House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) on Tuesday said that it was fair for the Obama campaign to go after presumptive Republican presidential Mitt Romney's record of "raping companies" and then setting up Swiss bank accounts while he was the head of a private equity firm.


Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, Newark Mayor Cory Booker had said that the Obama campaign should stop criticizing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for job losses caused by Bain Capital, a firm that he founded. The Newark mayor later released a YouTube video walking back his remarks. But by Monday afternoon, Romney's campaign had released a web advertisement featuring Booker and other prominent Democrats as evidence the attacks had backfired.

"This is not an attack on free enterprise," Clyburn insisted to MSNBC guest host Craig Melvin on Tuesday. "I don't take contributions from payday lenders if I know it. I refuse to do that and that's free enterprise, but it's something about that enterprise that I have a problem with."

"And there's something about raping companies and leaving them in debt and setting up Swiss bank accounts and incorporating businesses in the Grand Caymans, I have a real serious problem with that."

The South Carolina Democrat added that highlighting Romney's record at Bain was not only fair, but "fundamental to the campaign."

"This is this man's resume," he explained. "This is what he holds out to the American people. I would like to ask my friends, what are we supposed to be comparing President Obama to if you don't compare it to the record that this man has with Bain?"

Watch this video from MSNBC's Jansing & Co., broadcast May 22, 2012.

(h/t: Aaron Blake)