Obama campaign reacts to Clinton on CNN
June 1st, 2012
10:40 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaign reacts to Clinton on CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Obama re-election campaign is glossing over the off message positive comments former President Clinton made about presumptive Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, during an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight Thursday.

They are instead focusing on one line where Clinton described the tactics some private equity investors use.

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"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.

In the interview the former president said Romney's time at Bain Capital formed a "good business career," and he referred to that career as "sterling."

Asked by CNN to comment on a message that runs counter to the campaigns attack on Romney's record, the official insisted the key point was Romney was "good at making money for himself and his partners."

A spokesman for the White House, Josh Earnest, told reporters Friday aboard Air Force One that he didn't see any news value in Clinton's comments.

"It's not apparent to me that President Clinton made news in this interview," he said. "It seems that he was drawing the same kinds of conclusions and making the same argument that the president's re-election campaign has been making."

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Sydnium S. Washington, LN Commenter, HOTDOT

    Another smear, another dimming of Obama's win, I think.

    June 1, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Tracy

    This whole scenario is going to backfire BIG TIME on the dems. The fact that they would criticize a PRIVATE EQUITY firm for being good at making money for themselves is CRAZY, and the American people aren't going to like it. A part of our capitalistic society is about making money. That's the whole point of private equity. I hope the dems keep attacking him like this. If so, it's just another reason Obama will be packing up on January 20th.

    June 1, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Eric

    Now the GOP will start saying they are with Clinton. LMAO. Bain tactics will not create jobs. Romney's record in MA of being 47th of 50 states in job creation should speak to that. Oh yea, 36% approval rating, record per capita debt, 1 term, losing polls in that state by 18 points. Clinton carried Arkansas, a red state.

    June 1, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Sniffit

    CNN acts like "glossing over" things isn't the primary job of the MSM.

    June 1, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. S White

    Just another example of Obamas team totally disregarding the truth in a statement and spinning it into a fabrication for the purpose of misleading their weak minded followers into blindly going down the path to their own distruction. Does the economic situation in Europe not give any indication as to our future if we continue down the same path that led to their financial black hole.

    June 1, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Darryl

    Thats what Romney did, strip and destroy companys for profit only.Thats why the people do not like him.

    June 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    The Obama campaign didn't focus on the "I created 100,000 jobs while at Bain" aspect enough. The message has gotten away from jobs, and re-characterized into an attack on capitalism. Good messaging job by conservatives.

    June 1, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. go

    the people that scream the loudest are usually the first in line for goverment money,like to see a list of how much goverment money romney and trump have taken from the tax payers in the last 20 yrs in there buisness dealings

    June 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Wake up people

    We all know neither of the Clintons have fully gotten over 2008. If anyone believes EITHER of them is a staunch supporter of President Obama, I've got a bridge to sell you. I see it in Hillary's face each and everytime she speaks. She didn't even rally her supporters to come over to team Obama, which is why many of them didn't vote for him. They might be fooling the rest of you but not me. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to pull the wool over my eyes.

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Cody

    hahahahaha, the dems are screwed.

    June 1, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. RealityBites

    Ironically.., right after CNN's story on "Why politicians lie and why we want to believe them"

    June 1, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Sniffit

    Where was CNN when the GOP "glossed over" the fact that there were no "death panels" in the ACA? Where has CNN been as the GOP "glosses over" the fact that the deficit and debt, even the portions accumulated during Obama's first term, are primarily a direct result of the Bush tax cuts, unfunded wars, unfunded prescription drug overhall? Where has CNN been as 40 years of randian trickle down deregulatory reaganomic unicorn fart ideological daydreams have had the EXACT OPPOSITE effect than what was theorized and promised? The list is extensive. And yet, quite quick to jump on an Obama "gloss over" aren't we? I guess CNN's executives really really want a 20% tax cut for their 7 figure salaries even though the math shows it explodes the deficits and debt.

