Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick defended President Barack Obama Tuesday on his campaign’s effort to portray Mitt Romney as a job killer, but he said Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney ran for years, is “not a bad company.”
“No, they’re not a bad [Boston-based] company and nobody is saying they are, including the president,” the Democrat told CNN’s John King Tuesday evening.
“You know, it’s a remarkable thing if you take a little step back to see how good the Republicans are at changing the subject,” Patrick said. “This is not about Bain. It’s not about private equity in general. It’s about a guy who is holding himself out to be a job creator whose record is fair game at doing that.”
Patrick’s comments set off a flurry of activity in both the Romney and Obama camps, according to the Boston Herald
The Romney campaign put out an edited video and transcript of Patrick’s comments to make it appear as though he was defending Romney’s work at Bain, which did sometimes cut jobs to save companies or make them more profitable.
At the same time, the Obama campaign team put out an unedited version of the video and transcript to make it clear that Patrick was defending the president’s attacks on Romney, who preceded Patrick as governor of Massachusetts.
“I get that some people just think the whole idea of private equity is bad and doesn’t contribute,” Patrick said in the King interview. “I’m just saying I’m not one of those people. But I do think that it is fair to ask whether a person who represents himself as having a record of creating jobs has actually done so, and we’ve seen a number of examples made public recently of that not actually happening.”
Patrick, who called himself “an enthusiastic supporter” of the president, said he has turned aside requests from people who have “encouraged me to go out and hammer away at my predecessor.”
He said Romney “has always been a gentleman to me.”
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