SIOUX CITY, IOWA -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney defended capitalism on Wednesday -- specifically his own success with it -- after fending off accusations from primary rival Newt Gingrich that Romney "bankrupted companies and laid off employees" while head of Bain Capital.
"Unfortunately, the speaker is way off on that, " Romney said during an appearance on FOX News' American Newsroom.
"In my enterprise, we had the occasion to help build tens of thousands of jobs, and he doesn't understand the economy if he doesn't understand that sometimes businesses succeed and sometimes fail," Romney said.
"To suggest that there's something un-American or something wrong about investing in an enterprise that ultimately doesn't succeed bespeaks an extraordinary lack of understanding about how the economy works," Romney added.
Romney took the time to again criticize the hefty payments that Gingrich received from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, better known as "Freddie Mac," as a consultant.
The Romney campaign has described that work as lobbying, which prompted Gingrich to respond and criticize the former Massachusetts governor's work as a venture capitalist.
"He said anyone who profited from Freddie Mac should give the money back," Romney said. "Well, he profited $1.6 million from an agency that helped bring down the economy. He ought to give it back."