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How Sweet It Is..

- June 1, 2012

16 Democrats, Including Former President Clinton, Voice Their Disagreement With Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise

OBAMA SUPPORTER #1: FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON DECLINED TO ATTACK FREE ENTERPRISE, SAID ROMNEY HAD A “STERLING BUSINESS CAREER” AND IS QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT 

 

Former President Bill Clinton: "So I don't think that we ought to get in the position where we say this is bad work, this is good work. I think, however, 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, that's the most relevant thing. There's no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office, and you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold." (CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," 5/31/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #2: HOUSE MINORITY WHIP STENY HOYER (D-MD) AGREES WITH CLINTON ABOUT NOT ATTACKING FREE ENTERPRISE 

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “I Think President Clinton Is Correct. Private Equity Is A Very Important Aspect Of Growing Our Economy.”  CNBC’S ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: “Steny Hoyer, I want to talk about jobs and a lot of things but actually, react, if you would, to what Bill Clinton said about private equity and Governor Romney.”  REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD): “I think President Clinton is correct. Private equity is a very important aspect of growing our economy. Obviously there's good practices in private equity, there are bad practices. You criticize bad practices but not the whole enterprise itself.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 6/1/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER (?) #3: SENATOR JOE MANCHIN (D-WV) DEFENDED FREE ENTERPRISE, SAID MARKETS CHOOSE BETTER THAN GOVERNMENT

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) Defended Free Enterprise, Saying That The “Markets Have Always Done A Much Better Job Than What We’ve Done In Government.” SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I believe in the free enterprise system. I believe business and labor have to work together. I think if you have a good business, you'll have good workers and if you have good workers then that's a good place to work. … I think with the balance that we have, the markets have always done a much better job than what we've done in government.” (Kerry Picket, “Manchin - Private Sector Better At Picking Winners And Losers Than Gov't,” The Washington Times’ The Water Cooler, 5/24/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTERS #4 AND #5: NEW YORK SENATORS CHUCK SCHUMER AND KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND DECLINED TO COMMENT ABOUT OBAMA’S ATTACKS

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) And Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Declined To Comment  About Obama’s Attacks. “It is one of the most delicate topics within the party these days. Two Democrats with close ties to Wall Street, Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, declined to comment on Wednesday.” (Nicholas Confessore, “Strategy On Rival’s Career Holds Pitfalls For President,” The New York Times, 5/23/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #6: FORMER CLINTON LAWYER LANNY DAVIS DEFENDED FREE ENTERPRISE

Former Clinton Special Counsel Lanny Davis Defended Private Equity.  “Private equity firms often invest in distressed companies by putting in cash and cutting expenses in order to save a company that is already close to bankruptcy. Sometimes the investment works and the company and jobs are saved. And sometimes, to save the company, jobs need to be cut or wages and benefits reduced.” (Lanny Davis, Op-Ed, “Cory Booker Got It Right,” The Hill, 5/23/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #7: SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D-DE) SHOOK HIS HEAD “VIGOROUSLY” AS HE REFUSED TO COMMENT ON OBAMA’S ATTACKS

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) Refused To Comment On Whether Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise Were Within The Parameters Of What Coons Hoped The Election Would Be About. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told The Hill, ‘I think the average American … hopes that this campaign will focus on competing visions for how to strengthen our economy, help create jobs and move the country forward. ’ Pressed on whether he thought Obama’s campaign had operated within those guidelines, Coons paused. ‘I’m not going to comment on President Obama’s ad,’ he said, shaking his head vigorously.” (Cameron Joseph, “Democrats Balk At Obama Campaign’s Sustained Attack On Bain Capital,” The Hill, 5/22/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #8: SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “IT’S DONE. … GO ON TO OTHER THINGS NOW.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “It’s Done. … Go On To Other Things Now.”  “Despite pushback from more than a half-dozen Democrats, the Obama campaign on Tuesday defended how it has scrutinized Romney’s business background. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a widely respected member of Congress, stopped short of criticizing the president, but made it clear that the campaign should pivot. ‘It’s done,’ she said. ‘Go on to other things now.’” (Cameron Joseph, “Democrats Balk At Obama Campaign’s Sustained Attack On Bain Capital,” The Hill, 5/22/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #9:  UPDATED - GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK (D-MA) CALLED BAIN CAPITAL “A PERFECTLY FINE COMPANY”

Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) Praised Bain Capital, Calling It A “Perfectly Fine Company.” MSNBC’S DONNY DEUTSCH: “Governor, Donny Deutsch, picking up on the Bain thing. So, if I hear you, you really are agreeing with Joe that the Bain strategy is not a good strategy for the Republicans to follow, for the Democrats to follow?” GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: “Well, I think that the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussion. I mean Bain is a perfectly fine company. They’ve got a role in the private economy. And I’ve got a lot of friends there, and on both sides of the aisle. I don't think Bain is the point.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 5/31/12)

Governor Deval Patrick Said Bain Capital Is “Not A Bad Company.” CNN’S JOHN KING: “You're in a very interesting position this year. I want to start with… You're the governor of a state that Bain Capital calls its global home. It's right up the street in Lowell headquarters.”  GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D-MA): “Indeed.”  KING: “Are they a bad company?” (CNN’s “John King USA,” 5/22/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #10: FORMER DEMOCRAT CONGRESSMAN ARTUR DAVIS (SAID OBAMA IS DOUBLING DOWN ON “EUROPEAN LEFTIST” IDEAS ON FREE ENTERPRISE

