With a little selective editing by both presidential campaigns, Governor Deval Patrick helped President Obama and Mitt Romney in the same interview Thursday morning.
Shortly after Patrick’s appearance on MSNBC, the Romney campaign began circulating a 30-second clip from a roughly 7-minute interview, in which Patrick defended Bain Capital, the maligned private equity firm Romney ran for 15 years.
“Well, I think that the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussion,” said Patrick, who is a co-chair of Obama’s reelection campaign. “I mean Bain is a perfectly fine company. They’ve got a role in the private economy. And I’ve got a lot of friends there, and on both sides of the aisle. I don’t think Bain is the point.”
The Obama campaign has produced ads criticizing Romney and Bain Capital. The point of the ads, Obama and spokespeople have said, is not to judge the virtues of Romney’s business practices but to argue that experience in private equity does not qualify him to be president.
But the ads have clearly cast Romney as a villain, with featured workers calling him a “vampire,” a “job destroyer” and “just the opposite of Robin Hood.”
After the Patrick interview, the Obama campaign began circulating its own, 50-second clip in which the governor accuses Romney of breaking campaign promises, an argument that dovetails with the campaign’s newest ad.
“He sold to the people of Massachusetts when he was running for governor the same lines he’s trying to sell to the United States and it just didn’t happen that way,” Patrick said. “He told us he would be about creating more jobs. We were 47th out of 50 in job creation during his time in office. He said that he would shrink government and make it more efficient. In fact, government grew in size in terms of the workforce. He told us he would bring fiscal discipline and left a structural deficit of over a billion dollars. So the record, which is relevant and indeed his only experience in public leadership, in government leadership, doesn’t point to the case he’s trying to sell to the American people today.”
Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.