The elusive truth about Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital
Mitt Romney's time running Bain Capital has become the focus of charge and counter-charge, raising questions about campaign dishonesty and the candidates' own character as well as calls for apologies.
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To most voters, Mr. Romney’s years as a successful capitalist who became very wealthy is already an established plus or minus. When, exactly, he left the firm he began and ran makes little difference to them.
But in the hard-fisted world of presidential politics, it’s become the focus of charge and counter-charge – raising questions about campaign dishonesty and the candidates’ own character as well as calls for apologies.
Friday, Romney blitzed through five TV interviews to charge that questions raised by the Obama campaign were "ridiculous … beneath the dignity of the presidency and of his campaign."
Still, the questions kept coming about when Romney left Bain Capital, a firm that helped create some jobs while axing others and sending some overseas.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee says he had nothing to do with running Bain after 1999, when he left Boston for Salt Lake City to rescue the scandal-plagued US Olympic organization. Others point to evidence that Romney had a hand in running Bain for the next few years – a politically crucial difference because that was the period when the firm was involved in some domestic job losses.
“Romney is named as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors LLC in annual reports filed in Massachusetts, as late as 2002, adding a new corporate entity to a growing number of Bain-related investments and funds that list the Republican presidential candidate as controlling the company three years after he said he left it,” Bloomberg News reported Friday. “Separate documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), reviewed by Bloomberg News, also show Romney in 2000 as the sole stockholder of Bain Capital Investors Inc.”
That may be true, Romney supporters reply, but it does not mean he played any part in running the firm’s day-to-day operations – including decisions that may have affected jobs in the United States.
The Boston Globe, which has led the way in reporting the story, noted Saturday that Romney’s account of when he left Bain has “evolved” over the years.