Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Bain Spat Could Spark Real Debate on Role of President Bain Spat Could Spark Real Debate on Role of President

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Bain Spat Could Spark Real Debate on Role of President


Der US-amerikanische Praesident Barack Obama gestikuliert am Montag (21.05.12) in Chicago (USA) bei einer Pressekonferenz zum Abschluss des NATO-Gipfels. Obama hat den Europaeern kraeftig die Leviten gelesen. Diese muessten "begreifen, dass das Euro-Projekt mehr bedeutet als eine Waehrung", sagte er zum Abschluss des NATO-Gipfels in Chicago. Notwendig seien eine "engere Koordinierung auf der finanz- und geldpolitischen Seite und fuer die Wachstumsagenda". Der US-Praesident forderte insbesondere eine Geldpolitik, die reformwilligen Laendern "eine Perspektive fuer mehr Wachstum, Jobs und hoehere Einkommen gibt". (zu dapd-Text) Foto: Michael Gottschalk/dapd  (Michael Gottschalk/DAPD)

Cory Booker may just have done a favor for President Obama -- or at least for voters who like clarity in their politics and would like to have the candidates spell out for them what they think the campaign is all about. The Newark mayor, a rising star in his party, annoyed many Democrats when he said on Sunday that the Obama campaign's attack on Republican Mitt Romney's actions  was among those ads he finds "nauseating." But when Booker's comments came up in the only domestic note in a press conference otherwise dedicated to foreign policy and summits, the president was ready to pounce.

(RELATED: Why Obama Is Doubling Down on Bain Attacks)

And he certainly was not backing down from an attack the White House sees as critical to his electoral fate. In fact, the president left no doubt that Romney will not get away, as he did in the primaries, with casting his years at Bain Capital as time spent creating jobs. And, as a bonus, the answer provided voters with the clearest explanation yet from the incumbent of what he thinks a president is supposed to do.

Twice in his response, the president insisted that questioning Romney's days at Bain is "not a distraction," adding emphatically, "This is what the campaign is going to be about." He was scornful of Romney's contention that somehow Bain is out of bounds. Noting that Romney is promising to "fix" the economy, he said, "And if the main basis for him suggesting he could do a better job is his track record as the head of a private equity firm, then both the upsides and the downsides are worth examining."

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter