When did Romney leave Bain? (+video)
How involved was presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Bain's operations when it outsourced jobs? Obama's campaign has labeled Romney a 'job killer,' now Romney's campaign is fighting back; saying that Obama is 'dishonest.'
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But at least three times since then, Bain listed Romney as the company's "controlling person," as well as its "sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president." And one of those documents — as late as February 2001 — lists Romney's "principal occupation" as Bain's managing director.Skip to next paragraph
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The Obama campaign called the SEC documents detailing Romney's role post-1999 a "big Bain lie." And Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said the presumptive GOP nominee may have even engaged in illegal activity.
"Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony," Cutter said, "or he is misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments."
Countering, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said Cutter's comments marked "a new low" in the campaign and called on the president to apologize for "the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds."
After weeks of Bain attacks by Obama, Romney rolled out his new ad alleging dishonesty — a signal that the Democratic criticism may be hurting him.
The ad sought to establish dishonesty as a pattern for Obama, and uses his 2008 Democratic primary rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to do it. It included a clip of Clinton — now serving Obama as secretary of state — saying, "Shame on you, Barack Obama" and calling on her then-challenger to stop running dishonest ads.
In an appearance Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie called the outsourcing charge by the Obama campaign "a lie" and asserted that job outsourcing wasn't the policy at Bain Capital when Romney was in charge.
Even as it sought the upper hand with the ad, Romney's campaign found itself scrambling to explain the apparent discrepancies between the former Massachusetts governor's past statements about his Bain tenure and the SEC documents.
Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul insisted Romney left Bain in February 1999 and "had no input on investments or management of companies after that point."
The campaign also issued a statement from Bain saying that "due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney's departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romneywas reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period."