June 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
11 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. Anonymous

    "Woah, a moment of honesty? This man is no Democrat, all Democrats must lie and hate 24/7. no exceptions. Let us remember that the President has shown his hate and it is a million times worse than Rush Limbaugh, as Obama said on Univision those who don't support his politics are enemies who need to be punished, Obama's own words."

    New records in hyperbole are being set daily on CNN. Despite the claim here, scientists are trying to determine if it is even possible for something to be "a million times worse than Rush Limbaugh". Since righties hate science though, I'll just point out that President Obama never spent three days defaming a female college student. Game. Set. Match.

    June 2, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Andrew

    "Guess lib never heard of Solandra, might want to check out fair and balanced news, that is if you want the truth, your post makes that highly unlikely."

    Well, I guess you never heard of Haliburton or the oil and security contracts, made between the Bush administration and its investments into a company which benefited from the invasion of another.

    "Barack Obama has received more money from BP than any other politician in the entire history of that company."

    remember that giant oil spill that filled the gulf? In order to help clean up the damage they caused to the region. It may not have been as severe as expected but of course they will have given the administration the most money of any other.

    This robingme you spew endlessly about must be Democrat hero John Corozine, does lib care where the 2 trillion went? No way, as long as the guy has a little d after his name then he can do wrong right Joe?

    June 2, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Lee

    President Clinton said that the real election is about the individuals vision for America not about smear attacks. HE IS RIGHT! The problem for President Obama is that the people don't like the way he has run the country and can't run on that. As Justice Sotomayer said recently "can't you see that argument isn't selling well here."

    June 2, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Sue: "I personally believe that there are many Democratic Politicians who are hoping that Obama loses in November-so that he is not able to destroy the Democratic Party for good, if he is given 4 more years!!"

    In your dreams, sister! Everyone with a working brain knows that President Obama's policies are succeeding, in spite of all the Repub efforts to bring him and our country down.

    And please answer me this: Mittens is proposing GW Bush's policies, which brought our economy to its knees, took the Clinton surplus and turned it into a deficit through trickle-down voodoo economics and allowed 9/11 to happen on his watch.

    Why in the WORLD would you ever vote for someone who's going to take us down that road to ruin again?

    June 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  5. OK

    Ummmmm, Sue- depending on which independent review you look at the Keystone Pipeline will add somewhere between 1400 and 5000 mostly temporary jobs. That is NOT a job creation plan.

    June 2, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Liz the First

    Business experience does not translate into success in government any more than business success makes someone a good surgeon! and it's going to be coming out soon just how dismal his record in government was when he was a governor. we have a president who has done as good a job as the rethugs in congres would let him with the mess THEY MADE! our economy would be a lot better off now if the rethugs hadn't kept him from doing what needed to be done just so they could call him a failure now. to reward them for this treasonous behavior with the presidency would be a travesty of the highest order. surely we're not that stupid!

    June 2, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    All this proves is the Democrats have no "eleventh commandment" abolishing speaking out against someone in the party.

    It also shows Dems have no reason to fear the GOP Brownshirts all marching in lockstep with their "purity test(s)"!

    June 2, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. Cheryl Jefferies

    I hear Obama is now blaming the American people, the citizens, for HIS failures. He's claiming we suffer from "Republican Fever." ????? Oh, well...at least he didn't mention Bush this time.

    Actually, though, he has the completely wrong disease: what we truly suffer from is "Obama-itis." And, unlike Republican Fever," which manifests itself in common sense, patriotism, spending limits, cuts in ridiculous regulations and totally stupid spending, maturity of thought and actions, acceptance of responsibility, good work habits and ethics, compassion based on genuine care and not on welfare ideology, a refusal to become a slave to the STATE, and work and jobs for those who are able (even if they're NOT WILLING)...well, I'm afraid "Obama-itis" is FATAL. To America, to Americans, to work, to jobs, to a decent life, to the Constitution and to liberty and freedom. Gee, I frankly think I'd rather have "Republican Fever." It doesn't sound like it's too bad.

    June 2, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Thomas

    Mack Wolford, who was 44, was bitten by his yellow timber rattlesnake at an evangelistic event in a state park about 80 miles west of Bluefield, in West Virginia’s isolated southern tip.

    He enjoyed handling snakes during worship services, but it’s a tradition that has killed about 100 practitioners since it started in the east Tennessee hills in 1909.

    Romney 2012

    June 2, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Clinton , we will make you King , if you keep praising King , or 3 more days , we promise .

    By the way , thanks for seeing , the mess we see and some fear , for the existence of our way of business nd every day living .
    Plus , the class war sht is scary .

    June 2, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. David

    I think we're going to be surprised to see who and just how many people are supporting Romney come November. Actually, when you think about Obama's record, it might not come as that big of a surprise after all.

    June 2, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  12. Denver Mon

    It's time to change the record, and start speaking about things that matter like our Infra-structure which is crumbling . OBAMA 2012

    June 3, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. Mike

    All it does is prove that Obama and his people are grasping at straws in their ads trying to destory their opponent. The dems are always touting Clinton and his policies and having a balanced budget so if he is impressed with Romney it sounds like the Republicans may be on to something with their choice.

    June 3, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  14. marine1978

    Every once in awhile Bill Clinton gets it right. Compare what the two have done and propose to do as president. We know what President Obama has done and he wants to continue doing the same. We know what Mitt has done and what he wants to do as president. There are no real mysterys to Mitt's past but Obama is another matter. Axelrod and his crew just love to rip everyone apart with dubious facts. Yet Axelrod hardly ever talks about Obama's past. Why all the big secrets on his college grades and such. If you were so great a student to get on the Havard Law Review and be an editor why not shout that loud and clear on your resume to be president? Why hide it? If Obama was such a great lawyer why not site what he accomplished in that field? What about the truth on why he volunitaryly surrended his law license? What did he accomplished as a community organizer? Come on if you are going to attack someone like that then you better show how your past school and work experience is better and why. But if you hide it and run away from it then I have a problem.

    June 3, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
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