He described Mitt Romney as having "among the highest" liabilities of any businessman in the United States. "There are two types of businesses in America now. There are businesses that are people investing and collaborating to solve America's problems; working on energy efficiency, health efficiency, infrastructure, problem solving," he said. "There is a second class of businessperson that was invented in the past 30 years of this country who exploits their ability to borrow money at the risk of this nation, the very same risk we bailed out in 2008." He criticized Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Mitt Romney co-founded and that undertook many leveraged buyouts during his tenure. "Borrowing other people's money to do so and then taking other people's jobs is not capitalism. It is exploitation."
(Video above via MSNBC.)
He said the Republican presidential debates -- with the slight exceptions of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman -- had ignored systemic problems. "Explain to the American people why our banking, trade and tax code all prevent money from being invested into the innovation this country needs in energy, health, education and infrastructure," he said. "Instead, trade, tax and bank policies, all three of those things which control the flow of money to America or from America, and those policies are basically removing the money and the jobs as a result."
He said Americans were prevented from discussing systemic problems because of the influence of money in politics. "Whether your issue is the environment, prison system and incarceration of young minorities, whether it's gun rights, asthma, the food supply, corn in the food that's creating diabetes, whatever it is you want to talk about, you are being prevented from having the natural redress of this democracy and the government resolving that for you because of the dependency that our politicians have on money."
Ratigan's book, "Greedy Bastards," comes out Tuesday.
Ratigan, Arianna Huffington and Deepak Chopra will discuss the role of big money and corporations in politics Tuesday at ABC Carpet & Home at 6:30 p.m.