Obama Campaign Says Mitt Romney Is Either a Crook or a Liar

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SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at Kirkwood Recreation Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 10, 2012.

Mitt Romney wants you to know that both of these things are true: 1) He remained the “controlling person” in a number of Bain Capital investments between 1999 and 2002, when he left to work on the Salt Lake City Olympics. 2) He had no actual personal control over those investments during that time.

This is not a particularly comfortable position for a presidential candidate to be in, though it is also not exactly an unusual one for Romney, who has, among other things, both taken credit for President Obama’s bailout of Detroit and opposed Obama’s bailout of Detroit.

Statement No. 1 comes in several contemporaneous SEC filings, which the Obama campaign has been sending around to reporters. Statement No. 2 comes from Mitt Romney and Bain Capital and was certified on a federal financial disclosure in 2011, when Romney said he left active management of Bain Capital to work on the Olympics in 1999. That means Romney’s position is that he was the “controlling person” and yet had no active management responsibilities.

On top of this complex argument, which even a Romney campaign aide admits does not “square with common sense,” the Obama campaign has tried to set off the campaign equivalent of a bunker buster. In a conference call Thursday morning, Obama campaign senior adviser Stephanie Cutter put it this way:

Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his 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.

So Mitt Romney is either a crook or a liar, says Team Obama. There is a third possibility, which is that the SEC filings Romney submitted describing himself as the “controlling person” in the investments did not legally require him to have any actual control. Other contemporaneous documents obtained by Fortune magazine show that Bain was telling investors at the same time as the SEC filings that Romney was not a manager of the funds in question. But good luck putting that in a campaign ad.

Instead, the Romney campaign has responded to the Obama bunker buster with ordnance of its own. In a statement to reporters, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades demanded that Cutter apologize for calling Romney a potential crook.

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. 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.

In other words, Rhoades is arguing that only a crook would call Mitt Romney a crook and that Obama will have to deal with the fact that there are crooks in his campaign. Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE: More came quickly. The Huffington Post acquired testimony Romney gave in 2002 to the Ballot Law Commission in Massachusetts, in which Romney said he had “remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation” and returned to the state for “board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth” from 1999 to 2002. The Romney campaign says this does not contradict his claim that he had no control over Bain Capital during that time, since there is a difference between Bain Capital and the companies in which Bain had significant ownership stakes.

But again, this is a complex distinction. In 2011, Romney said he had “not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way” since February 1999. Presumably this means he does not consider the companies with which Bain invested, like Staples and LifeLike, to be Bain Capital entities.

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frankblank
frankblank

I'm with Verotchka: enough with the either/or already.  He's both.

To republicans, so you don't look too stupid:  Romney owned the place.  Your argument is that who ever was running it did not consult with him on policy and tactics, and, when offshoring, was doing something that the CEO, President, Director, Sole Shareholder, etc., etc., did not want them to do.  Besides, he retroactively didn't want them to do it.

So give up your stupidity and just admit it:  Romney pioneered offshoring and he is a winner, so offshoring is the American Way. 

Next,  Willard may pioneer the lowering of US wages to $2.00 per hour.  Compete!  We gotta compete!

deanrd
deanrd

I'm surprised Time didn't mention the Massachusetts Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure Documents that Mitt had to sign before being sworn in as Governor.   11 Companies under the Bain umbrella are listed and all say they were being run by Mitt Romney and he recieved a salary of at least a hundred thousand dollars.  That is the common amount that's used because the real salary would only show up on the tax returns because it's private and it gets them on the record saying they recived a salary for services preformed.

So who actually ran Bain from 1999 to 2003?  You can bet that the person who might step forward will know they could be liable for a felony if it's proven they didn't actually do the job. 

Tit for tax.  Obama released his birth certificate and even had to petition Hawaii to bypass state law which is why it took so long.  Romney could release his tax returns today if he wanted to.  I don't want to see all of them.  Just 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Candyman238
Candyman238

 Well now, it looks like the majority of Time Swampland readers are big Obama fans. I guess that explains the name "swampland". 

 Looks to me like this right wing , Constitutionalist, conservative American patriot has landed right square in the middle of a bunch of  left wing Democrats hell bent on giving a socialist and a Muslim another four years in the White House.

 My biggest question to you folks is how you can sit here and support this clown in the White House? How is it that you are blind to the deceitful, underhanded, and Socialist agenda this illegal alien is promoting? Don't tell me you actually believe comrade Obama is acting in the best interest of you, me, and our country.

 Did you not watch the Ambassador of Kenya tell the world in 2009 that Obama is a citizen of Kenya?  Perhaps you missed his wife stand up and say the very same thing that same year?  Or you didn't see Obama stand up in front of the world at the United Nations and tell the Iranians they were the best people in the world? I suppose you have forgotten how this Muslim stood in front of God and country and denounced the Bible, actually clowning scripture while saying the Koran was the greatest religious book ever written.

 How can you support a "president" whose economic policy has brought this country to the verge of bankruptcy? Or let this socialist party member tear the Constitution apart with his "executive orders" and "presidential directives" while completely ignoring Congress and the will of the American people.

