Obama’s Attack on Bain Capital Backfires: The President is Campaigning Against Profit
May 23, 2012
RUSH: This attack on Bain… I told you this was gonna happen. I told you this is why Obama wanted Romney. Way back during the Republican primaries I said Republicans are gonna nominate Romney. That’s what Obama wants because of health care, and because of Wall Street. That’s what Occupy Wall Street’s about, going after Romney. And Obama has now come out and admitted it, that this campaign is gonna be about Bain Capital. It’s backfiring everywhere you look, from Cory Booker to now Fast Eddie Rendell, governor of Pennsylvania.
All these Democrats are piping in, “Wait a minute, you know, we kind of like private equity, private equity guys.” They’re all Democrat donors. The private equity guys, the hedge fund guys, the Bain Capitals, these are the people that invest in the states these governors like, in projects these governors need and want, and these governors particularly like these guys, and these guys donate to Democrats in large part, including to Obama. In fact, Obama is the number one recipient of campaign cash from private equity people. Oh, yeah, he is. Even the governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, has come out and backed up Cory Booker. Everybody’s backing up Cory Booker except Cory Booker, who was taken to the woodshed and had to do his little video.
RUSH: This Bain thing? We’ve come to find out that this Bain attack was a central — it was one of the top three — Obama reelection efforts. And it’s backfiring on the regime!
Because it is Democrats who are coming out and defending the whole notion of private equity and Bain specifically. And you’ve noticed there’s talk about maybe Hillary being on the ticket? Let me tell you something, you Democrats: The problem is not Biden. He is a problem, but he’s not your reelection problem in 2012. Obama’s your problem! If you’re thinking about changing your ticket, look to the top of it. That’s your problem.
RUSH: Now, did you know that last week when the Obama campaign was attacking Bain Capital, Obama collected $2 million in donations from a private equity firm, Blackstone? Obama’s the number one recipient of private equity money. Bain Capital was run by a guy who was donating to Obama when Obama’s ad on Bain was relevant. Romney wasn’t at Bain during the time Obama’s ad criticizes what Bain was doing. But, anyway, all these Democrat governors — Deval Patrick, Fast Eddie Rendell, Cory Booker (the mayor of Newark) and others are coming forth.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait! I don’t like this attack on Bain because Bain is crucial, Bain is important, and Bain gives money to Democrats!” Now, according to the Boston Globe, “Obama has accepted $92,270 in his last two campaigns from employees of Bain Capital.” This is the Boston Globe. Employees at Bain have given Obama about $92,000. Democrat “candidates and committees have received more than $1.3 million from Bain Capital workers since the 2008 election cycle — double the amount collected by Republicans.”
So these “vampires,” as Obama calls ’em — and you know what Obama doesn’t like about private equity? All they do is look for “profits.” And when he says the word “profits,” he spits it out practically. He doesn’t like profits. He really doesn’t. He thinks profit is the root of all evil. He doesn’t like profits at all, and that’s what he criticizes private equity for being focused on instead of creating jobs. Well, I’m sorry. Private equity is not there to create jobs. That’s not what they do.
Oh, the other guy that came out is Steven Rattner, a big Democrat private equity guy. He’s Pinch Sulzberger’s best friend, or one of them, the New York Times publisher. Steven Rattner came out and defended private equity. He’s in the business. He came out and defended Bain after Obama’s attack on them, and he came out and defended the whole notion of profit-seeking. And it was Steve Rattner, Democrat fundraiser, who said that private equity’s job is not to create jobs. Now, Romney’s running around saying that when he was there, Bain Capital did create a hundred thousand jobs.
But that was in the process — was as the result of — companies that Bain invested in growing. But not all of them worked out. They invested in some losers. Welcome to real life! Not everybody wins in every investment. Not every investment pays off. People who understand capitalism, free markets, and risk-taking understand that. Obama, for some reason, doesn’t understand it, or does and resents it. So he’s out there ripping Bain Capital to shreds. Let’s go back to audio sound bites. Here is from this program October 6th, 2011. Last year, obviously.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I think, folks, the regime wants to run against Mitt Romney. That’s what I think. Here’s what I’m thinking. When do you think these Astroturf protests were first talked about, this Occupy Wall Street thing? How long have they been in the works, do you think? I have been asking myself this, ’cause this is not spontaneous eruption here. This is a well thought out plan. … Protests are needed ’cause the economy sucks, and these washouts would normally be protesting a Republican president who was responsible. Now they’re targeting “Wall Street” as if Wall Street’s responsible for the failure of Obama’s policies. That’s my point: They’re trying to blame the rich for these economic problems when it’s Obama and they’re targeting Romney as a Wall Street guy. So I think part of the reason this was concocted was to take Romney out after seeing to it that he’s the nominee.
