In recent days, Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have backed off, to some extent, some harsh comments about rival Mitt Romney for what Perry called “vulture” capitalism in Romney’s work with Bain Capital, a private equity firm. The Democratic National Committee has not retreated. A few hours after Romney’s appearance in Aiken on Friday, DNC officials hosted a conference call with U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., S.C. Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, and S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney, D-Ridgeland. They touched on Romney’s record with Bain Capital and his business experience. “All of us have been closely in tune to Mitt Romney’s claim of 100,000 jobs created,” said James Clyburn, a cousin of Bill Clyburn. “We have source after source saying they can’t back up that claim.” Perry and Gingrich have been criticized by other Republicans for suggesting that many people unfairly lost jobs when Bain Capital, under Romney’s leadership, bought out struggling companies and sold them. James Clyburn suggests their accusations have been fair. “One Romney partner who worked with him for nine years said he never saw what they were doing in creating jobs,” Clyburn said. “What they were doing was creating wealth for their investors. That’s one of the reasons we can’t get Romney to talk about his job creation claims or release his tax records is because he would like to keep them from the public.” In a new television ad in South Carolina, a speaker states, “Mitt Romney helped create and ran a company that invested in struggling businesses, started new ones and rebuilt old ones, creating thousands of jobs. Those are the facts.” The American people deserve facts about Romney’s career in the private sector, Pinckney said. They shouldn’t equate his record with free enterprise. “Free enterprise isn’t running for president; Mitt Romney is,” said Pinckney. “People need to know his perspective, such as what would influence his decisions if he were president. Our economic crisis facing the nation was caused by a few people who were using one rule book for the 1 percent on the top. Mitt and his friends made money over those who had been in the middle class. The jobs lost to a plant in Gaffney went overseas.” Bill Clyburn focused on the record of President Barack Obama, citing his efforts to put people back to work and improve the economy. “When he began his presidency at the height of the worst economy, President Obama put Americans back to work and held Wall Street accountable,” Bill Clyburn said. “We are in a make-or-break situation for the middle class and those fighting to join it.” For years hard-working Americans have lost their jobs as factories went overseas, said Bill Clyburn. The president “will protect free enterprise while fighting for the economy and creating jobs,” he said. Senior writer Rob Novit has worked at the Aiken Standard since 2001. He covers education news and general assignments.
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