NBC: How Much Will Romney's Business Experience 'Hurt' Him in 'Anti-Wall Street Occupy Climate'?

Talking to MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry portrayed one of Mitt Romney's strength's as a weakness: "How vulnerable do you think Mitt Romney could be in highlighting his business background, given this sort of anti-Wall Street Occupy climate we're in?"

Ratigan seized on the opportunity and ranted: "Mitt Romney's liabilities as an American businessman are among the highest of any businessman in this country.....there is a second class of business person that was invented in the past 30 years of this country who literally exploits their ability to borrow money at the risk to this nation....and then taking other people's jobs away to do so is not capitalism. It is, in effect, an exploitation."

Curry followed up: "So you're saying this could hurt Mitt Romney?" Ratigan replied: "100%."

Near the end of the segment, Curry promoted Ratigan's new book, "Greedy Bastards! How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters and Other Vampires From Sucking America Dry." She wondered: "In you're book, you're essentially calling on Americans to act. What is it that you think Americans can do to take back, as you put it, this country?"

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Ratigan responded:

We are already seeing Americans do it. And no matter what you're issue is, whether it's the environment, whether it's the prison system and the incarceration of young minorities in this country, whether it's gun rights, whether it's asthma, whether it's the food supply, whether corn in the food that's creating diabetes. Whatever it is that you want to talk about, you are being prevented from having the natural redress of this democracy and the government resolving that for you because of the dependency our politicians have on money....People think money buys making something happen. What the money is actually buying is making something not happen at a time when we need a lot to happen.


Here is a full transcript of the January 9 segment:

7:11AM ET

ANN CURRY: For more on the presidential race, let's now turn to Dylan Ratigan, he's the host of his own show on MSNBC and he's also the author of a new book called, "Greedy Bastards! How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Bankers and Other Vampires From Sucking America Dry." Dylan, good morning.

DYLAN RATIGAN: Good morning to you.

CURRY: You just heard Newt Gingrich speaking about Mitt Romney. How much – how vulnerable do you think Mitt Romney could be in highlighting his business background, given this sort of anti-Wall Street Occupy climate we're in, Dylan?

RATIGAN: There's – Mitt Romney's liabilities as an American businessman are among the highest of any businessman in this country. There are two types of businesses in America right now. There are businesses that are people investing and collaborating to solve America's problems. People working on energy efficiency, people working on health efficiency, working on innovation itself, on infrastructure, on problem-solving.
            
And there is a second class of business person that was invented in the past 30 years of this country who literally exploits their ability to borrow money at the risk to this nation, the very same risk we bailed out in 2008, and borrows that money to do, much as Newt Gingrich is describing, to purchase a company, liquidate the company and take the money for themselves. And that is a reasonable undertaking, maybe. But borrowing other people's money to do so and then taking other people's jobs away to do so is not capitalism. It is, in effect, an exploitation.

CURRY: So you're saying this could hurt Mitt Romney?

RATIGAN: 100%

CURRY: Is what you're saying. So that said, you know, as we've been looking at these debates, there were what, two this weekend and fifteen total, then what do you think Americans' are not hearing from the candidates that they should be hearing, despite all of these debates? Given that you're a financial journalist.

RATIGAN: We have yet to have a single presidential candidate – with the exception perhaps a little bit from Ron Paul, a little bit from Jon Huntsman, but really it's not happened – explain to the American people why it is that our banking, trade and tax code all prevent money from being invested into the innovations this country needs in energy, health, education and infrastructure. And instead, our trade, tax and bank policies, all three of those things which control the flow of money to America or from America, and those policies are basically removing that money and the jobs as a result.

CURRY: You're essentially saying the system – there are major breaks in the system.

RATIGAN: It's in reverse. Yes.

CURRY: Jon Huntsman sort of alluded to this in Sunday's debate, talking about the need for financial reform, essentially, in dealing with lobbyists and all that. But you actually basically had a huge outburst last August on MSNBC. Let's take a look.

RATIGAN: I've been coming on TV for three years doing this! And the fact of the matter is that there is a refusal on both the Democratic and the Republican side of the aisle to acknowledge the mathematical problem, which is that the United States of America is being extracted. It's being extracted through banking, it's being extracted through trade, and it's being extracted through taxation. And there's not a single politician that has stepped forward, Susan, to deal with this.

CURRY: Darn, Dylan, how do you really feel? No, but what you're-

RATIGAN: I'm not a morning person.

CURRY: I know, well that's okay, but-

RATIGAN: Although I think that was in the afternoon.

CURRY: I think it was. But in you're book, you're essentially calling on Americans to act. What is it that you think Americans can do to take back, as you put it, this country?

RATIGAN: We are already seeing Americans do it. And no matter what you're issue is, whether it's the environment, whether it's the prison system and the incarceration of young minorities in this country, whether it's gun rights, whether it's asthma, whether it's the food supply, whether corn in the food that's creating diabetes. Whatever it is that you want to talk about, you are being prevented from having the natural redress of this democracy and the government resolving that for you because of the dependency our politicians have on money.

Listen to the interview that we just, both of us listened to with Newt Gingrich and what he spoke about was all the money that was being spent. And Matt was talking to Newt about it, back and forth, one versus the other. And the fact of the matter is, as long as that money is coming in, that money comes in to prevent policy changes that could adapt us to a new world. People think money buys making something happen. What the money is actually buying is making something not happen at a time when we need a lot to happen.

CURRY: Well, you have a lot to say. Dylan Ratigan, thank you so much for saying it this morning.

RATIGAN: Thank you, Ann.

CURRY: And to read an excerpt from Dylan's book, you can head to our Today.com website. And you can also a catch The Dylan Ratigan Show weekdays at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on MSNBC.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC