Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) suggested on Sunday that anything corporations do is moral as long as they follow the law.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked the House Budget Committee chairman if Republican presidential candidates should be criticizing each other over the way they made their money and handled their personal finances.
"I don't think so," Ryan replied. "We need to defend the morality of the free enterprise system and upward mobility. We need to defend the morality of a system in American that says you are free to take risks, to make money, to create jobs and to do it however you want to so long as it's legal. That's something we should be proud of."
"It does bother me when some candidates -- and there's more than one -- go after each other based on their success in the free enterprise system," he added. "That's not who we are. That's what Barack Obama is doing to us."
Earlier this month, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich charged that Bain Capital, the firm founded by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was "exploitative" for the way it profited from buying and selling companies, often killing thousands of jobs in the process. Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry referred to that business model as "vulture capitalism."