* First the article confirming Obama’s team said it.
∟Obama team: Romney committed a felony or lied to voters.
* Second, the article catching Obama in yet another lie, denying they said it.
∟ Obama: “Nobody Accused Mr. Romney Of Being A Felon”
Item #1 of 2
Obama team: Romney committed a felony or lied to voters
By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 7/12/12 12:22 PM EDT
Mitt Romney either lied in federal filings that show he worked at Bain Capital through 2002 and could be guilty of a felony, or has lied to the American people in saying he left the company in 1999, the Obama campaign is arguing in light of news reports on the firm’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“This is serious business,” said Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign’s counsel, in a conference call for reporters coming after the Boston Globe published a story Thursday that calls into question the timeline of Romney’s involvement of the firm that the Republican candidate has been promulgating for years.
Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter laid out the issue as the Obama team sees it: “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,” she said, “he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments,” including layoffs and the outsourcing of jobs.
If the latter is true, she said, it’s a “real character and trust issue” that voters should be aware of as they decide who to vote for in the presidential election. If Romney was still at Bain through 2002, he’s also “politically responsible for the consequences” of deals that the firm made through then.
Andrea Saul, the Romney campaign’s press secretary, countered that the Globe’s “article is not accurate” because”[a]s Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point.”
The emergence of the SEC filings appears to conflict with that, the Obama campaign contends. There are “literally scores of filings that make it very, very clear that over a period of time that Gov. Romney claims that he was not active with Bain, the Securities and Exchange Commission was informed” that Romney was the chief executive officer, chairman of the board and sole shareholder of the company, Bauer said.
SEC filings “are very carefully scrutinized by lawyers because of the very severe consequences that follow from making statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission that are not correct,” he said. And if that’s the case, and Romney’s role in the firm was misrepresented in filings, “in the normal course would subject somebody in this position to every manner of investigation with all the consequences that you can imagine would follow.”
People who interacted with Romney at Bain between 1999 and 2002 — and who would corroborate the storyline suggested by the SEC filings — haven’t emerged. Nor have documents or other details that would suggest Romney has been lying about when he left the company. But, Bauer hinted, there might be new developments to come. “I would stay very much tuned on that,” he said.
Asked about the Globe story during his daily briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney deferred comment. “It’s an interesting read but beyond that I’d refer you to the campaign,” he said.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m. — Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades responds in a statement: “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.”
Item #2 of 2
Obama: “Nobody Accused Mr. Romney Of Being A Felon”
Nancy Cordes, CBS: As you know, your opponent recently accused you of waging a campaign filled with anger and hate. You told Entertainment Tonight that anyone who attends your rallies can see that they are not angry or hate-filled affairs. But in recent weeks, your campaign has suggested repeatedly – without proof – that Mr. Romney might be hiding something in his tax returns. They have suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon for the way that he handed over power of Bain Capital. And your campaign and the White House have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links Mr. Romney to a woman’s death from cancer. Are you comfortable with the tone being set with your campaign? Have you asked them to change their tone when it comes to defining Mr. Romney?
President Obama: Well, first of all, I am not sure that all of those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate. For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon. And, I think that what is absolutely true is if you watch me on the campaign trail, here’s what I’m talking about. I’m talking about how to put Americans back to work.
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Posted by Donna Calvin — Monday, August 20, 2012
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