John McCain defends Romney's record at Bain

Arizona Sen. John McCain defended Thursday former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's record at a private investment firm against criticism from the frontrunner's opponents in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

McCain, the party's 2008 nominee, said that the Bain Capital firm, where Romney worked as its chief executive, profited from businesses that ultimately didn't succeed "perhaps more than they should have in a fair and equal world." But McCain also said that attacks from Romney's challengers, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, go against Republican principles.

"These attacks on, quote, Bain Capital is really kind of anathema to everything that we believe in," said McCain. "We believe in job creation, and the record of Bain Captial is to take companies that would otherwise fail and restore them to some kind of viability, and sometimes that doesn't work, but, you know, when it always works is a thing called communism, where you keep everybody in business."

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McCain compared the Obama administration's use of taxpayer dollars to back loans for Solyndra, the California energy company that declared bankruptcy last year, to Romney's background at Bain.

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"They started with $5 million in Staples, and now look at it," said McCain. "Now would you rather do that or would you rather have a government pick a winner like Solyndra for a half a billion dollars and have it fail? I mean, this is a fundamental difference in philosophy ... That's really the fundamentals of what we Republicans believe in. You cannot have a system where everybody survives."

Above, watch the full McCain interview, in which the senator calls "super PACs" "terrible" and talks about a possible scandal involving U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.