Editor’s note: David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has been an adviser to four presidents. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a professor of public service and director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Follow him on Twitter.
CNN — There may be a number of good reasons to vote against Mitt Romney, but based upon what we know so far, his honesty about his tenure at Bain Capital does not seem to be one of them.
Let me acknowledge upfront what I have said several times on CNN: I have a past relationship with the top partners at Bain that is both personal and financial. I have worked with them in support of nonprofit organizations such as City Year. I have given a couple of paid speeches for Bain dinners, as I have for many other groups. I was on the board of a for-profit child care company, Bright Horizons, that was purchased by Bain Capital. It was a transaction with financial benefits for all board members and shareholders, including me.
So, yes, I have a bias. But let me also add how that bias plays out: I have come to admire and like the leaders of Bain Capital because I have learned firsthand that in a private equity industry, where there are obviously some predatory companies, Bain stands out for the respect in which it is generally held and for the generous philanthropy of some of its partners. Nothing I have seen so far has shaken that view.
With that on the table, let’s turn to the controversy and offer answers to some basic questions:
Are President Barack Obama and his team right to demand close scrutiny of Romney’s leadership at Bain?
Absolutely. Central to Romney’s candidacy is his claim that he will be better at creating jobs and growth than Obama because of his experience at Bain. Just as Republicans have relentlessly questioned Obama’s record (often to the point of sheer demagoguery), it is absolutely fair to question Romney’s.
And given that critics have argued that Bain helped outsource jobs through its investments in the years immediately after Romney’s departure to head the Olympics, it would be a significant revelation if it turned out that in fact he had still played a meaningful role in the company.Continue Reading on www.cnn.com