Share & Connect
Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has called for an apology from the Obama campaign after several attack ads were released questioning Mitt Romney’s role in Bain Capital after 1999. Romney claims that he left the company he co-founded in 1984 in February 1999, in order to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
The Obama camp’s main charge comes from the fact that Romney’s name as the CEO and President remained on several documents from the company until 2002.
Romney stated, “I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after 1999.” However, files given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) clearly show that Romney was listed as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” until 2001.
If Romney truly had remained at Bain Capital it would mean that Romney had knowingly misfiled his official campaign disclosure forms which – according to Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter – is a federal crime. Additionally, between 1999 and 2001 Bain closed down several American companies and helped others to send jobs overseas.
The Boston Globe reported that Mitt Romney earned at least $100,000 as a Bain executive in 2001 and 2002 besides the investments that he earned as sole shareholder. During 2000 and 2001 Romney listed his “principal occupation” as “Managing Director” at Bain. Additionally Massachusetts disclosure form from when Romney filed in 2003 says that he still owned 100% of the company in 2002.
Recently Romney has also been slammed by the Obama campaign because he refuses to produce more than two years of tax returns.
President Obama has claimed that if Romney is going to run on his business leadership at Bain then he should be taking responsibility of it, according to The Huffington Post. Obama stated, “Ultimately, I think Mr. Romney is going to have to answer those questions because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is you’re ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations.”
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, has said that Romney needs to “stop whining.” Emanuel also stated, “you can’t say to the SEC, ‘I was the CEO, chairman and president, but I’m not responsible. I’m not accountable.’”
However several sources have verified Romney’s story that although he was still a part of the business on paper he was not actually involved in the daily operation of the company. FactCheck.org, a non-partisan website, says that there is no evidence that Romney had an active role at the company. Dan Primack, senior editor at Fortune Magazine, said that the documents given to potential investors in 2000 and 2001 did not include Romney’s name as an executive. Primack stated, “the contemporaneous Bain documents show that Romney was indeed telling the truth about no longer having operational input at Bain.”
Bain Capital issued a statement claiming: “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. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.” Ed Gillespie, the Senior Adviser to Mitt Romney also claimed, “he took a leave of absence and, in fact, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”
Although the claims that Romney was involved in the operations of Bain Capital during his time at the Olympics seem unjustified, there is still evidence that Romney was involved in outsourcing before he left to join the Olympic Committee.
The Washington Post claims that during the fifteen years that Romney was actively involved at Bain, the company owned other companies that spearheaded outsourcing; some of which include CSI and Modus Media.
Bain was involved in outsourcing as early as 1993 when Romney was still President of the company. In 1993 Bain was involved with Coporate Software Inc (CSI) and Stream International Inc that both specialized in helping companies find cheaper manufacturing for technology. Shortly after Romney left Bain in 1999 Bain became a majority shareholder in Stream.
Modus Media, whose majority shareholder was Bain Capital, helped outsource manufacturing for companies as well – before Romney left in 1999. In a press release from Modus Media in 1997 the company says that it expanded its outsourcing business with help from Bain stating, “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.”
Therefore, although the Obama campaign claims that Romney was involved in Bain during his period at the Olympics seem unsubstantiated there appears to be evidence to show that Romney was still involved in out-sourcing.