 If you support this clown in the White House, then you agree with his agenda, his actions, and you want the downfall of the United States of America. 

 Do your homework, get the facts, and get informed about the real truth before you vote for Obama in November.

 GOD BLESS AMERICA

  

   

TravisMonitor
TravisMonitor

From 1999 to 2002, Mitt Romney was working 80+ hour weeks, effectively 2 fulltime jobs AT ONCE, turning around the Salt Lake City Olympics. He led the effort to salvage an Olympic effort that was mired in a bribery scandal and was $400 million in debt. Romney was up to his eyeballs in trying to rescue this, and did an awesome job turning it around and getting the SLC Olympics out of debt.

Romney did more hard work on it in 3 years - FOR NO PAY - than Obama has done in his whole life. Obama's smears have been debunked by multiple media outlets. It underscore how desperate Obama has become, lying about his opponents past because he can't own up to the miseralbe failure of his own record.

Lewd
Lewd

Liar, liar pants on fire.  Mutt, you're outahere!

Candyman238
Candyman238

I don't give a rat's butt about Bain Capital and who, what, and when Romney was there.

The real issue is you comrade Obama and the fact you have been running this country since 2008 and this country is in real trouble.

You wanna talk about Romney's record because you are afraid to bring your own record into the conversation. We are talking about the economy of the United States and who should be in charge of it for the next four years. Obama has shown us what he's got and I think everyone agrees he hasn't got what it takes to run this country.

As far as this clown making a speech in the rain, what's the old saying: "too stupid to come in out of the rain".

GOD BLESS AMERICA 

Dan Pieniak
Dan Pieniak

Ahhh,  to find a politician who is NOT a "Crook or a Liar"... Now that is the real challenge!

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

Lets look at what is going on.  The Republicans are aggressively attacking Obama with their candidates, supporters, SuperPacs, pundits and others all collectively and coordinately saying: Obama has “failed”; and “liberalism”, as in the growing deficit, government spending and “big government”, is the evil;  and “Obamacare” needs to be repealed; and so on while implying that they, the Republicans, would solve the problems.  What is the reality (with the hyped up propaganda put aside)?

“Obama has failed”:  Actually Obama has already accomplished more than many presidents did in eight years, which was necessary because of the status of everything he was given, but what the claim mainly addresses is the state of the economy and “jobs” in particular.  The world economy reflects the difficulty in being able to quickly resolve our economic needs and it should be recognized, the Republicans have not only done absolutely nothing constructive but have aggressively faulted and blocked every effort, refusing to cooperate or compromise, with that being their strategy to pursue their political ambitions without conscience or concern for the costs to the people.  Things are improving slowly and there really is no indication the Republicans could ever do anything better, especially after seeing Bush-Cheney take us down with their concentration on serving only “the money”, strongly supported by the full Republican Party.

“Liberalism is the evil”:  While reducing the deficit, cutting government spending and having “smaller government” are all worthwhile goals, the con that they are the cause of our problems is the real evil, as concentration there just distracts from the actual cause of the problems.  All of our problems have been caused by exploitation by the few, allowed by permissive and co-responsible politicians catering to “the money” for their strong support, as seen in excessive deregulation, lax oversight, little enforcement and favorable policies encouraging run away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence resulting in the repeated crises seen in savings and loans, banks, dot.coms. the mortgage, financial and investment industries, as well as corporate corruption (like Enron) and industrywide failures.  The “greed”, the feeding of the insatiable “more” (never enough) appetite of the 1% while greatly costing the 99%, has brought the accumulative effect we are currently experiencing worldwide; to continue to ignore that would be the real evil and allowing “the money” to distract attention from that reality is our real problem and their goal.

“Obamacare needs to be repealed”:  Health Care Reform is desperately needed and to enact anything or to not enact anything is costly; either way the public pays for it but with enactment lives are saved, a volume of uninsured become insured, coverage becomes improved and quality healthcare for the population is no longer selective or governed solely by profits for the insurance companies.  Could Obamacare be improved?  No doubt it could be and any effort there should have occurred with bipartisan cooperation and compromise as the bill was being developed, which should be the direction now rather than any repeal.  One problem with repeal, besides not having anything addressing the problems, is we then are totally dependent on those who so vigorously fought it, to actually implement anything or to have anything implemented be other than a watered-down pacification for the Special Interests who strongly sponsored fighting all reform - how can there be any trust or faith put in having good results?

“Republicans would solve the problems”:  I myself would love to see a return of the Grande Ole Party, with their having a renewed honest conscience and responsible concern for the people, but the only way that will ever happen is when they are firmly and strongly rejected for what they have become - owned and controlled “puppets” for “the money”.  As everything clearly indicates they completely depend on “the money” for their strong support with the power, influence and finances provided and together they assume, with cocky confidence, they can con the people and manipulate public opinion to simply insultingly use and abuse the voters as “pawns”.  They have become emboldened by past successes with the manipulation of the “conservative” Christian (2000), the Swift-boat propaganda (2004), the Tea Party movement (2010) and recently with the mega-millions poured into the Wisconsin recall, all being well designed, well organized and well funded efforts to control public opinion.  We see it occurring now with Norquist, Cheney, Rove, the Koch brothers, SuperPacs and other billionaires promoting the propagandizing of America to sell their “puppet” candidates who will perform as their “strings are pulled” and to criticize and tear down Obama and the Democrats.  That extensive and expensive support is not provided without strings attached and control expected and nowhere in there is any real concern for the majority - as completely evidenced in the constantly growing spread between the gains of the 1% and the losses of the 99%.  To return to “more of the same”, Bush-Cheney style, is what they want and is what greatly costs the majority.

