President Barack Obama has vilified Gov. Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, a venture capital firm, as predatory capitalism—but the president praised venture capital while in the Illinois Senate, according to ABC.
"As many of you know venture capital and private equity is one of the key mechanisms by which we finance new businesses in the state of Illinois," state Sen. Obama said in a speech before the Illinois Senate on May 30, 2003. "For a variety of reasons, Illinois has been lagging behind some of our competitor states in the formation of venture capital and its deployment in terms of seeding and funding new companies."
Obama proposed a private equity task force in a resolution, in which he said that private equity "offers the best opportunity for long-term economic vitality, for the expansion of jobs, for the improvement of productivity and a quality standard of living, and for providing the greatest number of citizens with genuine opportunity."
Obama has also slammed Republicans for the sway so-called "special interests" have over them, but in his 2003 speech Obama proposed a private equity task force at the request of those in the business, ABC said:
"This is an issue that has piqued the interest of various persons in the industry, and so they have asked that we form this Private Equity Task Force to examine these issues," Obama said, according to an Illinois Senate transcript from May 2003.
Neither Obama nor his resolution mentioned Bain capital, ABC noted.