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Cory Booker: Have the Democrats figured out how to respond?

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In government, he said, “you’ve got to invest for the long haul."

Warner was essentially following the lead of President Obama, who addressed the Bain-Booker flap at a press conference Monday in Chicago.

"My view of private equity is that it is set up to maximize profits, and that’s a healthy part of the free market," Obama said. But the role of president is different, he continued. "My job is to take into account everybody, not just some," he said. "My job is to make sure that the country is growing not just now, but 10 years from now and 20 years from now."

Mr. Rendell, who is also former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, did call Obama campaign ads attacking Bain’s role in a failed Indiana company "very disappointing." But he also echoed another point Obama made Monday: "I think Bain is fair game, because Romney has made it fair game," Rendell told Buzzfeed. He also said he admires Booker, but wished the Newark mayor had qualified and framed his comments better.

Vice President Joe Biden also repeated Obama’s talking points at a campaign event Tuesday in Keene, N.H. – throwing in a little Bidenism for good measure.

"I’m not criticizing private equity firms," Mr. Biden said. "But I'm suggesting the people who run them, the same quality and objective of running a private equity firm is not what qualifies you to be president."

Then Biden likened Romney to a plumber. Being a "private equity guy ... no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber," Biden said, according to Politico. "And, by the way, there are a lot of awful smart plumbers."

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