WASHINGTON -- The White House has laid siege to capitalism, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared Tuesday.
Asked if President Barack Obama's campaign attacks on Mitt Romney's time running the private equity firm Bain Capital were out of bounds, McConnell didn't answer directly, but instead accused Obama of undermining the American economic system.
"I do think that it's interesting to note that the whole notion of our success and of capitalism seems to be under attack by this administration across the board, not just in the campaign, but through the actions of the government itself," McConnell said at a Capitol Hill press conference.
"They seem to have forgotten what made this country great and what has lifted literally millions of Americans out of poverty for a long period of time has been a robust capitalist system," McConnell continued. "I think the view of this administration is that if you're making a profit you must be up to no good. You must be either mistreating your employees or cheating your customers or both."
The Obama campaign has highlighted Bain Capital's history of acquiring then bankrupting various firms, most prominently a Kansas City steel company that had to fire 750 people.
The strategy has even attracted criticism from some of Obama's Democratic supporters, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and and Obama's former car czar, Steve Rattner, who is a private equity investor.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) countered that if Romney "holds himself out to be this great businessman," he should run on all parts of his record, which includes closing a number of firms. "I have no problem with it," Reid said.
But McConnell insisted the Obama campaign's criticisms of Bain amounted to more than attacks on a political opponent.
"This is certainly the most anti-business administration since the Carter years," McConnell said. "At least you can say this for President Carter: He was largely incompetent. This administration has actually done a lot of damage."
Michael McAuliff covers politics and Congress for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.
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