Skip to comments.Does It Matter When Mitt Romney Left Bain?
Posted on 07/17/2012 6:43:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The best evidence right now suggests that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital in February of 1999 to help run the Salt Lake City Olympics in Utah. During his leave of absence, Romney continued to sign documents submitted by Bain to the Securities and Exchange Commission, listed himself as the Chief Executive Officer of the company in some of those SEC filings, and reportedly took a $100,000 annual salary. Theres no evidence that Romney was involved in Bains day-to-day operations, but he attended board meetings for companies affiliated with Bain, and a Boston Herald report from the time he started his absence a report touted by the Romney campaign indicated that Romney planned to stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions. But the bulk of Romneys time after he left was spent on the Olympics, where he worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, according to a Massachusetts state investigation. The Bain team, meanwhile, worked on transitioning Romney out of the top job and putting a new management team in place.
Romneys campaign insists that Romney left Bain in 1999, saying that although Romney initially took a leave of absence, he later retired retroactively. President Barack Obamas presidential campaign, on the other hand, seems to think that questions about just exactly when Romney left Bain and what he did there are a winning issue, at least in the sense of winning the day: A morning email sent out by the Obama team proposed a slew of detailed questions about Romneys time at Bain and when, precisely, it ended.
There are two issues here, and neither of them matter very much. The first is whether Romneys campaign is being truthful in insisting that he actually left in February of 1999. On the evidence, it looks like he phased full-time into Olympic work, but continued to advise his old company and take a stipend while new leadership was being selected and installed. Given Romneys longtime prominence in the company he split off from Bains consulting arm to help found the company in the mid 1980s it does not seem unusual that he should continue to take a moderate salary (for a founding CEO who built a corporate megafortune, $100,000 is a relatively modest stipend) or provide some input on operations in the years immediately following his departure.
So Romneys campaign is probably overstating its case when declaring that he had zero involvement with the company following his 1999 leave. Thats not a particularly attractive quality in a political candidate, but its hardly unprecedented. If rewriting ones own history is a sin for a presidential candidate, then its one that both candidates have committed.
The reason the date fudging supposedly matters in this case is that the Obama campaign has tried to link Romney to Bain investments made after 1999 that involved offshoring. Romneys campaign has responded by saying that the former Massachusetts cannot be held responsible for investments made after he left.
Er...so what? If Romney is linked to Bains offshoring, then we find out, what? That Romney was the head of a successful private equity firm that attempted to wring economic value out of failing or struggling firms and sometimes that involved laying off workers? That the laid off workers don't like Romney or Bain? And that Democrats don't either? Anyone who dislikes Romney on these grounds already has plenty of reason to dislike him.
I don't think the Obama campaign's attacks are entirely unfair, and in general I think candidates for high office should be exposed to maximum public scrutiny, whether or not it's comfortable. Mitt Romney knew what he was signing up for when he ran for president (again), and given his own intentionally dishonest campaign attack ads, he has little room to complain about negative messaging. But this is much more of a gimmicky PR squabble than a clash of visions.
Which brings us to the second issue. In theory, the Obama campaigns attack is tied to a larger debate about job creation: If Romney was responsible for offshoring, the argument goes, then can he really say he created jobs in the private sector? Actually, it shouldnt make any difference: Offshoring has no effect on native employment in the aggregate, according to a recent paper published by the London School of Economics Center for Economic Performance. While oﬀshore workers compete directly with natives, their employment generates productivity gains that increase the size of the pie, leading to an overall neutral impact on native employment. Democrats, who helped pass the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s, should know this: Manufacturing sector job losses attributed to that agreement were offset elsewhere in the economy.
But this isn't really about jobs or the economy. It's not even really about whether Romney's campaign is telling the truth about when the candidate left Bain. It's about defining Romney as an evil capitalist villain and creating a news cycle sideshow. But it tells us almost nothing new about how either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama would govern if given the keys to the White House.
If they did, why isn't Eric Holder prosecuting?
It matters in this: If he’s proven to be lying, then he was lying to everyone...including his supporters.
Meanwhile, the Chicago thug in the White House launders millions of tax dollars through his cronies in fictional “green” businesses, who then give those recycled bucks to his campaign. And then he has the gall to question how Romney spends HIS OWN money. This is the most disgusting person ever to hold the presidency.
We could almost field a illiterate, escaped lunatic/mass murderer and STILL be worlds better off!
A salary of $100,000 for the CEO of a major private equity firm isn’t much more than payment for the time it takes to sign the SEC documents. In fact that small amount of money is evidence that he was no more involved than as an official signatory.
This is a nothing-burger for rational people who know even a little bit about business. But for Obama’s base, who thinks that wealth is only gained through stealing, it is red meat in the class warfare strategy.
Seems like the question could be that after he left Bain, did he actually earn any money, or did he live off of his investments? There could be some question as to what, if any, income was reported for tax purposes. If somehow he didn’t pay any taxes, while legal, it would give the Obama side a potential boost by announcing that he hasn’t paid any taxes in xxx number of years.
... unless you have a (D) next to your name.
Perhaps the reason Romney has been timid in his response is he is waiting to see what the reaction to Sheriff Joe’s presser today will be.
Perhaps then he would be in a better position to call for the opening of Obama’s personal and school records for forensic examination. As well as further investigation into the issue of the forged Selective Service Registration and fraudulently obtained SSN.
I happen to agree with that, as did (IMHO) Steve Jobs who certainly demonstrated it's truth. But it is hardly a universally held belief here on FR. Plenty of folks willing to add tariffs to imported Chinese goods, a step that takes money right out of the private sector and sends it straight to Washington D.C.
I wonder if he is happy about the demonaztion of his company
Ask Obama if he considers any multinational company ( GE etc ) to be involved in outsourcing.
Bet he doesn’t understand that this is the reality of a Global economy and sometimes the other parts of the world make it possible for the US portion to survive.
Knuckleheads need to wake up, and ask the important question: Why does Obama view Bain as a problem for Romney? Obama has played like a venture capitalist since taking office, only he has used taxpayers dollars to throw away at failing, green energy companies. Most of Obama’s ventures have ended in bankruptcy, and some have been outsourced. Obama has gotten his cut though, kickbacks through campaign donations. Obama doesn’t need offshore accounts, not when he can give multi-billion dollar gifts to countries like Brazil to pay Soros for drilling where American companies aren’t allowed to drill. That is better than an offshore account. It just keeps on paying off, except for the taxpayers. Had Obama wanted wise investments in green energy and offshore drilling, he would have asked Romney to do it for him. The taxpayers might have gotten something out of their money.
But for Obamas base, who thinks that wealth is only gained through stealing, it is red meat in the class warfare strategy.
Those “ give me some of that Obama Stash” supporters don’t realize how rich many of the Dems/supporters/bundlers are.
They are only interested in “ when do I get mine”
That's the headline. Look it up. This is beyond ridiculous.
That's the headline. Look it up. This is beyond ridiculous.
How many jobs have been lost since Obama took office? Seems to me he is the greatest outsourcer of all. Millions of jobs outsourced not to foreign countries but to oblivion.
He's probaqbly waiting for a time closer to the election...maybe announce an indictment of Mitt Romney four days before the election.
NY Times: No Evidence Romney did Bain Work
Hopefully this is a sign some of the MSM are saying to Barry.
You are on your own this time. We covered for you in 2008. Not now.