The Obama campaign has been harping all morning on a Boston Globe report this morning that Mitt Romney appeared on SEC documents as the CEO of Bain Capital as late as 2002 even though he has repeatedly stated that he had no formal role with the company after 1999.
In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, members of the Obama campaign suggested that if Mr. Romney was falsely listed as the CEO of Bain when he was not, it could bee a felony; otherwise, they suggested that he has been lying to the American people about when he left the company throughout his political career.
“These kinds of statements are not lightly made and it is hard to imagine that Mitt Romney, a lawyer…was prepared to delegate to some level of sloppiness the filings he made with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” said Bob Bauer, the general counsel of Obama for America. “If in fact as he now claims that he in fact not active with the company, he was not the controlling person that is described here, that means that these statements are false and as I said there are very very serious legal consequences that would follow.”
And Stephanie Cutter, the deputy press secretary for OFA, rounded out Mr. Bauer’s statement.
“Either Mitt Romney, through his own word and his own signature was misrepresenting his own position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments. If that is the case, if he was lying to the American people, than that is a real character and trust issue.”
Mr. Romney has in many instances touted his record at Bain, but by saying he left before 2000 he can avoid responsibility for a series of restructurings Bain underwent with companies that they invested in. Those restructurings in some cases led to many layoffs.
“Mitt Romney was in full control of Bain Capital through 2002 and therefore directly responsible, whether it is outsourcing, bankrupting, laying off workers, whatever the consequences of Bain investments are, he is responsible, ” Ms. Cutter said.
The Romney camp has now weighed in:
“President Obama’s campaign hit a new low today when one of its senior advisers made a reckless and unsubstantiated charge to reporters about Mitt Romney that was so over the top that it calls into question the integrity of their entire campaign,” said Matt Rhoades, Romney for President Campaign Manager. “President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds. Campaigns are supposed to be hard fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works.”