President Barack Obama has gone on the attack against Mitt Romney for his career at the private equity firm Bain Capital and cast himself as an aggressive crusader for reform in the financial industry, but he took decidedly more friendly tone toward big business last night at a fundraiser hosted by Hamilton “Tony” James, President and COO of the private equity giant Blackstone Group. In his speech at Mr. James’ home in Manhattan, the president argued his focus on social programs is actually better for big business than the Republicans’ push for more tax cuts.
“I think all of us benefit from the freedom of free enterprise. But if you look at our history, what we also realize is that what makes our markets work and what allows us then to go out and pursue our individual dreams is that there are some things we’ve done in concert,” President Obama said. “There are some things that we’ve done as a common enterprise — making sure that our schools are teaching our kids the skills that they need to compete in a new economy; making certain that we’re investing in science and research so that the next medical breakthrough or the next great business idea takes root right here in the United States; making sure we’re investing in roads and bridges and airports and broadband lines and wireless networks that allow–that provide a platform for businesses and individuals to succeed; and making sure that we’ve got basic rules of the road in place so that the markets function in a transparent, clear way so that small investors have confidence if they invest on Wall Street they’re not going to get bilked by somebody who has more information than them.” Read More