"If you look at the totality of Bain Capital's record, they've done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses," he added. "And this, to me, I'm very uncomfortable."
"This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides," Booker said. "It's nauseating to the American public. Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop, because what it does is it undermines, to me, what this country should be focused on. It's a distraction from the real issues."
The above quoted came courtesy of Cory Booker. Although he still lends support to President Obama's re-election campaign, he doesn't like how his campaign pushed around poor Bain Capital. In fact, he equates such attacks on the private equity firm with those from the GOP on Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Don't ask. Perhaps it has something to do with Booker looking towards the future and how he will have to utilize his connections with financial big hitters for his future political aspirations. In that case, it was smart of him to springboard himself a considerable distance away from President Obama, in the event the president ends up tarred and feathered for being "anti-business."
The focus of Booker's (and many other's) discontent is a video focusing on Bain's acquisition of GST Steel in 1993 and the company's subsequent bankruptcy years later:
Not said in the current consternation swirling around the news outlets and Twitter is how Bain Capital managed a $40 million takeaway before directing the scraps to the garbage can. At the cost of thousands of jobs, of course. Even the authenticity of that "100,000 jobs" claim is suspect:
The claim that Romney helped create more than 100,000 jobs is difficult to prove. The campaign has said the figure comes from current statistics on three companies that Romney helped start or expand -- Staples (89,000 jobs), Sports Authority (15,000 jobs) and Domino's (7,900 jobs). However, the companies themselves, as opposed to Romney and Bain, may be responsible for the actual job creation since Bain's initial investment. The figure also does not include companies -- like GST Steel, which the Obama campaign and super PAC are highlighting -- where jobs were lost.
For some odd reason, private equity is sacrosanct, along with the rest of corporate America and the "job creators." At least that's the message I get from Booker and many others, including former auto czar Steve Rattner:
I think the ad is unfair. Look, 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 make profits for his investors, most of whom were pension funds, endowments, and foundations. and it did it superbly, acting within the rules and very responsibly and was a leading firm. So, yeah, 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.
Mitt Romney shouldn't be "embarrassed" about partaking in vulture capitalism, an exclusive pastime that's becoming as American as baseball and apple pie.
Could this all be a rather subtle way of telling Obama he should lay off the "job creators," lest he find his re-election chances that much dicier come November? Considering how the Citizens United case opened the floodgates for corporate participation in elections, it's easy to see his supporters on Wall Street get a bit uncomfortable if he starts attacking them just a wee bit too much. And it's also easy to see said supporters send a subtle signal for him to knock it off before they drown Mitt Romney in millions of campaign funds in retaliation.
And with those attacks off the table, it's assumed that the Obama campaign will scramble to whup on some other aspect of Mitt Romney, preferably one that not only doesn't matter in the realm of electoral chances, but could also result in fierce backlash for Obama and Democrats. Religion? Nah, they made it clear they wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole:
Mr. Axelrod also said that the Obama campaign had no intention of focusing on Mr. Romney’s religion.
“We’ve said that’s not fair game,’’ Mr. Axelrod said, when asked if he believes Mr. Romney’s Mormonism is an issue in the campaign.
Neutering the Obama campaign while pushing for certain types of Democrats to provide cover by denouncing strong criticism of certain issues surrounding Mitt Romney's campaign is something the GOP wouldn't mind happening. From the talk on Twitter, there are more people attempting to defend Booker's rationale for his statements than those who want to put the focus back where it belongs: on Bain Capital and its practices. It's a far-gone conclusion that the GOP will point to people in Obama's own party urging him to lay off Bain, Romney and the "job creators" when his campaign attempts to focus on this and other economic issues.
The man has plenty of cool points, but not nearly enough to cash in for throwing the GOP a nice, juicy bone.