The Obama campaign suggested that Romney either lied to voters or broke the law when he said he retired from Bain in 1999, even though Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents listed him as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” until 2002, writes Opposing Views.
This morning, Ed Gillespie, the former Republican Party official who has been a Senior Adviser to Mitt Romney since 2012, put a new spin on the Romney campaign’s explanation for their candidate’s relationship with Bain Capital and its related entities from 1999 through 2002.
Gillespie said Romney may have been listed as “part-time” after 1999, but that he had no role in the firm’s day-to-day affairs.
“There may have been a thought at the time that [Romney’s Bain work] could be part-time. It was not part-time. The Olympics was in a shambles,” Gillespie told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“He took a leave of absence and in fact, Candy, ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February 1999 as a result,” Gillespie said.
According to The Huff Post, Gillespie said President Barack Obama was just hoping to shift the conversation away from the economy, and that it was working.
“It’s sad to see,” he said. “We now know that this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land, even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land.”
Gillespie said Romney couldn’t have been involved in Bain during his time working on the Olympics, because it was “a 16-hour-a-day job.”
“He was not involved in the day-to-day decisions. He wouldn’t have had time,” Gillespie said. “He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City to save the Olympics for the country he loves more, and somehow Chicago, in classic Chicago-style politics, the Obama campaign is trying to make this something sinister. It’s not. It’s patriotic and it’s leadership.”
In August 2011, Romney told federal authorities, as part of the financial disclosure process, that he “retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee [for the 2002 Winter Olympics]. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”
However, a corporate document filed with the state of Massachusetts in December 2002 — a month after Romney was elected governor — lists him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors, LLC “authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record any recordable instrument purporting to affect an interest in real property, whether to be recorded with a Registry of Deeds or with a District Office of the Land Court.”
President Obama over the weekend seized on Romney’s attempt to shed responsibility for the company he officially ran, arguing that a U.S. president doesn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing when he’s responsible for what happens on his watch.
“Ultimately, I think, Mr. Romney is going to have to answer those questions because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is you’re ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations,” Obama said in an interview with the District of Columbia’s WJLA-TV.
Obama adviser David Axelrod, also appearing on “State on the Union,” said the Bain attacks won’t be going away.
“We do know that he said he had no involvement with any of the entities that Bain was involved in, and yet he came back for board meetings for … a couple of those entities,” Axelrod said. “The larger point, Candy, is he was in charge when they bought these firms whose principal mission was to facilitate outsourcing and offshoring.”