GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday dismissed criticism that as head of Bain Capital, he bought and sold companies that resulted in many layoffs, arguing President Barack Obama did likewise by bailing out and streamlining the automobile industry.
"I'm looking forward to having this debate with President Obama because as you know, he became a private equity owner," Romney told CNBC on Wednesday.
"He took over General Motors and Chrysler, and he shut down factories and shut down dealerships, laid off thousands of people as a result of that. And the reason he did that was to try and save the business."
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Romney, fresh off a victory in the New Hampshire primary, said he'd be glad to compare his record in the private sector with that of Obama.
"My job creation record in the private sector has created more jobs than President Obama has created in the entire country. I'll be happy to post up against him."
Republicans vying to knock Romney out from the top spot among GOP hopefuls have pointed out painting the former Massachusetts governor as a heartless corporate raider.
"There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business," Rick Perry said in South Carolina, where the next primary will take place, according to CNN.
Some Republicans, however, have rushed to Romney's side.
"I can't understand why Republicans would run against a Republican on the basis that he created jobs," former Sen. Judd Gregg, a Romney backer, told CNN.
"I think in this case Romney is on the right side of the issue."
Romney, meanwhile, added he wouldn't support a Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a way to drum up fresh revenues for the government. A VAT applies taxes to goods along the production chain, and allows governments to levy taxes without hitting more politically sensitive incomes.
"That's not something that I would support as long as there is an income tax," Romney said.
Romney has not endorsed a VAT tax although he has reportedly voiced interest in at least studying the idea in the past.
Lowering corporate taxes and tax breaks for the middle class will better serve the U.S. economy, Romney adds.
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