Rep. Nancy Pelosi Tuesday hit back at Mitt Romney’s recent efforts to revive memories of the Solyndra bankruptcy, saying that President Obama’s support of the failed Fremont solar firm showed a willingness to take risks to create jobs that wasn’t “equivalent” to the GOP presidential candidate’s work at Bain Capital.
The House minority leader said Republicans tout the private sector’s role in creating jobs and say they are “the ones who say they’re risk takers.”
But the Romney campaign’s aggressive attacks on Obama over Solyndra, which went belly-up after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee, sends the opposite message.
“Now all of a sudden, they’re saying, ‘don’t take risks,’ ” she said.
This week, Republicans ramped up attacks on Obama and what they call his administration’s “crony capitalism” in the Solyndra deal. A Romney campaign ad cites several solar and green-energy projects, including Solyndra, that the Obama administration backed with taxpayer funds.
“Obama is giving taxpayer money to big donors – and then watches them lose it,” the Romney ad says.
The ad is a response to Democratic attack ads featuring workers laid off from firms that were downsized by Romney’s former company, Bain Capital.
Pelosi made the comments in response to reporters’ questions at the close of an address at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, where she was marking the 25th anniversary of her election to the House of Representatives, before an audience of 550 people at an event sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California.
She recalled her decision to enter politics at the urging of the late Rep. Sala Burton, whom she succeeded in Congress, and spoke of the principles that she said still drive her career – most notably her belief that government can be a force for good through such programs as public health and education.
Take your party back
Most Republican leaders in Washington, she said, don’t value that. She urged them to return to an era of greater political civility and cooperation.
“Take back your party,” she said. “We need a strong, grand Republican Party. This is not the Grand Old Party that we know.”
Romney, who is fundraising in the Bay Area Wednesday, has been trying to mute Democrats’ criticism of his long and profitable career at Bain, a venture capital and investment firm, political insiders said.
On Tuesday, Pelosi defended the president and criticized GOP efforts to revive the uproar that broke last year when Solyndra abruptly closed. The president “was a job creator from day one,” Pelosi said, adding that Obama took “swift, bold action” to create clean-energy jobs.
Pelosi said she was proud to advance his proposals with her support of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the stimulus – which was designed to revive the economy and support jobs.
“With those kind of initiatives, some succeed and some do not,” she said. “But without the president’s initiatives,” unemployment would be far higher than 9 percent.
“There is no equivalent between how one recipient of a grant” – Solyndra – “succeeded or not,” she said, and Romney’s record at the private equity firm and his assertion that it “qualifies him to be the president of the United States.”
No real proposals
Pelosi bristled when asked whether it was fair for Romney to raise the issue of the Department of Energy’s use of public funds to guarantee federal loans to Solyndra, where 1,100 employees were laid off.
“The fact is, they don’t really have that much to talk about. … They want to talk about this and that and the other thing – instead of what they want to do,” she said. “Really important, as you watch all of this, is to remember – they do not believe in a public role in job creation,” she said of Republicans.R Soft Web Hosting