David Axelrod, senior advisor to President Obama’s reelection campaign, engaged in a contentious interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Monday over the appropriateness of attacks on the private equity firm Bain Capital. Mitchell and Axelrod spoke over each other several times as he attempted to explain an interview that Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker gave on NBCs Meet the Press on Sunday in which he appeared to contradict the Obama campaign’s messaging regarding former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s tenure with Bain.
Mitchell asked Axelrod for his thoughts on Booker’s assertion that attacks on Bain and private equity in general were “nauseating” and his apparent backtrack in a subsequent YouTube video. She asked if Booker was prompted to make that video as a result of being contacted by the White House, Axelrod said that he thought Booker had heard from “a lot of people who feel that it’s a legitimate issue.”
*Governor Romney offers his business experience as really his principle and only—really his chief credential for running for office. He never talks about his years as Massachusetts governor – I think for good reason, they weren’t stellar years. This is his argument.
Axelrod said that he was fond of Mayor Booker, but that he only agreed with what he said in his YouTube video explaining his statements on Meet the Press.
“He said that the attacks were nauseating,” said Mitchell.
Axelrod clarified Mitchell’s remark, saying Booker was “talking about the general tenor of the campaign…”
Axelrod said that Booker was talking about the negative attacks mounted by pro-Romney PACs. Axelrod went on to describe the callous nature of how the employees of the firms that Bain was brought in to restructure were usually hardest hit by their practices.
Mitchell again interrupted him, saying that former Obama White House advisor Steve Rattner told MSNBC last week that Bain’s record was perfectly acceptable and that the firm is in business to make money for their investors rather than retain jobs in failing firms.
“But that’s not the case that Mitt Romney is making,” interjected Axelrod. He went on to say that Romney should not be allowed to take credit for all the good that Bain did and avoid blame for the negative effects of his firm’s restructuring efforts.
Axelrod and Mitchell engaged in a crosstalk over the Obama campaign’s ties to private equity.
Watch the exchange below via MSNBC:
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