(CNN) – The suggestion this week from a top Obama campaign official that Mitt Romney may have committed a felony by listing himself as CEO of Bain Capital after leaving the firm was picked apart Sunday, with Republicans decrying the remark as the worst type of divisive politics and Obama's team urging its rivals to "stop whining."
Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.
"Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments," Cutter said, responding to a newspaper report that Romney was listed as Bain Capital's CEO after 1999, when he has repeatedly said he left the private equity firm.
The significance of Romney's date of departure centers on companies acquired by Bain that later shipped jobs overseas. Romney claims he left the company before those decisions were made, but Democrats point to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that indicate Romney was still listed as the firm's CEO.
Cutter's words drew a quick response from Obama's opponents, who said the suggestion that the presumptive GOP nominee had committed a felony was below the office of the presidency.
Romney himself said in an interview with CNN on Friday that the charge was "disgusting" and "demeaning," and called on Obama and his campaign to apologize.
Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Romney, echoed that sentiment on Sunday, saying on CNN the charges reflected a "say anything" stance adopted by the president's campaign.
"We now know that this president will say anything to keep this highest office in the land, even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land," Gillespie said.
And Kevin Madden, newly appointed to a more senior role on Romney's team, said on CBS that the felony suggestion was out of line.
"I think it is very troubling that the president would direct this campaign to label someone like Gov. Romney, who is a very good and honorable man, as a felon. That's very troubling," Madden said.
Cutter, sitting next to Madden on the CBS set, said she was not calling Romney a felon, but merely stating the Bain documents, if misrepresentative of his role at the company, would amount to a felony. She refused to apologize for the remark.
"He's not going to get an apology," Cutter said. "Just a few months ago in the primary Mitt Romney said to his opponents - who were crushing him at the time – 'stop whining.' And that's a good message for the Romney campaign. Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, just put the facts out there and let people decide rather than trying to hide them."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who left his post as Obama's chief of staff in 2010 to run in the mayoral election, had similar advice for the Republican candidate.
"Give it up about Stephanie. Don't worry about that," Emanuel said on ABC. "What are you going to do when a China president says something about you? Stop whining. If you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card for the White House, defend what happened to Bain Capital and what happened to those jobs that went overseas, those jobs that were actually cut and eliminated."
Romney should concentrate on his positives, his $250,000 horse can dance better then Obama's horse, any day.
Obumba has been whining for three plus years blaming Bush, Congress and the Republicans.....and he had absolute power and blew it up – but again that was Bush's fault! And where are his college transcripts and his collage application? Where is his real birth certificate not that doctored birth announcement.....Where is the transparency......?
This administration has thug written all over it!
All I can say is if this dope gets back into office, this country deserves all it gets. Me, I will be just fine!
It's all George's fault......no, that's not whinning!
Yes Romney, Stop whining and tell the American people the truth, about your taxes,overseas Bank accounts and all the rest you are hiding.We deserve to know the truth so stop telling the people lies.
When laid off workers were whining, Romney rejoiced. People called him a smart guy. He or his company never thought twice while out sourcing what would happen to thousands of people who will be laid off. Now a mere word 'out sourcing' makes him uncomfortable. Cool down Sir. More to come.
Poor Willard–he lies about Newt and Snatorum and whoever else he can muster up a few choice lies about but he can't take it. He and his corporate masters think he has a chance in November–fortunately we don't elect pathological liars. It will all come to a head in October!
Time for Romney to take the gloves off. If Obama wants to talk about felons, how an an ad with him singing "I'm o in love with you" and pictures of Blagovic, Ayres, Rezko – felons all, combined with others of his associates like Rev. Wright, Van Jones, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore and the whacky liberal hit parade.
What we have here is a failure of Romney to Man Up in nearly every regard. This guy for president? Show us your taxes; explain either your illegal filing on Bain, or your lying to us about it. Can't be both.
R Money is running for WOTUS – WHINER of the US!
