolishness you write, they are into getting a paycheck.

    June 1, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    Will Mittens acknowledge that he did not create hundreds of thousands of jobs at Bain? That was his claim, but Bain is not in the business of creating jobs, their success is in a profit for their investors.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    As it turns out the way to really profit in Private Equity is to make companies successful. Fortunately, successful companies do a much better job at employing people and creating jobs than bankrupt companies. It's not a stretch, Wire. It really works this way. It's predictable and repeatable.

    June 1, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. David

    Almost 2 years ago today I heard the repubs saying, " elect us – we know how to create jobs", so is the jobs report a reflection of their job creating skills?

    June 1, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. you are stupid

    Julie do you really think that your precious democratic party is not working for big business and all the liberals in
    Hollywood which is actually the biggest part of that 1%. Seems to me they are crooks. And Obama doesn't know what the middle class needs anymore than Romney does.

    t

    June 1, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Myviewis

    Democrats, keep trying to deny Romney created jobs, the more you deny it
    -----------
    No. Democrats keep trying to ask Mitt Romney where did he create "100,000 jobs while at Bain" and Romney has only one answer. "Pres. Obama has made things worse."

    Can you tell me where Mitt Romney created 100,000 jobs while AT Bain? No. No one can.

    June 1, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Julie Deckert

    That's exactly what I'm talking about. Thanks Rudy nyc.

    June 1, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. ARM

    Looks like indirectly Bill is asking people to vote for Mitt.

    June 1, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Bing

    Clinton knows this is no longer his center driven Democratic Party – it’s shifted left with Obama's goal of emulating European countries that are economic failures. Obama is an amateur and Clinton and Romney know it. We all have proof now and how anyone could want four more years of no jobs and a stuttering economy is amazing to me. Obama cannot even man up to mistakes but instead still blames everyone but himself. It’s really quite pathetic. In the real world we fire people for that and it’s going to happen in November.

    June 1, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Myviewis

    @Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will Mittens acknowledge that he did not create hundreds of thousands of jobs at Bain? That was his claim, but Bain is not in the business of creating jobs, their success is in a profit for their investors
    -----------------------------

    In order for these companies to run they have to have employees but you obviously don't work or you would know that a company needs employees to run, to exist, to function, thus those employees have jobs, jobs and Bain Capital has companies that have employees, lots of employees. Why don't you get a job so you'll understand how companies function everyday.

    June 1, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are celebrating in the streets because of the jobs report, that's right people, they are celebrating over your loss.

    June 1, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    David
    Almost 2 years ago today I heard the repubs saying, " elect us – we know how to create jobs", so is the jobs report a reflection of their job creating skills?
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    They have passed many excellent jobs bills. Certainly unemployment would be below 8% if the Senate and Obama didn't shoot down most of them. It turns out the Democrats would be in a better position for November of they weren't so hyper-partisan and killing all of the jobs bills passed by The House.

    June 1, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. Facts Matter

    Checks the facts follks when Mitt was governor, he did not create jobs he lost them. Also, at Bain, his job was to make money for folks, at all costs, which ended up being peoples lives. Listen to their stories, he did not care about folks then, he still sings the same tunes, and does not care now. Does he think he can walk in the first day and make sweeping changes? What are the specifics on ANY policies he is talking about, he won't tell anyone. Also, the Dems need to stay on point like the Reps do with their talking point memos. Debbie wasserman schultz needs to get her act in gear as she has already screwed up Wisconsin by coming in too late. Don't screw this one up also Deb!!! Can't take more republican nonsense and rich get richer schemes on the backs of the middle class.

    June 1, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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