Mitt Romney top adviser Eric Fehrnstrom repeated the questionable claim that Romney had created over 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital while defending the former Massachusetts governor against attacks from the Obama campaign.
"When you create value, when you add value as they did in trying to improve companies, you also add employment. And a rough back-of-the-envelope estimate of how many jobs they created is well in excess of 100,000," Fehrnstrom said Monday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports." "So whether you're talking about Mitt Romney's experience at Bain Capital or his experience as governor of Massachusetts, he's created more jobs on a net basis than [President] Barack Obama has for the entire country."
The Romney campaign has cited the current employment statistics of Domino's, The Sports Authority, and Staples -- companies that Bain helped start or expand -- to support its claims, but it's debatable to what extent Bain is still responsible for all of the companies' job creation. The campaign's claims also don't include places where jobs were lost -- areas that the Obama campaign continues to highlight.
Romney has touted that jobs went up when he served as Massachusetts governor, while overall employment has previously fallen under Obama. But that statistic compares two deeply different economic periods and ignores the fact that Obama's policies didn't take effect for months after he started as president.
Fehrnstrom said he "agreed" with Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, who called the attacks on Bain "nauseating" on MSNBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday. Booker later walked back his comments, encouraging the Obama campaign to examine Romney's record, an action he said was "reasonable."
Obama top adviser David Axelrod, appearing earlier than Fehrnstrom on MSNBC Monday, said Booker was "wrong" to criticize the Bain attacks. "There were specific instances here that speak to an economic theory that isn't the right theory for the country," he said.Fehrnstrom compared Bain's work coming into companies to the government's actions during the General Motors bailout, which could become a future retort as the Obama campaign continues to attack Romney's tenure at the private equity company.