As a former business, Romney should know that if it isn't in writing, it doesn't exist.
Hard position to be.. If Mitt doesn't release his income tax files then he will give the perception he is hiding something, if he does release them, then the Obama team will cremate him.. Either way he looses, his strategists are amateurs..!!
And if someone said that about Obama, what would happen?
Regarding Romney: is it legal to pay a salary to someone that doesn't work at the comapnay and keep them on the group insurance plan?
CHILDREN! CHILDREN! CHILDREN! Time-out! All this refusing to apologize... "suggestions" of wrong doing, etc.,
are childish and sound like a kindergarten playground! And OBAMA – who is poking everyone in the butt with his pitchfork, is the biggest trouble-maker and cry-baby of all!
Grow-up! - and talk about the "big-boy issues" of unemployment, national debt, health care the FUTURE of this country, etc.
I haven't researched the SEC documents, but what was Romney's salary in those years in question? it should all be documented.
Just release the facts? You mean like Obamas college records? Those kinds of facts? The Dems are caught lying about Romney and now they try to shift the blame to Romney. Dems need to stop acting like a buch of 4 year olds! Just listen to Obama – I I I – Me me me....
Apologize for what? She didn't call him a felon. She said the acts were felonies. Get over it Mittens and show the papers. He has a lot of nerve thinking anyone owes him anything. He started the negative attacks and now that President Obama is fighting back with the truth he's whining again. And this spineless, lying jellyfish wants to be POTUS. Give me a break. Your rotten treasonous party has done absolutely nothing to move our economy forward, their sole ambition to make President Obama look bad and forcing him to show his birth certificate, yet you think you shouldn't have to show your taxes?? Really Mittens??
Anyone that votes for this flip flopping liar is completely lost and out of their minds.
If the Obama administration believes Mitt Romney committed a felony, why haven't they arrested him?
All this really makes one think that the GOP must have a game-plan where everyone nominates Ron Paul in August and Romney was just there to misdirect the Obama campaign. It's the only logical reason for the Romney campaign to be so sloppy. As for Romney whinning? America hasn't seen a Republican with a backbone for years now, so it's no surprise.
Saying something is a felony is quite different than saying that person actually committed a crime. Just imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. The GOP would not let the birther issue die and Donald Trump is still talking about that one. What can we expect from a party that gives Donald Trump "The Statesman of the Year" award. A man was has been bankrupt as many times and he has been married. A real good role model. Romney needs to just get out there and tell the truth. And just because you were In Salt Lake City does not mean there are no lines of communication. Where I work the CEO can be out several months, but is heres through emails, conference calls, etc. And rest assured he knows everything that is happening and does make all the decisions. Being out of the office is not excuse unless you are an assembly line worker as a profession. Just give me a break – do the honestly think anyone who has had a job will fall for that line. The party that wants to take us back 50 years" will note get my vote this time.
Romney (Slick Willard) should put his Big Boy Pants on, realize documents from Bain Capital say it all, he was there, weither on paper or other wise – own it. Romney will say any thing to get elected.
Wake upAmerica! Do you really want a Slick Willard running our Country.
Romney and his GOP surrogates are constantly saying HORRIBLE things about President Obama without a grain of truth to them. President Obama is strong and rarely responds to their attacks. President Obama's camp says something about Romney that DOES have some truth to it, but perhaps there is a ray area (it remains to be seen what the truth is since Romney won't release the information) and Romney whines like crazy. As usual the GOP dishes it out, but cannot take it. There is NO WAY I am voting for Romney or any other GOPer until they fix their party.
If the roles were reversed, Obama and his minions would be howling for an apology, reparations and who knows what else. Hypocrites.
In this era of bullying, Obama leads the pack. Bad example to set for younger americans. The big O seems a little scared and jealous which is the case with most bullies. He may well have had an abusive childhood.
Romney better buckel up! It about get real bumpy.