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Obama Attacks Private Equity, Raises Funds from Private Equity Leaders

10:42 AM, May 14, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Obama is attending a fundraiser today in New York City that will be hosted by Hamilton E. James, the chief operating officer and president of Blackstone. The financial firm Blackstone is "one of the world's largest private equity fund businesses," according to its website.

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But ironically, Obama today is using Mitt Romney's background in private equity as the basis of an attack on his Republican rival.

"In a career of buying and selling companies, Romney’s pattern was to reap quick profits for himself and his investors at the expense of workers and communities," the Obama campaign says of Romney's record in a campaign ad out today. "Sometimes it meant sending American jobs overseas. Other times, it meant cutting wages and benefits. In Romney’s economic philosophy, CEOs and wealthy investors prosper by any means necessary, even when it meant companies failed and workers were left behind. Romney believes in two sets of rules – one for people like him, another for everyone else."

As Politico describes the new line of attack, "The Obama campaign is launching a multi-pronged, multimedia attack on Mitt Romney's record as a private equity buyout specialist."

Yet considering President Obama's New York City fundraiser with private equity money men, it seems more than a bit ironic that Romney is today being targeted with this line of attack. 

Moreover, when Romney's private equity past was scrutinized in the Republican primary, Blackstone's James warned that "it could be very damaging for the industry." One wonders if James will issue the same sort of warning to Obama when he sees him later today to deliver money to boost the president's reelection campaign.

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