WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempted to turn the national conversation back to his record as a business executive in an op-ed published on Friday in the Wall Street Journal.
In a column titled "What I Learned at Bain Capital," Romney described his days at the private equity firm and said he would use his lessons from turning around private companies to fix the U.S. economy.
"My presidency would make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the investment dollars they need to grow," Romney said.
The op-ed comes as Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin has resisted widespread calls to step aside after controversial comments about rape.
Akin's comments have put at risk what was considered a potential Republican pickup of a Democratic-held Senate seat in a state seen becoming more conservative. It also turned the national conversation toward social issues instead of the concerns about the economy that Romney's campaign has focused on.
In the column, Romney described his time on the board of medical diagnostic-laboratory company Damon and said problems at the company with fraudulent billing taught him to "run toward" a problem "or it will only get worse."
"That will be my approach to our federal budget problem," Romney said.
He said Bain experience also was valuable when he ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.
"My presidency would make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get the investment dollars they need to grow, by reducing and simplifying taxes; replacing Obamacare with real health-care reform that contains costs and improves care; and by stemming the flood of new regulations that are tying small businesses in knots," Romney said.
Romney has been attacked for his record at Bain, and Obama supporters have painted Romney in his time there as a job-killing executive with little regard for the middle class.
The column comes in advance of the Republican National Convention scheduled to begin on Monday.
(Reporting By Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Bill Trott)