Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. said Monday that he would not have walked back New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker’s surprising comments criticizing the Obama campaign for attacking private equity.
“I would not have backed off the comments if I were Mayor Booker,” Ford, a Democrat, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “The substance of his comments on ‘Meet the Press,’ I agree with the core of it. I would not have backed them out… private equity’s not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances.”
Of course, the evidence makes clear that Ford was correct, and Booker was as well–before he decided to claim that he didn’t mean a thing he said:
The basic Obama-liberal critique goes like this: Bain buys a company, loads it with debt and then sucks out cash before foisting the wounded business upon an unsuspecting buyer or a bankruptcy court. In the risk-taking world of private equity such a scenario can certainly happen, and it’s true that Bain likes management fees and dividends as much as the next partnership.
But then how to explain the history of Bain Capital? Mr. Romney started the business in 1984. The company has since bought and sold many businesses and executed thousands of financing transactions.
If Bain’s standard operating procedure were to hand the next owner of one of its companies a ticking bankruptcy package, how is Bain still finding buyers nearly three decades later? And who would agree to lend money to a company backed by Bain? Wouldn’t word have gotten around by, say, 1987 that Bain’s portfolio companies weren’t creditworthy?
Good points. Don’t expect the Obama campaign to address them in any way, however. They are too busy getting their man elected to bother telling any of us the truth.