RUSH: Let’s move forward. Late Monday afternoon in Chicago (this is the closing of the NATO summit), Obama had a press conference. There was a Q&A and a Bloomberg correspondent said, “Will comments from [Cory] Booker and your former auto czar, Steve Rattner, who’ve criticized some of these advertisements of yours, Mr. President, are they gonna cause on you to pull back a little bit against Bain? Generally, could you give us your sense of just what private equity’s role in stemming job losses is as they seek a return on investment for their investors?”
OBAMA: It’s important to recognize that this issue is not a, quote, distraction. I think there are folks who do good work in that area and there are times where they identify the capacity for the economy to create new jobs or new industries. But understand that their priority is to maximize profits. And that’s not always going to be good for communities or businesses or workers. And the reason this is relevant to the campaign is because my opponent, Governor Romney, his main calling card for why he thinks he should be president is his business experience. When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot. So to repeat, this is not a distraction. This is what this campaign’s going to be about.
RUSH: That’s right. This campaign is going to be about Bain. This campaign is going to be about Romney. This campaign is gonna be about people who unfairly pursue profit. I was exactly right. I was exactly right about this last fall when I said Occupy Wall Street was put together to go after Romney. James Pethokoukis, who is over at the American Enterprise Institute, has a post at the Enterprise blog where he quotes the president here saying, “Their priority is to maximize profits, and that’s not always a good thing for communities or businesses or workers.” Pethokoukis says, “I think the president doesnÂ’t fully grasp how dangerous his words are. If he had a true grasp of economic history, he would realize that it was only when business and profits and innovation began to be valued by society that we got the economic takeoff in the West that improved our average standard of living from $3 a day in 1800 to more than $100 a day today.”
Now, Pethokoukis believes that when Obama, the president of the United States, starts running around denigrating, impugning, and criticizing profits and free enterprise, that it is dangerous. And he asks, maybe Obama’s not fully aware of how dangerous his words are? He’s being generous, because I think Obama’s doing exactly what he’s doing. I think Obama knows exactly who he is. I don’t think there’s any question Obama’s got a chip on his shoulder about capitalism and free markets, the way this country was founded. He thinks profit seeking is evil, and he thinks that everything that comes with it is evil. And he thinks that profits equal poverty. He believes that profits is money that should be kept in the pockets of the poor. That somehow profits derive only from people being screwed, only from people getting the shaft. And so he’s gonna double down on Bain no matter What Booker says, no matter what Steve Rattner says, no matter what Fast Eddie Rendell says, and no matter what Mark Warner says or Deval Patrick. He’s gonna double down on it because that’s what he loves. It’s what he knows. It’s what he’s uncomfortable with. It’s what he doesn’t like. It’s what he’s passionate about.
RUSH: So Obama doesn’t like maximizing profits. He doesn’t like pursuing profits. And, by the way, if you make a profit in health care, you are going to be targeted. The left in general hates profits. They look at it as nothing more than people being screwed. But, doesn’t Obama do everything he can to maximize his fundraising? In fact, didn’t Obama evolve on gay marriage in order to maximize his fundraising? Let’s substitute the word “profits” for fundraising. It costs money for Obama — not his. But it might cost the DNC, it might cost somebody for Obama to go out. There are costs involved in fundraising. I mean $10,000 a plate. Somebody’s gotta pay for the food unless it’s underwritten, too, but the bottom line is there are costs. Fundraising is the profit, the net you end up with is the profit after all the expenses are included after the fundraising event.
This is why so many people don’t like certain charities. You donate a million dollars to a charity, you find out half of it’s used for administrative costs. But Obama does everything he can to maximize his fundraising, his own profits. So it’s okay for him to do it. I wonder if all these widows and orphans and public employee union people who have money invested in these companies think the company shouldn’t be trying to maximize profits, that they ought to be putting the community first, whatever the hell that means. The purpose of a corporation is not to create jobs. The purpose of private equity firms is not to create jobs. The purpose of a business is not to put the community first. This theory is so simple to understand.
