Axelrod Questions Romney’s Job Creation Claims

David Axelrod, U.S. President Barack Obama’s chief political adviser, said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lacks evidence to support his claim of being a “job creator.”

Romney, former chief executive of Bain Capital LLC, has said that companies the private equity firm helped start or manage have created more than 100,000 net jobs.

“He can’t back up that number,” Axelrod said today on the ABC news program “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “Neither he nor his campaign can furnish any evidence to support that.”

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor who helped found Bain, won the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 and is the favorite to win the New Hampshire Republican primary on Jan. 10. Romney has claimed his business experience sets him apart from other candidates and may help him create more jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate for December was 8.5 percent, the Labor Department reported Jan. 6.

During Romney’s tenure at Bain, the firm closed stores and took companies to bankruptcy in an effort to create wealth, according to Axelrod.

“He’s not a job creator. He’s a corporate raider,” Axelrod said of Romney.

Republicans are making job creation a top issue in the U.S. presidential race, and they attacked Obama during a debate last night for not doing more to boost economic growth and reduce unemployment.

“We have to get people back to work, but we also have to make sure that work pays,” Axelrod said. “That’s a big distinction between us and Governor Romney.”

Axelrod also defended the president’s national security record, saying that Obama has ended the war in Iraq and authorized a raid in May that killed former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

“I’m not sure Mitt Romney would have made that decision,” Axelrod said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net

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