June 1st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
8 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. carlos

    Myviewis.....stop defending the poosy mittsy volture capitalist, you do not make any sense at all......

    June 1, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota


    Lynda: I love you brain-dead parrots .... I HATE you liberals so so so so very much. Tipping point even.

    Goodness. Perhaps you might want to take a detour ... I don't know ... maybe give politics a rest for a bit. This all seems to be a bit too much for you to handle right now.

    I offer you peace wherever you go.

    June 1, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. carlos

    Four and The Door, you are just as clueless as Myviewis

    June 1, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Allyse

    Clinton is a sane man...that I now know

    June 1, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012


    I think they might be the SAME person. LOL

    June 1, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Four and The Door, you are just as clueless as Myviewis
    I'm still searching for a clue about why Democrats are nominating Obama in 2012. Are they giving up that easy? Certainly there are many qualified Democrats who can make a run at it without all of the baggage this guy's bringing to the campaign! Why haven't some of the big Democratic donors brought someone else along? They can't be happy with Obama's odds this year. Not after 2010.

    June 1, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. John

    At this point Romney and Obama are both 'qualified' by their backgrounds to be POTUS. But as Clinton asks, where to from here? Romney wants to further cut taxes for the 1%, because he still believes against all evidence that magically creates jobs. It does not, else the massive cuts Bush pushed through in 2001-02 would have had different results by 2008. And that is ALL Romney has in mind, I hear no other discernible ideas from him. (He intentionally holds his cards close and tight, but I fear they are in fact blank.) Obama is struggling against horrific forces, not least being inertia in Congress fueled purely by Republican obstructionism. Meanwhile, Obama has been a great CIC, something Romney can only carp at. So damned if I'm gonna switch horses in mid–stream for an untested loud-mouth.

    June 1, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  8. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Clinton has never forgiven Obama for taking the nomination away from Hillary. Now it is payback time, especially since Clinton realizes that Obama will not be reelected in any case.

    A typical bit of Slick Willy political back-stabbing (he smiled as he stuck the knife in).

    June 1, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. Packman 1001

    I'll cut taxes for the rich and with the money they save and reinvest, I'll cut taxes for their capital gains. They will end so rich that they are bound to buy something with it...right? of course the other 99% will have less money and buying power...I promise to fix that when I am re-elected in 2016..... Mitt Romney

    June 1, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Packman 1001

    If Obama loses then Hillary can run in 2016 and easily beat Mitt Romney who will have done nothing but cut taxes for the rich for 4 years and we will be in a great depression.....Hillary in a walk! (good move slick Willy:)

    June 1, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    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?

    First of all, it's none of your business – but since you asked and I just enjoyed my shopping spree, I'll let you in on a secret which you don't want to hear, I AM EMPLOYED and you couldn't afford one day of my salary. Now go back to stocking the crates at Staples.

    June 1, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    Wow, I think Democrats are really ignoring their own experts who realize today's unemployment numbers will be hard for Obama to ignore and if these numbers don't get better Obama will have a hard time selling people hope for jobs for the future.

    June 1, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    At this point Romney and Obama are both 'qualified' by their backgrounds to be POTUS. But as Clinton asks, where to from here? Romney wants to further cut taxes for the 1%, because he still believes against all evidence that magically creates jobs....
    Actually, Romney wants to further cut taxes for the 100%. EVERYONE. What's Obama's offer? Let me give you a hint. Raise taxes. And if you think he will stop at billionaires, you have not been paying much attention to his spending.

    June 1, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. cali girl

    Jobs were created, The report says so.
    And the President is one person, the congres is filled if people who say no to Job Bills and bills for construction, roads and highways. So it is ALL of the governments fault if this is not working.

    June 1, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Investment Advisor

    @woman in California... You spend too much time on this blog so if you do have a job , its a government job . And by the way what is none of my business? Sounds like your putting the cart before the horse. You seem to have all the answers before being asked the questions!

    June 1, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Myviewis

    @Woman In California

    Investment Advisor
    Wow, I had a feeling you were rich by the way you write. Congratulations on doing so well for yourself.

    June 1, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. LG

    When was it that Clinton became the messiah. Everyone in the media has the preoccupation with Clinton to a point where his word is gospel. This man's morals are suspect and yet his word is correct. Time to look at the source and where it leads us. Clinton and his fold are not the answer to the dynamics of this world. As a final note nepotism is a live and well with this family. Does that say anything

    June 1, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Steve

    L G:

    Clinton has been the messiah since 1991. At least that's what most mainstream networks would have me believe.

    June 1, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. dnick47

    At LG. Simply because he was the last successful President we've had. Full employment. Surplus. Etc.... Bill Clinton will go down as a Great President in spite of his shortcomings. Wish he could run again.

    June 1, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. dnick47

    My my who the Foxies vent. So use to hearing things the way they want to hear them; then some "liberal" steps in with the truth and shatters their ideal world view. Grow up baby. Honest adults can have differences of opinion. The fine lady from Minnesota said nothing to provoke such a childish outburst. You owe her an apology if you have the guts to muster it.

    June 1, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. drewsco

    This is simply another attempt at the same strategy that the GOP has been employing for ages. Mischaracterize a comment or point of view in a manner thats favorable to team Romney and/or the GOP.

    The GOP knows that the American voting public is so dense that most times, they fail to see the distinction.

    Ann Romney mastered this tactic when she mischaracterized Hillary Rosen's comment about working women.

    I think the Democrats need to be hypersensitive to these mischaracterizations and exposed them immediately if they want to win this race.

    June 1, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. Gimmeabreak!

    1) Romney used investor money to produce success after success. 2) Obama used OUR tax dollars to produce failure after failure. I know who I'm gonna vote for.

    Romney all the way!

    June 1, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. Ins1te

    47th out 50 states in job creation for governor Romney. Private business experience does not make one a job creator for the government. Get real.

    June 1, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. BasicJustice

    I don't care what either of the Clintons think. They, what they do and what they think has enthralled the media for 30 years. Their tiny thoughts and actions are the perfect consumer disposable. They must have a full time team on board during every election cycle making sure their every move is covered.

    June 1, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. T'sah From Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Romney smiles at Clinton compliment◄
    And you best believe he thinks it's HEAVEN SENT
    R-Money truly believes that he's on CLOUD NINE
    But little does he knows it's just a matter of TIME

    Clinton is smarter than what most want to give him credit for
    R-Money will admire anyone for that 50/1% to get in that WH door
    He's so dumb he does not realize he's being set up for the kill
    He’s an “easy take” – gullible – and easily “suckered” into a cheap thrill!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 1, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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