President Bill Clinton veered sharply off message Thursday, telling CNN that Mitt Romney’s business record at Bain Capital was “sterling.”
“I don’t think that we ought to get into the position where we say ‘This is bad work. This is good work,'” Clinton said. “The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”
Clinton also went on to say that Romney’s time at Bain Capital represented a “good business career.”
The Obama campaign is in the third week of an all-out assault on Romney’s time as a corporate buyout specialist – accusing the GOP nominee of bankrupting companies and laying off workers all while pocketing a profit for himself and investors.
But the negative tenor of their attacks on an influential segment of Wall Street have made some Democrats uncomfortable. Clinton is the highest profile Obama surrogate so far to show discomfort with the attacks on Bain, with the former president even praising the company and Romney’s record. Newark mayor Cory Booker and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also both declined to press the attack against Bain.
In Booker’s case, he released a YouTube video clarifying his comments after calling the Obama attacks (and Republican counter-attacks on Obama) “nauseating” – all while being publicly chastised by top Obama staffers.
Clinton went on to predict that Obama would carry the day in November, and would beat Romney handily.
“I still think the president will win by five or six points. I’ve always thought so,” Clinton told guest host Harvey Weinstein, filling in for Piers Morgan.