Michelle Obama praised Bain Capital-backed child care company

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

President Barack Obama‘s re-election campaign has been on a mission to vilify Bain Capital, the venture capital firm co-founded by Mitt Romney.

But before Romney was the Republican nominee for president, first lady Michelle Obama praised a child care company Bain Capital helped get off the ground.

In 2011, the first lady said she was “excited” about the role of Bright Horizons, a corporate day care company founded in the 1980s backed by Bain Capital, in her “Let’s Move! Child Care” campaign, according to a video reviewed by The Daily Caller.

“The Partnership for a Healthier America is working with private providers like Bright Horizons,” the first lady said at a June 2011 “Let’s Move!” child care announcement.

“That’s the nation’s second largest private child care provider, and they’re going to implement this checklist at nearly 600 child care centers across the country,” she said. “So we already have commitments that are going to affect hundreds of thousands of children today.”

Michelle Obama added: “Again, that’s why we’re excited to be able to launch this.”

The Boston Globe recently reported that Bright Horizons was founded in a “Cambridge kitchen” and was financially backed by “Bain Capital, then led by Mitt Romney.”

Bright Horizons, according to that article, is “a for-profit company whose innovations–establishing top-quality child care centers at big employers and treating employees far better than the industry norm — would earn them wide acclaim.”

Bain Capital took over Bright Horizons in 2008, the paper reported. The company now operates 750 locations for 150,000 children.

The CEO of Bright Horizons returned the favor to Michelle Obama in 2011. “It is an honor to stand with the first lady as advocates for children and their health now and in the future,” said Bright Horizons CEO David Lissy.

And the two founders of Bright Horizons — Linda Mason and Roger Brown — also attended a 2011 Obama State Dinner.

Just on Tuesday, Obama’s campaign held a conference call for reporters with former employees of Bain-owned companies to criticize the company.

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