Obama: Romney's Time at Bain Is 'Fair Game'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Barack Obama has made it clear: Bain Capital is fair game.

Speaking at a press conference during the NATO summit in Chicago, the president defended his campaign's attacks against Mitt Romney's record at the buyout firm he founded in 1984.

Obama speaks in Chicago on Monday

"This is not a distraction," Obama said. "This is what this campaign is going to be about."

Obama has faced scrutiny about the legitimacy of the critiques as his opponents have said private equity creates value for investors, lenders and workers.

Obama said that being president is quite different from heading a private equity firm, and that Romney's previous work at Bain doesn't necessarily qualify him as commander in chief.

"When you're president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, your job is not simply to maximize profits," Obama said. "Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot."

The president is keeping up the rhetoric criticizing Romney's years at Bain as he slammed the former Massachusetts governor last week for his handling of a steel mill that went bankrupt under Bain's management. On Monday, the Obama campaign launched an ad that criticized Romney in relation to the bankruptcy of Ampad.

--Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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