Former Representative Artur Davis (D-AL) Said The Obama Campaign’s Attacks Follow “The European Leftist Notion That Business Is Fair Only When It Operates In A Sanitized, Risk Free Manner.” DAVIS: “It's hard to imagine a more instructive couple of days for those who want to know where the Democratic Party's head is at: its only high-profile African American moderate just got a brushback pitch for leaning in too close to the Independent thought zone; the Obama camp looks ominously like a cult of personality that tolerates no dissent; and the reelection campaign just doubled down on the European leftist notion that business is fair only when it operates in a sanitized, risk free manner.” (Artur Davis, “Should Democrats Stop Bain Capital Attacks?” Politico's The Arena, 5/22/12)

NOTE: “Obama Ally Artur Davis Leaves Democratic Party.” (Catalina Camia, “Obama Ally Artur Davis Leaves Democratic Party,” USA Today, 5/30/12)

Former Alabama Democrat Congressman Artur Davis: “If I were to run, it would be as a Republican.” (Artur Davis, “A Response To Political Rumors,” Artur Davis Website, 5/29/12)

  • Davis: “On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country.” (Artur Davis, “A Response To Political Rumors,” Artur Davis Website, 5/29/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #11: SENATOR MARK WARNER (D-VA) CALLED BAIN CAPITAL A “VERY SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS”

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA): “I think Bain Capital was a very successful business.” (MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” 5/22/12) 

OBAMA SUPPORTER #12: FORMER DNC CHAIR AND FORMER GOV. ED RENDELL CALLED OBAMA’S ATTACKS “VERY DISAPPOINTNG” …UPDATE: RENDELL SAYS HE’S EITHER/OR ON AGREEING WITH HOW OBAMA RUNS HIS CAMPAIGN

Former DNC Chair/Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) Said He Was “Either/Or” On Whether Or He Was With Obama Campaign On Its Attack Tactics.  MSNBC’s CHRIS MATTHEWS: “Governor Rendell, big question. Are you with the Obama campaign as it’s being run right now, or are you against it?” FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN ED RENDELL: “Well …  either/or.” (MSNBC’s “Hardball,” 5/22/12)

  • EARLIER IN THE DAY: Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) Said Obama’s Attacks On Free Enterprise Are “Very Disappointing.” “And Rendell joined the chorus of criticism of Obama’s attacks on finance, whose leaders have written checks to many members of both parties. ‘I think they’re very disappointing,’ Rendell said of the ads attacking Bain.” (Zeke Miller, “Is This Obama's Party?,” BuzzFeed, 5/22/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #13: FORMER CONGRESSMAN HAROLD FORD JR. (D-TN) DISAGREES WITH OBAMA’S ATTACKS

Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Said He Would Not Have Backed Off Mayor Booker’s Comments About Private Equity And Called Private Equity A “Good Thing In Many, Many Instances.” FORMER REP. HAROLD FORD JR. (D-TN): “I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker. I understand him wanting to make the point that legitimate questions can be raised about whether or not at Bain they made bad decisions about certain -overall, I agree with the substance – the substance of his comments on Meet The Press, I agree with, the core of it, I would not have backed them out. Having said that, I understand as a surrogate for the campaign, you have to have one of your key and most eloquent and most effective surrogates at least clarify or bring some context to his statements. But I agree with him, private equity is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 5/21/12) 

OBAMA SUPPORTER #14:  OBAMA SURROGATE MAYOR CORY BOOKER SAYS HE’S “VERY UNCOMFORTABLE” WITH OBAMA’S LINE OF ATTACK  

Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark, NJ):  “I have to say from a very personal level I'm not about to sit here and indict private equity. To me, it’s just, we're getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially, I know, I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses, and this to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 5/20/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #15:  FORMER OBAMA ECON ADVISER STEVEN RATTNER CALLED OBAMA’S AD “UNFAIR”  

Former Obama Economic Adviser Steven Rattner: “I Think The Ad Is Unfair… I Don’t Think There’s Anything Bain Capital Did That They Need To Be Embarrassed About.” “Former Obama administration auto czar Steven Rattner said Monday that the Obama campaign's renewed attack on Mitt Romney's time in private equity was ‘unfair.’ ‘I think the ad is unfair.’ Rattner said. ‘Mitt Romney made a mistake ever talking about the fact that he created 100,000 jobs.’…‘Bain Capital's responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors,’ Rattner said. ‘It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly,' Rattner said. ‘This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don't think there's anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.’” (Byron Tau, “Ex-Obama Adviser: Latest Anti-Romney Ad Is 'Unfair',” Politico, 5/14/12)

OBAMA SUPPORTER #16:  MAJOR OBAMA FUNDRAISER EXPRESSES A DIFFERENT SENTIMENT FROM OBAMA’S ATTACK ADS

Obama Bundler Don Peebles Questioned Obama’s Attack On Bain: “I Think It’s Difficult To Attack Or Demonize An Industry And Then Take Money From It.” “A top fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign expressed disappointment that he is taking money from the private equity industry while simultaneously attacking them to tarnish Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. Don Peebles, a Miami real estate executive who has raised more than $100,000 for the president’s campaign this cycle, told BuzzFeed ‘I think it’s difficult to attack or demonize an industry and then take money from it.’” (Zeke Miller, “Obama Bundler Decries ‘Vilification’ Of Private Equity,” BuzzFeed, 5/15/12)

  • Peebles: “I Think It’s Inconsistent … I Wonder Why The Leaders Of That Industry Are Supporting Him.” (Zeke Miller, “Obama Bundler Decries ‘Vilification’ Of Private Equity,” BuzzFeed, 5/15/12)
  • Peebles: “Any Type Of Attack And Vilification Of A Particular Industry Is Not Okay To Begin With …” (Zeke Miller, “Obama Bundler Decries ‘Vilification’ Of Private Equity,” BuzzFeed, 5/15/12)

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