A business is started by somebody who has a passion for a product or an idea and thinks it would truly benefit somebody, or it would make him rich if he could sell it, whatever. And in the process of growing the business, if it does grow, if he lucks out, then guess what he needs? He needs employees. Then what do the employees need? Well, they need health care benefits. But that’s not why the guy went into business. But it is success that makes all these things that Obamacare’s about possible. You’ve got to have profit. You have to have business success before you can have employees, before the employees can have benefits, and that’s what Obama is targeting, success. That’s what he wants to punish. What are these companies supposed to do, just invest in the community, work for nothing, everybody’s supposed to be a nonprofit? So Pethokoukis is right. The guy’s dangerous. I think he knows how dangerous is.
RUSH: I can’t think… Well, there’s maybe one exception. I can’t think of another presidential candidate in history who has ever tried to win the presidency by running against capitalism. Maybe Gus Hall, who was the perennial Communist Party candidate. But in the major parties, I don’t recall this. Now, I think Obama was running against capitalism in 2008 and nobody knew it. I knew it, because I know liberals, and I know liberalism. And my fervent wish is that everybody knows them as well as I do.
Every problem we have would be solved, pretty much. We could relegate these people to permanent minority status, electoral status, as they are in real numbers terms of our population. But it’s wide out in the open for everybody to see now. He’s running against profit? Profit is evil? There’s not a CEO in the country qualified to be president. I wonder how Warren Buffett feels about that. And Biden’s out saying the same thing, by the way. Yeah, Biden and Obama are reading from the same script.
“CEO? My job’s much different. Being president is much different. CEOs, all they have to do is worry about profit. I have to worry about the community. I have to worry about everybody getting a fair shake.” That’s not the job of the president. The president is supposed to enforce the Constitution, limited government. The president is supposed to promote liberty! The president is supposed to guarantee our freedom. Make sure everybody gets a fair shot? What’s that? Somebody define “fairness” for me.
Does anybody out there have the courage to try to call here and define “fairness” for me as you interpret it, the way Obama uses it? “My job as president is to make sure everybody gets a fair shot.” What does that mean? And what kind of power must the government have to do that? What kind of power must the president, Obama have to do that? If he sees his job as guaranteeing everybody a fair shot, do you realize the penalties and the punishment he can mete out on a whim simply because he wants to? That’s one of the reasons I’m convinced that Jim Pethokoukis of AEI finds this statement of Obama’s purely dangerous.
And it really is.
RUSH: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dan, thank you for calling, sir. Nice to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I heard your whole first hour about the private equity situation.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: And I went to a news conference — I just left it half hour ago — where Governor Jindal down here announced a $30 million feasibility study that’s gonna grow into an $800 million investment in a chemical plant. And the company that owns this plant is a private equity company. And it’s going to team up with a multinational to build a huge $800 million ammonia plant down in Louisiana. Now, that’s gonna be saving or helping to save 400 jobs that are already at the plant, and it’s gonna mean another 40 permanent jobs that pay $60,000 a year just in salary. No benefits, okay? So what you have here is you have a chemical company, a central chemical plant — you know, the industry that wants to be “crucified” by the EPA — using natural gas, which is a fossil fuel, for heaven’s sake —
CALLER: — being funded —
RUSH: Let me tell you something.
CALLER: — self-funded by a private equity firm. So you have the three things that are demonized by the Obama administration still rising to the top.
RUSH: This is why Cory Booker of New Jersey, of Newark, likes private capital, private equity. This is why Governor Patrick in Massachusetts likes it. It’s why Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania is speaking out for it. It’s why Steve Rattner likes it. These guys better not make a profit, though, or Obama will be after ’em.
CALLER: Well, it is viewed as a metaphor of the type of arrangements that these private firms can do, because they have the ability and they have the maneuverability to do it. And it’s going to mean a tremendous investment in south Louisiana.
RUSH: It is. But here’s the thing: It’s private money, it’s not government, and that’s why Obama doesn’t like it. It’s private money. It’s people taking a risk. But look at all the benefits that will accrue if it pays off, if it works. I’m telling you: Obama’s in trouble on this, folks. He’s running against capitalism. It can’t end well for him doing stuff like this. And this Bain thing is backfiring. All he sees is Romney when he sees Bain. He doesn’t even know what these private equity people do. All he knows is they earn a “profit” and that equals “bad.” Dan, thanks for the call.