Mitt Romney disputed reports that he worked for Bain Capital longer than he had publicly suggested, insisting Friday he had no role “whatsoever” in managing the company after February 1999 when he left to run the Winter Olympics. Public filings from the company suggest otherwise.
In consecutive interviews with all five television news networks, Romney accused President Barack Obama and his campaign of attacking him on his record at Bain Capital in order to “deflect attention” from Obama’s “failed” economic record. And he called on Obama to apologize for the false attacks.
“There is absolutely no evidence that I had any role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February 1999,” Romney told ABC News’ Jon Karl. “Why the president continues and his people continue to make these kinds of charges and try to turn this into something big is clear, I think, to the American people because the president’s failed to do the job he was elected to do which was to get this economy turned around.”
Asked by Karl about an Obama campaign aide’s assertion that he may have committed a “felony” by leaving his name on Securities and Exchange Commission documents if he didn’t work at Bain, Romney called the charge “ridiculous and disturbing” and “beneath the dignity of the president and his campaign.”
“The president needs to take control of his people,” Romney said, calling the attacks “false and misleading.”
On Thursday, the Boston Globe reported that Romney’s name remained on several documents Bain had filed with the SEC, including a 2002 filing that described him as the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president.”
Asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about Democratic pressure for him to release additional tax returns and financial information about his investments overseas, Romney insisted he had “complied with the law” by filing federal financial disclosures and by releasing his 2010 tax returns. He said he would release his full 2011 returns when they are complete and suggested he wouldn’t release more.
“That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances,” Romney told CNN.
Romney’s round of interviews came after days of withering attacks from the Obama campaign on the presumptive Republican nominee’s business record and personal finances. For days, the Romney campaign declined to engage the offensive, instead keeping its focus on Obama’s handling of jobs and the economy.
But amid criticism from Republicans that Romney was endangering his campaign by ignoring the Obama attacks, the GOP seemed to shift course, releasing a series of TV ads trashing Obama for lying about Romney’s record.