Charlie Rose ripped a new liberal line of attack on Mitt Romney right out of the New York Times on Thursday's CBS This Morning, as he interviewed top Romney backer Chris Christie. Rose played up that Romney "seems to be dancing around the idea of what his wealth is. This is the New York Times today: 'Romney riches are being seen as new hurdle; complex web of assets is difficult to assess.'"
Midway through the segment, the anchor held up the copy of left-leaning publication and read the headline for the front page, above-the-fold article by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. He continued by citing the New Jersey governor's own rebuttal to this class warfare tactic: "Your philosophy seems to be, tell him how much you're worth, and say you're proud of it. Every American wants to be rich."
Christie answered by spotlighting the Republican presidential candidate's apparent business success:
CHRISTIE: I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of, that he's been a very successful guy in the private sector and made money, built businesses- Staples, Sports Authority- these were all places that were built because of Mitt Romney's ingenuity, and his investment and his firm's investment in those companies. So I don't think it's anything he should be ashamed of, and I think- listen- over time, that's going to happen, Charlie. My view is, it should happen sooner rather than later.
Rose followed up by raising the controversy over Romney's leadership of Bain Capital: "With respect to private equity, which is what Bain Capital is- even if the business has failed, the partners at Bain Capital do fine because they've been paid these enormous fees. Is that okay with you? Is that capitalism?"
The governor defended the firm and its business practices in his reply, noting that "they also lost money on certain deals, too....He had a lot of successes over there..Sometimes, you have failures. I don't think the American people are going to be surprised or disturbed by it." Rose, however, countered that "even when there are failures, the fees enable them to make money." Christie didn't miss a beat as he continued his defense:
CHRISTIE: Well, they're doing a job, Charlie. They're doing a job and they're getting paid for the job that they're doing. They're helping to restructure companies, to giving them management, consultation, and they're helping to do it. It doesn't mean that they can make the product better every time. And sometimes, it's just about the product and whether it's a good product or a bad product, or something the public wants or doesn't want.
On Thursday, the MRC's Clay Waters noted that the New York Times front page story, which Rose touted, went into "excruciating detail" about Romney's wealth. However, during the 2008 election cycle, the liberal publication didn't see John Edwards's millions as a "hurdle. Only eight stories mentioned Edwards' time at Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund based out of New York City. This compares to almost 150 mentions of Romney's leadership of Bain Capital during just the past three months.
The transcript of the relevant portion of Charlie Rose and Erica Hill's interview of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, which aired six minutes into 7 am Eastern hour of Thursday's CBS This Morning, can be found here at MRC.org.