“This is certainly the most anti-business administration since the Carter years. At least you can say this for President Carter, he was largely incompetent. This administration has actually done a lot of damage to the country,” he said.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who’s in the Democratic leadership, weighed in with strong language, saying Bain engaged in “raping companies and leaving them in debt” for the benefit of the top executives.

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“This is not an attack on free enterprise," he said on MSNBC. “There’s something about raping companies and leaving them in debt and setting up Swiss bank accounts and corporate businesses in the Grand Caymans — I have a serious problem with that.”

Meanwhile, former Gov. John Sununu (R-N.H.), a top Romney surrogate, said the former Massachusetts governor's record at Bain Capital is fair game in the campaign, as long as the record is examined in its entirety.

"What you have to do is an honest evaluation,” he told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

Sununu also defended Romney’s record at Bain, arguing that in 80 percent of situations, Bain was able to save jobs at struggling companies.

And a super-PAC supporting Obama is using the words of Romney’s GOP rivals against him in a new Web ad.

The video from Priorities USA Action features clip after clip of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry pummeling the presumptive GOP nominee during the primary over his record at Bain Capital.


SNEAK PEAK: Some influential Democrats on and off Capitol Hill are refusing to give President Obama political cover for his attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s print edition of The Hill and on thehill.com later Tuesday evening.


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama delivers the commencement address at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He then travels to Denver for a fundraiser and, after that, heads to fundraisers in California's Atherton and Redwood City. He will spend the night in San Jose, Calif.

Mitt Romney is in D.C. to address the Latino Coalition’s 2012 Small Business Summit Luncheon.


VOTERS ARE VOTING: Arkansas and Kentucky hold their presidential and congressional primaries Tuesday. Polls close in Arkansas at 8:30 p.m. EST. Kentucky has two time zones, so final poll closing time is 7 p.m. EST.


TWEET OF THE DAY: It’s Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe siren of Baton Rouge Interior plan to use drilling funds for new projects met with skepticism The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework MORE’s (R-Alaska) birthday, and she tweeted: “Thank you for the birthday wishes! Especially to my staff who made my favorite: German chocolate cake.”


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He's just such a disappointment, an embarrassment.” — actor Bruce Willis, who is a Republican, on Mitt Romney, to Esquire magazine


POLL POSITION:

President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 3 percent in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 49 percent to 46. However, Obama’s lead has dropped from 8 points in the same poll taken last month, where he had 51 percent to Romney’s 43. When it comes to the economy, asked which candidate is better equipped to handle it, Obama and Romney each came in at 47 percent.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows that 17 percent of voters say Obama's decision to support gay marriage will make them more likely to vote for the president, while 20 percent say it will make them more likely to vote for Romney.

Obama leads Romney by 8 percent in Pennsylvania, 50 percent to 42, according to a survey from left-leaning Public Policy Polling


AD WATCH:

Crossroads GPS is spending $10 million on a new ad targeting disillusioned voters who backed President Obama in 2008. It is airing in 10 big swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Priorities USA, a super-PAC backing Obama, is out with a new ad hitting Mitt Romney for his private-sector work, with one former employee saying Romney closed down her plant and "made me sick." 


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

Arizona: Rep. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake to try to force vote on DACA stopgap plan Congress punts fight over Dreamers to March Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party 'heading into trouble' in election MORE's (R-Ariz.) 49-point lead over Republican primary opponent Wil Cardon has shrunk to 22 points, a new poll showed, thanks in large part to major gains in Cardon's name recognition. Flake leads Cardon 42-20 in a survey by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. When the firm polled in February, Flake was leading Cardon 56-7.

Massachusetts: Democrat Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE is locked in a dead heat with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), according to a poll released Tuesday and commissioned by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Warren and Brown each took 46 percent in the poll by Democratic firm Harstad Strategic Research.

Nebraska: The Susan B. Anthony list, a major anti-abortion-rights group, endorsed Republican Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerSenate Republicans call on Trump to preserve NAFTA US trade deficit rises on record imports from China Flake, GOP senators to meet with Trump on trade MORE.

Ohio: Former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R) is out with his first ad against Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Finance: NAFTA defenders dig in | Tech pushes Treasury to fight EU on taxes | AT&T faces setback in merger trial | Dems make new case against Trump tax law | Trump fuels fight over gas tax What sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Lawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves MORE (R-Utah), blasting him for refusing to debate more than once or debate on camera. 


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Say it ain’t so, Joe: Samuel Wurzelbacher, the GOP House candidate better known as "Joe the Plumber," accused Vice President Biden of perpetrating class warfare by suggesting that plumbers don't have the requisite experience to be president.

Return of Rahm: President Obama’s reelection campaign is taking strategic advice from former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, whom one operative described as the “Democratic Party’s Karl Rove.”

Cash king: Obama raised far more cash from hedge fund and private-equity donors than any other candidate in the 2008 election cycle. According to an analysis by the nonprofit group Open Secrets, Obama took in nearly $3.5 million from large private-equity donors that year — nearly twice what his general-election rival, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.), pocketed.

Not-an-endorsement watch: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell declined to endorse Obama on Tuesday, saying he owes it to the Republican Party to keep his options open.

Veep, Veep: Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteAudit finds US Defense Department wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars US sends A-10 squadron to Afghanistan for first time in three years No, the US did not spend million on a gas station in Afghanistan MORE (R-N.H.) mused about debating with Biden, saying an onstage showdown with Obama’s running mate “would be quite enjoyable.”


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