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Romney campaign welcomes debate on Bain and jobs

WASHINGTON – Mitt Romney’s campaign, following several days of intense attacks on his experience at Bain Capital, said it welcomed the discussion.

“Look, we’re happy to compare Governor Romney’s record of success -- both at the state house in Massachusetts, and as a businessman for 25 years in the private sector -- to the lack of real world economic experience of President Obama,” Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior adviser, told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday morning.

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He touted some of the jobs that he said were created during Romney’s four-year term in Massachusetts.

“We have created 35,000 to 40,000 jobs,” he said. “That is more jobs created in the tiny state of Massachusetts, on a net basis, during Mitt Romney’s leadership there than President Obama has created in this entire nation.”

Democrats have criticized Romney’s job record in Massachusetts, noting repeatedly that it ranked 47th in the nation at the time.

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President Obama and his supporters in recent days have ramped up their attacks on Romney’s tenure running Bain Capital, saying he was a “vulture” who profited while others lost jobs.

“He’s saying, I’m a business guy and I know how to fix it, and this is his business,” Obama said at a Monday press conference. “When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits.”

Fehrnstrom, during a call to explain some of the education proposals Romney is outlining on Wednesday, defended Romney’s record at Bain.

“At Bain, during the period of time that Mitt Romney was lead that company, Bain invested in approximately 100 companies,” Fehrnstrom said. “Many of them are big brand names you’re familiar with like Staples and Sports Authority. Some of them were struggling and could not be saved. That’s the nature of our free enterprise system. But we like that the discussion is centered on jobs and the economy.”

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com

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