Rat-Man
Rat-Man

Why does Mitt have to be either a crook or a liar?  Can't he be both?  Of course, I'd give him more credit if he could do this with Ms. Romney: http://youtu.be/OvgJ6foD58Y

53underscore3
53underscore3

Looks like Our Man Friday is a GOP shill after all!

Especially as the reference to paulejb as "PB*" gave his status away...

*Paul Bianco

Friday MacArthur
Friday MacArthur

Wait, who's Paul Bianco and why the asterisk. My public education left me a bit slow so I'll need some more links.

53underscore3
53underscore3

If you look long enough in your posts you'll find it.

Ded givaway!

snicker

Friday MacArthur
Friday MacArthur

I like you 53, I could learn allot debating you...stay fridgid my friend and don't let all that talk about "individual rights" get you down about AHCA...I guess we had to loose them one day or another.

53underscore3
53underscore3

You're a pretty angry wannabe, Friday.  What's up?

Friday MacArthur
Friday MacArthur

How could any American not be angry. You say Bush was dishonest, he was. But what about this President...how can we get any worse than this President.

You should be angry as an American that he would make such a mockery of our Constitution and our country's legacy of Freedom and Diversity.

I want the truth...from both candidates. However there is no media mention of our President, the guy in charge right now, no mention of his history, not even his recent failures..

You know how he passed AHCA in "special session" with full majority of Democrats in the House and Senate, yet still Obama had to play games to pass his "signature legislation".

Yes, I am angry...now a wannabe, nope, I just want the truth.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Looks to me you don't really know what "liberty" is.

53underscore3
53underscore3

How do you define "Freedom and Diversity"?

Bush destroyed the economy?  How is that not relevant?  How is it also not relevant that no president has ever righted a near collapse this severe in any reasonable amount of time, especially with GOP obstruction at every turn?

And what is so bad about Obama?  At least he has job growth for 27 months - and that's in the face of GOP obstructionism.

How did he make a mockery of our Constitution?  SCOTUS decided that already - and - it was a conservative who was the deciding vote.

And I was there when he was crafting Obamacare.  He needed 3 GOP votes and got them through compromise.  The GOP had nothing and Ryan was essentially a bill that only benefited those who have plenty of money, while cutting benefits for me and my wife - who, incidentally - is alive because of Obamacare.

deanrd
deanrd

The Republican Party is 90% white.  Connect the dots.

ChowT
ChowT

53underscore3, GW Bush destroyed everything good in America.

1) He send young people to war for his personal agenda and profit and also his cronies benefited in billions.

2) His father is a liar. So is GW Bush. Read my lips no new taxes.

and where are the wmd's George.

3) more money for the rich.

4) Subprime crisis

5) less regulation so that Bankers can cheat more.

Workers and middle class have a raw deal for the last 30 years. Enough is enough.

53underscore3
53underscore3

I'm a Swampcritter from way back.

And I like to bite.

Particularly ignorant effers like you...

Friday MacArthur
Friday MacArthur

Taxes I can pay...and you're were right it was a Republic-led House over most of the recovery thus far...the Senate is still Democrat majority.

53underscore3
53underscore3

"How do you know its not the Repulican-led Senate that hasn't turned the economy around?"

Because it's not Republican led?

A wild guess on my part, but hells bells...

53underscore3
53underscore3

It's fine, but how are you going to resolve your anger?

You just don't want to pay taxes, I get it.

{NO SALE}

Friday MacArthur
Friday MacArthur

Wait, maybe I'm wrong then, how is your wife alive because of Obamacare?

So the SCOTUS said is wasn't a mandate but a tax, how is that decided?

How do you know its not the Repulican-led Senate that hasn't turned the economy around?

What about Bush again?

Listen man, I get it, now everything is great for you, but honestly, our country cant afford it and we will all suffer less quality of life for it...all of us.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Our country's legacy of "Freedom and Diversity"?

How do you define those?

Why do you avoid the subject of GOP obstructionism?

How is he a bad president?  TARP I and II we designed to keep the economy from collapsing, and they worked or we wouldn't even have an economy to talk about.

And as far as Obamacare is concerned, I was around then too, and I remember the GOP obstructionism, the ridiculous "Death Panel" claims, and Dick Armey's $ 100,000,000 "Freedomworks" lobby group.

So it sounds to me you found the "truth" through FOX.  I don't buy your "independent" status even for a microsecond.  It's clear that you are far right.

Good luck with that.  I'd avoid threats to the POTUS, though.  You're such a lousy prospector of truth I have my doubts about just why you hate Obama so much.