Reactions to Bill Clinton's Bain Capital bombshell are beginning to come in. Appearing on CNBC this morning, Mitt Romney thanked the former President for his kind words about the company saying, "I'm happy President Clinton called my record superb."
In his appearance on CNN
last night, Clinton made a point of saying that the work done at Bain
Capital was "good." He also referred to Romney's record as "sterling."
This directly undercuts a line of attack the White House had been
pushing with attack ads that described Bain Capital as a "vampire."
Clinton's remarks don't seem open to misinterpretation, but that hasn't stopped the White House from trying to spin them.
Asked for reaction by CNN, an unnamed White House spokesman tried to
focus on one line in which Clinton criticized some private equity tactics.
However, this misses the thrust of Clinton's remarks, which were decidedly
positive toward Bain and Romney's work history. Here's the exchange from last night:
Clinton: When you try, like anything else you try, you don't always succeed. Not every movie you made was a smash hit.
Guest Host Weinstein: That's for sure.
Clinton: So, I don't think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work. This is good work.
Clinton's decision to break ranks is already
creating new wrinkles the White House will need to iron out. Appearing
on CNBC this morning, Rep. Steny Hoyer was asked about Clinton's remarks
and had this to say (video below):
I think President
Clinton is correct. Private equity is a very important aspect of growing
our economy. Obviously there's good practices in private equity; there
are bad practices. You criticize bad practices but not the whole
The White House is going to have a tough time spinning its way out of this.