Mitt Romney, facing criticism from rivals over his business background, said Wednesday he plans to fight back by painting President Obama as someone who has infused the private sector with too much government involvement.
The former Massachusetts governor cited the administration's controversial authorization of a loan guarantee in 2009 to an energy firm that later went bankrupt. About 1,100 workers lost their job after Solyndra Inc. failed.
Romney, who grew up in Michigan as the son of an auto executive, said he would also highlight loans to niche car makers Tesla Motors Inc. and Fisker Automotive Inc. to build electric cars and the Obama administration's actions regarding General Motors and Chrysler.
Romney famously argued in a 2008 op-ed in the New York Times that Detroit should be allowed to go bankrupt and should not get the billions it asked for from the government in November 2008. before he left office.
"I'd like to look at Barack Obama's record," Romney told reporters while flying from New Hampshire to South Carolina. "So as we talk about my experience in the private sector, I'll talk about his experience - he's now been a venture capitalist in Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla and he's been a private equity guy in General Motors and Chrysler."
Romney also shrugged off the, the private equity firm his critics say was more interested in reaping profits for top executives than rebuilding the firms in which it invested.
"I was surprised to see Newt Gingrich as the first witness for the prosecution, but I don't think that's going to hurt my efforts," he said. "Frankly, if I can't take a few shots coming from my colleagues on the Republican side, I'm not ready for Barack Obama."