Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Denies Role in Management at Bain after 1999

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Romney Denies Role in Management at Bain after 1999

Article excerpt

LACONIA, N.H. -- His credibility under attack, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday that he had "no role whatsoever in the management" of a private equity firm after early 1999, and demanded that President Barack Obama apologize for aides who allege otherwise.

"This is simply beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States," Mr. Romney said in an interview on ABC, one of several he granted to network and cable stations in hopes of extinguishing the controversy.

Mr. Romney said that after he left the Bain Capital firm, he retained ownership "until we were able to negotiate a departure" from the company he had founded. "I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999," he said, adding that officials at the company and independent fact-checkers had said the same thing.

Mr. Obama himself had stepped into the controversy a few hours earlier, citing the inconsistencies over the date of Mr. Romney's departure from the firm and allegations that it had invested in firms that outsourced jobs to low-wage nations overseas. Some Security and Exchange Commission documents have surfaced suggesting that Mr. Romney played an active role through 2002.

"Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC multiple times that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital," Mr. Obama said. "And I think most Americans figure if you're the chairman, CEO and president of a company, that you are responsible for what the company does."

He said the questions, raised in numerous media reports and highlighted by his own campaign aides, were a legitimate part of the race for the White House. "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," the president said in an interview with WJLA-TV in Virginia, as he campaigned across the battleground state. …

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