The former Massachusetts governor addresses the criticism in an interview with TIME‘s Mark Halperin:

So when the President says he wants to focus a lot of the election and debate on your career at Bain Capital, do you welcome that?

Well, of course, I’d like to also focus on his record. What is it that he’s done as the President of the U.S. over the past four years? … Has the President made things better for the American people? Are they better off than they were four years ago? … Did he hold unemployment below 8%? It’s been, what, 39 months now. That hasn’t happened … Gasoline prices–are people happy with those? Home prices–are they happy with the home prices, the level of foreclosures? Do they think someone can do better? I think the American people want someone who understands the economy, who has a vision for getting America working again … I think the reason you’re seeing, across the country, people saying they’d like to try someone new is because they believe this President, while he may be a nice guy, is simply not up to the task of helping guide an economy.

Is there some new idea, some original idea, that you have that you think would lead to a lot of new jobs?

The wonderful thing about the economy is that there’s not just one element that somehow makes the whole economy turn around … It is a whole passel of elements that come together to create a strong economy, and for someone who spent their life in the economy, they understand how that works. And it’s very clear, by virtue of the President’s record, that he does not, and he is struggling. Look at him right now. He just doesn’t have a clue what to do to get this economy going. I do.