July 13th, 2012
06:02 PM ET
2 years ago

Acosta interview: Romney's spirited Bain rebuttal

(CNN) - Following a week of some of the sharpest attacks yet on his management of the financial firm Bain Capital, Mitt Romney offered a vocal defense Friday of his tenure there and strongly disputed reports he left the firm years later than he has previously said.

"There's nothing wrong with being associated with Bain Capital, of course," Romney said in an interview with CNN's Jim Acosta. "But the truth is that I left any role at Bain Capital in February of 1999."

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The Democratic criticisms, combined with a series of recent news articles looking into what is and isn't known of Romney's complicated financial portfolio, are simply "an effort on the part of the president's campaign to divert attention from the fact that the president has been a failure when it comes to reigniting the American economy," Romney said of President Barack Obama.

Romney stopped short of saying Obama's campaign was lying in recent ads hitting at his Bain tenure. Democrats have charged that Bain - under Romney and after - profited when companies owned by Bain closed and when jobs were outsourced overseas.

Obama's campaign, he said, is "putting out information which is false and deceptive and dishonest" in their advertisements.

Related: Why is 1999 so important to 2012?

Financial documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, including some obtained and reviewed by CNN, list Romney in various capacities with Bain after what Romney has repeatedly said was his February 1999 departure from the firm. That month, he took the reins of the Salt Lake City Olympic games and "relinquished all management authority and role in Bain Capital," he said in the interview.

Democrats, however, have pointed to the fact that his name appears on Bain Capital financial documents until 2002 as evidence Romney did not actually leave the firm. In 2002, Romney signed a retirement package with the firm and was no longer an owner of the company.

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter charged in a conference call with reporters this week that Romney "through his own words and his own signature was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony," or was otherwise "misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments."

Presented with Cutter's felony suggestion, Romney asked if that is "really what's expected from the campaign of the sitting president of the United States?"

"Is this the level that the Obama campaign is willing to stoop to? Is this up to the standards expected of the presidency of the United States?" he asked. "It's disgusting, it's demeaning it's something which I think the president should take responsibility for and stop."

In the interview, Romney also lent greater clarity to his intentions surrounding release of his tax returns. In January, Romney released his 2010 return and an estimate of his 2011 tax year liability.

Related: Romney team defiant in response to Bain attack

"The law requires us to put out a full financial disclosure and that I've done," he said, adding that the most recent year will be released "as soon as the accountants have that ready.

"And that's what we're going to put out," he said. "People always want to get more and we're putting out what is required plus more that is not required. And those are the two years that people are going to have and that's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances."

Also see:

Reid: Romney couldn't be confirmed as dog catcher

McDonnell furiously defends Romney from Obama salvo

Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'

RNC backing Romney with $5 million ad buy

Barbour: If in Romney’s position, I would release tax docs

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Bain Capital • Mitt Romney • Taxes • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. eric

    Suddenly Republicans are concerned about truth...

    July 13, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Phillip Ng

    Interview was a total softball and waste of time. I would ask questions on China investments and did he get pay by Bain as an employee and how much.

    July 13, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. beezers

    What Obama has done with his campaign is disgusting! He clearly has no integrity. I hope Romney trounces him in the general election.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. hypatia

    Say the pot.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Thomas

    "Is this the level that the Obama campaign is willing to stoop to? Is this up to the standards expected of the presidency of the United States?" he asked. "It's disgusting, it's demeaning it's something which I think the president should take responsibility for and stop."

    SHOW US YOUR REAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE MR ROMNEY !

    SHOW UP YOUR TAX RECORDS OF OFFSHORE BANKS !

    SHOW US YOUR DEFERMENT TO GO TO FRANCE FOR THE LDS !

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Cherries

    The thing that irks me the most about elections is that both parties spend most of their time bashing eachother and not a lot about what they want to do. The rest of what I hear is speculation from third parties. Kind of like a cat fight: lots of noise, but rarely any claw.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  7. insight iowa

    First off Obama was not the one who wrote the facts on Mitts lies... It was the Boston Globe. Second, this is the most untrustworthy man who has ever ran for president. This Republican will be voting for Obama in 2012. Country over party.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. kayla

    all lies you will hear from him

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Haha...Deputy Doublethinkn looks like he's on mescalin in that picture and somebody off to the side just lit up a July 4th sparkler. Woudln't suprise me. Dude would have to be tripping to say half the crap that comes out of his mouth or believe any of it.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Dave

    "Deceptive and dishonest."

    Romney is projecting his own behavior onto his opponents again.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. inewt

    Mitt knows all about deception and dishonesty.

    July 13, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Mary

    And we have to listen to this BS for how much longer?

    July 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Angel

    Romney's refusal to release additional tax returns could possibly mean one thing, and that is he probably didn't pay income taxes during certain years.

    July 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Ricky L

    Romney didn't answer a single question.

    July 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Kenneth Rios

    "And those are the two years that people are going to have and that's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances."

    I don't like being talked down to, especially when the person is seeking the very open office of President of the United States.

    July 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. Myviewis

    Obama couldn't cut it as president the first 4 years, wants 4 more years to be a storyteller and has to trash someone'e life because Obama can't run on his own job performance, his own record. Instead of pretty speeches, hanging out with Hollywood, Obama should have been working but then he is a rookie, has no idea what to do with the country because he has never even ran a government office, state or city. This is a guy who never held a job as a manager of a business. His job record is that of a part-time lecturer, 4 year junior lawyer in a law firm and his Law license even expired in 2002. This is the guy who thinks he should have 4 more years????? A guy who is getting on-the-job training as Hillary Clinton once said and a very expensive on-the-job training for all of us. Think it's time Obama stops trashing someone's life and gets a job in Hollywood writing scripts.

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. gbuddha2012

    if warren buffett could show charlie rose his hefty tax returns I think mittster could do the same for the American public... no one in their right mind can trust this chameleon

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Paul

    Mitt. "Obama BAD GUY" is not convincing anyone of anything. The more you react, the more we realize there's some truth. Why don't both of you cut the c$ap and speak to the voters with clarity and specificity. You are both driving me crazy.

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. FOfa

    We all know why Mitt is not going to release more years of tax returns! If he had nothing to hide, he would have release them by now...and yet millions will vote for the most deceptive man in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. James

    I'd say if Romney's against the economic practices that Bain Capital engaged in 3, 4 or 10 years after he left THEN he can say that Obama's attacks against Bain are dishonest. So far, Romney hasn't disagreed with what Bain has been doing in terms of favoring offshore labor to capitalize the assets they've acquired.

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. mike

    Could CNN's interviewer give Romney any more air time to give a campaign speach? Romney did not answer the questions and as usual this interviewer didn't have the gut's (for use of a better word) to hold Romney's feet to the fire. Now I know why Romney agreed to go on CNN. He knew they wouldn't ask the tough question. They should change the name of CNN to CNN-Fox

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. sharonw.

    Will you Presidential candidates PLEASE just tell us what your views are instead of constantly telling us what the other guy has done wrong!!! Yikes...take a poll. I'm not even sure I know the actual views of my candidate. They both keep just bad mouthing each other.

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. blahahahaaaa

    Mitt is the king of deception and lies, so maybe he is just seeing a little of himself in the Obama campaign.

    July 13, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. yurlipsrmuvn

    Looks like the Obama crew stepped in it again!

    July 13, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  25. InVT

    So going from losing 1/2 million jobs a month to month after month of gains is 'failure'?
    i love how these Republican wh@res say govt. can't create jobs, then say it is Obama's fault he didn't create jobs, and how they will create jobs if in govt.

    Talk about deceptive and dishonest.

    July 13, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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