Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker was wrong and President Obama is right: Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital deserves closer scrutiny by voters. Whether a brief television commercial accomplishes this is another matter.

Presidential campaigns are seldom pretty. And this year’s race is certain to be worse than most.

The rise of super PAC spending and the prospect of tens of millions of dollars spent pounding on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s more inflammatory sermons or the creation of more websites devoted to the plight of the Romney family dog are especially depressing thoughts.

But if this election is going to be about the economy, business experience and job creation, then Bain Capital is fair game. Don’t ask the Democrats about this. It clearly was on the minds of Republicans during the primary race.

Bain Capital isn’t going away. President Obama and his allies are going to raise it over and over again between now and November. Romney spent two decades there. That’s an experience that deserves to be examined closely — particularly if the candidate is going to boast about his business acumen.

Surely, it’s better for Romney to give his side of events and perhaps even teach the public about private equity and the important role it plays in the economy than to just ignore the testimony of those who lost jobs. A candidate needs to be able to handle criticism of his past decisions, and so does a president.