    June 1, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Myviewis

    Thank goodness all those Bain Capital employees have a paycheck that can be used to contribute money to the Obama re-election campaign. As always Clinton is the smarter of the two, he recognizes the huge amount of people employed by Bain Capital companies which is a result of Romney's doing.

    June 1, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  14. Jules

    I think that Clinton was right. Romney was good at making money for himself and others and didn't have to worry or didn't worry about what happened to the people that lost everything. Unfortunately, that mentality will not work when you are president just as it didn't work when he was governor. We had an MBA president who touted himself as a business man – someone who knew about business and he was an economic disaster for this country. There are a lot of people that think the federal government should be run like a business, but then the BOD doesn't have to answer or wait for Congress, does it?

    June 1, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    Bain capital is private equity capitalist created to ship job to China for a reason called GREED.

    June 1, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Steve, New York City

    I think that Bill Clinton probably had a good point on this topic. Nevertheless, I am sometimes suspicious of his motivations (what gives, Bubba? U still a little pissed that they chose Biden over your wife?).

    June 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Hindsight 20/20

    Of course Mitt did well as a businessman. Particularly, for his investors but not so much for those who got steamrolled in the process. When you're president, you're not just there for the few or to simply profit. You have to look out for all Americans.

    June 1, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. Debby

    We know what Bill Clinton meant CNN and he is right Romney's record was sterling, he made money and created jobs in the process which otherwise those companies would have gone down the tubes without Bain's help.

    June 1, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Gurgyl

    Private Equity firm for profit and china...

    June 1, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. cali girl

    Bain was in business to make money, plain and simple. If that meant a company would be bankrupted, Bain still got their money. You can't say that for the poor company that went bankrupt, or the employees who not only lost a job but lost their entire pensions.
    This just shows that Robmey has no humility or connection to the lesser off folks of America.
    What is Robmey going to do with Foreign Issues? Just Bomb, baby Bomb? With President Obama we have ended one war, getting ready to end another and caught and killed a prime terrorist Bin Laden.

    June 1, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Against all Odds

    Pres Obama submitted a jobs bill last Sept 2011 to the Repub congress ... But wait...
    They are sitting ion it along with many other bills. Do the research. It is the R party holding up things so this economy will tank in hopes that Pres O. Will too They have another think coming!

    The R party are un Americans, hateful deceitful and will be the ruin of America if we don't fight harder.

    Obama/Biden 2012!

    June 1, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. franklin

    What makes for biased reporting? This report is subtlely biased in its dry brevity. What Clinton said is absolutely devastating to the Obama campaign's primary argument and narrative, not merely "off message" as it is characterized by Lothian. So the writer is working on behalf of the Obama campaign by mischaracterizing and minimizing the negatives. Given the disastrous parameters of the story, this rearguard cover is the best Lothian can do for the campaign at this time, because the actual truth (Clinton's comments) is itself news, and can't be covered up at this point.

    For future reference during the campaign season, always remember: if there is a mainstream media story that cuts against Obama yet can't be completely reframed – (for example, the media reframing of the Obamacare attacks on religion into a "war on women" over "contraceptives") or kept out of the publiic's awareness altogether (for example, the MSM un-reporting and virtual media silence concerning the fact that dozens of religious orders and denominations – representing close to half of American adults – are suing the Obama administration for First Amendment violations), then look for this sort of "no-real-story-here" ho-hum minimizing and downplaying. "Move along, people, move along!"

    June 1, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Lizzie

    Wait, wait, the whole thing is taking out of context, here is what I really said.

    June 1, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Ironically.., right after CNN's story on "Why politicians lie and why we want to believe them"

    Nothing Romney says is the truth . He will do , say anything to win.

    His five sons who avoided military service would be proud of him .

    June 1, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Fair is Fair

    Axel-nob stumps in, of all places, true blue MA.
    The campaign runs damage control for, of all people, Bill Clinton.

    I love the smell of desperation in the morning.

    Romney 2012. The Alternative Won't Do It.

    June 1, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |