An infamous photo of young executive Mitt Romney with money pouring out of his pockets has been the subject of Democratic and Republican attacks alike. But the presumptive nominee says it was a “moment of humor.”
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek on his way to a Chicago fundraiser, Romney explains that the photo was taken after Bain Capital’s first successful investment of $37 million.
“We thought it was a miracle that our group had been able to be so successful in fundraising,” he said. “And ultimately we were able to yield for them a very attractive return by such investments as Staples, which was in our very first fund.”
The ad, he said, was a happy memory: “We had a great group of people, each one of whom I think of fondly.”
In the interview, Romney acknowledges both his successes and failures at Bain, and said that when an investment did not grow and succeed, he was disappointed.
“And those results being typically: You lose your money and people can lose jobs,” he said. “That’s always devastating. And I learned that not every business will be successful, even those that have been carefully selected and thoroughly evaluated.” Later adding: "I have never believed in my own ability to succeed at everything."
The Obama campaign and groups that support it have attacked Romney for some of the actions Bain took, such as closing factories and firing workers.
The interview with Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel took a somewhat awkward turn, however, after he asked Romney about his Mormon faith and the “disproportionate number of political and business leaders.” Tyrangiel, speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, said Romney gave “an elegant dodge of that specific question.”
“I don’t know that I have an answer for you on that,” Romney said.
The interview then shifted to policy, where he offered a familiar yet unspecific breakdown of how he would get the economy rolling once again: cutting taxes for small businesses and shrinking the size of government, among other initiatives. Tyrangiel said Romney “had to go," and was "a little impatient with the questions.”
“Ask one question,” Romney said after trying to end the interview early. “But I’m holding up traffic in Chicago trying to—I’ve got the Secret Service and all the press and we’re stopped in front of a place of business. So shoot.”