Welch offered CNBC's Carl Quintanilla and Joe Kernan his checklist of traits that America's president ought to have -- the same qualities that make for a good corporate CEO.
Authenticity: "If the leader doesn't have it, the employees -- the citizens -- won't believe in him." He pointed to Romney's "pandering" in Michigan and to Hillary Clinton's much-discussed teary breakdown.
"We debated for a week, on TV in the newspapers," whether her crying was genuine or a mere publicity ploy. "We shouldn't even have to wonder. We should know."
"The Vision Thing": Taking an ironic phrase from George H.W. Bush, Welch maintained the necessity of detailing a mission. "Where are we going; how do we hget there; and how will it benefit you?" He praised John F. Kennedy's vow to put an American on the moon by the end of the 1960s as a classic example.
Hiring. Welch said choosing talent is far more difficult for the president than for a business executive -- and explained why the corporate model would be more efficient than the political one.
"Say I name you the head of the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]. You're [former Republican EPA chief] Christine Todd Whitman and the people under you say you're anti-environment. Your employees have been there for years and years -- and they have the guns out. And soon you're wearing a bullet-proof vest."
Welch maintained that in a corporation, ex-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would not have remained in the post for so long "not doing a good job. You've got to move these people out."
General Electric is the corporate parent of CNBC.