Obama Defends Bain Attacks on Romney

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Yes, it was a press conference at the NATO summit, nominally about global politics and economics, but in an election year it's no surprise the second question for President Barack Obama was about Newark Mayor Cory Booker's criticism of his campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney.

"It's important to recognize this issue is not a distraction," Obama said of his campaign's ads attacking Romney's record at Bain Capital. "Understand that their priority is to maximize profits," he said, according to Talking Points Memo, which has the best early rundown on the president's remarks. But "when you are president as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, [your] job is not simply to maximize profits ... Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country gets a fair shot." Booker, who's frequently described as an Obama campaign surrogate, has backed off his characterization of the campaign's attack ads as "nauseating." In his remarks at the NATO summit, Obama gave no signal he planned to back off the attacks. "If your main argument for how to grow in the economy is ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,' then you are missing what this job is about," he said.

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