Well, what else is former auto industry czar Steve Rattner supposed to say? After all, he quarterbacked the layoffs of tens of thousands of auto-dealer employees in the Obama administration-imposed dealership closures. Moreover, he did so for the exact same reasons Bain had in operating their private-equity turnaround business, which is to make companies and industry stronger through greater efficiency. However, on Morning Joe today, Rattner went a little further, praising Bain’s integrity and reputation:
“I think the ad is unfair. 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 his investors, most of whom were pension funds, endowments and foundations. It did it superbly, acting within the rules and acting very responsibly and was a leading firm,” Ratner said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday.
“So I do think to pick out an example of somebody who lost their job unfortunately, this is part of capitalism, this is part of life. And I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about,” he said.
No, but Team Obama might. Fact-checkers have already noted that Romney had left Bain two years before the steel plant’s closure. Glenn Kessler gave Team Obama two Pinocchios for the same thing last month. Having an Obama adviser throw a red flag on Morning Joe underscores the economic illiteracy and hypocrisy behind this attack even further.
Update: Nice catch by Robert Costa at the Corner, who remembered something I’d forgotten:
Left unmentioned (and blameless) is Jonathan Lavine.
Lavine, according to the Los Angeles Times, is a top Obama bundler and a managing director at Bain Capital. Lavine, who has raised over $100,000 for the president, was at the firm when GST Steel declared bankruptcy. So according to the Obama team’s logic, Romney, who had left Bain, is responsible for GST Steel’s demise, but Lavine, who was there, is not? Expect to hear more about this connection.
More from the LAT article in January:
Obama also picked up at least half a dozen fundraisers from the finance sector, including one managing director of Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by his possible GOP rival Mitt Romney. Jonathan Lavine, the chief investment officer of Bain affiliate Sankaty Advisors, was also an Obama fundraiser in 2008, but only joined the reelection effort in recent months, raising between $100,000 and $200,000.
That should be good for a few laughs in a debate if Obama has the nerve to raise the issue, eh?