Mitt Romney, fighting back against criticism from rivals over his business background, said on Wednesday that he plans to counter by making an issue of the Obama administration’s involvement in several controversial private-sector matters.
Romney cited the administration’s authorization of a loan guarantee for Solyndra Corp. in 2009 that was followed by the company’s bankruptcy and layoffs. The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination also brought up expensive loans to Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive to build electric cars and the intervention to help save Chrysler and General Motors.
“I’d like to look at Barack Obama’s record,” Romney told reporters while flying from New Hampshire to South Carolina. “So as we talk about my experience in the private sector, I'll talk about his experience –- he’s now been a venture capitalist in Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla and he’s been a private-equity guy in General Motors and Chrysler.”
Obama is likely to tout his overall record in seeking to boost the clean-energy sector, and he has made much of the fact that Chrysler repaid its auto bailout loan in full six years early.
Romney also shrugged off the attacks coming from Newt Gingrich and his other rivals over his record at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm that opponents say unfairly laid off people and caused economic damage.
“I was surprised to see Newt Gingrich as the first witness for the prosecution, but I don’t think that’s going to hurt my efforts,” he said. “Frankly, if I can’t take a few shots coming from my colleagues on the Republican side, I’m not ready for Barack Obama."