Photo by Samuel Kubani/AFP/GettyImages.
Bill Clinton predicted Thursday that President Obama will win reelection this fall "by five or six points," but the former president's half-full look at the general election contest was overshadowed by his somewhat unexpected praise of Mitt Romney's "sterling business career" as chief executive of Bain Capital.
"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 of the private equity industry during an interview on CNN, later adding that Romney's time in both the private and public sector leaves no doubt he'd be capable of performing the "essential functions of the office."
While Clinton isn't the first Democrat to come to the defense of both private equity in general, and Romney's tenure at Bain in specific, he's easily the most high profile to do so. (Sorry, Cory, but: former POTUS > Newark mayor.) His kind words for Romney's time at Bain also come during a time when the president's reelection team has done its best to paint the presumptive GOP nominee as a job-killing corporate raider.
But despite his defense of Romney's professional resume, Clinton said that it shouldn't be the deciding issue this November. "I think the real issue ought to be, what has Governor Romney advocated in the campaign that he will do as president?" he said. "What has President Obama done and what does he propose to do? How do these things stack up against each other?"