Democrats to Romney: 'Stop whining' over felony remark
July 15th, 2012
12:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Democrats to Romney: 'Stop whining' over felony remark

(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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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."


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (517 Responses)
  1. Dixie Normous

    Romney and his GOP surrogates are constantly saying HORRIBLE things about President Obama without a grain of truth to them......LIE, all true.
    President Obama is strong and rarely responds to their attacks.....LIE, he responds every time, with more lies.
    President Obama's camp says something about Romney that DOES have some truth to it, but perhaps there is a gray area (it remains to be seen what the truth is since Romney won't release the information) and Romney whines like crazy...LIE
    As usual the GOP dishes it out, but cannot take it.....LIE, aparently you do not pay attention due to the thickness of your blinders.

    July 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Namryan

    Sure the guy is good at dishing, but not at taking... grow up, you're old enough to be a grandpa!

    July 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. SuperD

    Take the gloves off Romney. Call Obama what he really is and see if he likes that. Just repeat, repeat, repeat,

    "Our Socialist, President......etc..." Brand his sorry rear end, because Romney is not a Felon, but Obama is definetely a Socialist.

    July 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. dog1

    Have you forgotten, the law does not apply to the very rich. He can break any law and do anything he wants and you all need to understand that there's nothing you can do about it. Once you understand that, you understand why he can take over a company and completely ruin the lives of the employees by destroying their jobs and stealing their pensions. The rules regarding what a good person would do, you know elect not to put profit above peoples lives, do not apply to him. He is the imminent example of the ultr-rich right wing agenda, make this into a second class, minimum wage country, make as much profit as possible and then leave it behind like they do to companies.

    July 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Jesus Christ Superstar

    Apparently calling the President an Unamerican socialist Kenyan muslim is ok, but saying Mitt Romney lied when he signed SEC papers or to the American people, thats demeaning and disgusting.

    July 16, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  6. Dixie Normous

    Why doesn't Obama run on his record instead of trying to dig up dirt on Romney?
    ------------
    He would lose what little support he has left, and the landslide in november to elect anybody but Obama would be even bigger.

    July 16, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  7. bk753

    Mitt Romney was called a "maniacal liar" by a member of HIS OWN PARTY (Newt Gingrich). That's not "ooops, he misspoke," or "well, those facts are not quite correct." That's "MANIACAL LIAR." What does that tell you???

    July 16, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Jay

    When ask if he will claim the jobs created after he left, Mitt said yes, it was policies I put in place prior to leaving that generated those jobs. What he doesn’t want to take credit for is all of the negative things that happened during those same periods.
    Like all big corporations, they socialized all their loses in the form of bailouts but want to keep their profits private. It is always other people's fault when bad things happened but it is their genius that directly contributed to all the good things.

    July 16, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Saboth

    Romney: "But mooooom, I want to be the only one that can say mean things and tell half-truths about people!"

    I'm sure it's a big struggle to come to the terms money can't buy respect in the Presidential race.

    July 16, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  10. Weekend visitor

    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.

    July 16, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |

    July 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. NickAnast

    Did Rmoney apologize to Obama for quoting him waaaaaay out of context? No. Did Rmoney apologize to Obama for claiming that Obama made the economy worse (which he didn't) and then denying he ever said that? No. Did Rmoney apologize to Obama for his false claims that Obama has traveled the world apologizing for America? No. Did Rmoney apologize to any of his GOP rivals for the lies he told about them? No. So why should Obama apologize for telling the truth about Rmoney?

    July 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. conniesz

    Romney was the CEO and owner of record – regardless of how negligent he was in filling those roles, those were his official roles none-the-less and he was legally and morally responsible for the behaviour of the firm during his tenure. It's simple really – just because you ignore a responsibility does not remove that responsibility from your list. Get over it Romney – you screwed up by neglecting to perform the duties that come with being a CEO – you can't wish that away by saying "I was not involved" – you were the owner and CEO of record, by definition you were involved.

    July 16, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. Chumlee

    Poor Mittens. Does he need some tissue?

    What goes around Mittens, comes around, and it is all about to bite you in your backside!

    July 16, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Ol' Lefty

    But he retired retroactivley. LOL!

    July 16, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. MJ Taylor

    Holy cow, if Mitt's this whiny now, what's he going to be like when he gets criticized by another world leader?

    July 16, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. joe800

    republicans lie. republicans practice a professional level of hypocrisy. mittens signed a very important government form. he lied about his involvement at bain and profiting from that involvement. now the facts are being shown to the public. he lies. romney is a felon because he is, not because the obama team called him one.

    July 16, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. chill

    Instead of shooting the messenger who was only stating a fact, simply explaint he date discrepancy. Was Romney CEO of Bain Capital beyond the 1999 date he has cited or was he listed as such in error. Seems pretty straight forward to me.

    July 16, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Gloria

    Obviously, all the facts are not available to the general public, but I think Romney's own words that he enjoys firing people who serve him says a great deal!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    July 16, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Democrat and I vote

    Poor, poor, Mittens. Typical mo-mo crybaby.

    July 16, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Regressive

    I seem to recall that Mitt was touting his job creation record at Bain which included the years in question. Now he is trying to distance himself from those years? Hmmm, you know really guys this is who you want as President? He is weak, a flip flopper, pandered ( I love Michigan, I love cars, I love grits, America is just the right shade of blue (oops) I mean red), and more importantly he IS trying to hide something TAXES! B/c they will show that Mitt is not so patriotic- runs away to France during Vietnam war and invests in other countries rather than America! Did I mention he is just simply out of touch with every day Americans.

    July 16, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Wayne

    Only proves republicans aren't adult enough to be an effective party to do what is good for America in a two party system. Replace them. Their motto, "Me, Myself, and I"

    July 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -Dixie Normous

    Romney and his GOP surrogates are constantly saying HORRIBLE things about President Obama without a grain of truth to them......LIE, all true.
    President Obama is strong and rarely responds to their attacks.....LIE, he responds every time, with more lies.
    President Obama's camp says something about Romney that DOES have some truth to it, but perhaps there is a gray area (it remains to be seen what the truth is since Romney won't release the information) and Romney whines like crazy...LIE
    As usual the GOP dishes it out, but cannot take it.....LIE, aparently you do not pay attention due to the thickness of your blinders.
    ********************************
    And you are proving our point with your own blinkered and infantile responses. Grow up, and quit whining. Romney carpet-bombed his opponants in the primaries without ever putting forth a single positive idea or initiative, a strange thing for somone who has been actively campaigning for over 6 years to do. Romney has no new ideas, not one, because the one good thing he did as governor was to extend healthcare coverage, an act that he was pushed into doing and now can't tout as an achievement. BTW, did you really think Obama was going to simply roll over and not fight back? Of course you did, hence your inability to handle the fact he's beating Romney over the head with his " record".

    July 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. pssttcmere

    dog1 ... it apparently doesn't apply to community organizers either. Thanks for your trolling. I am sure it is much appreciated by obamaCo.

    Namryan ... maybe you should change your name to nimrod. Have you watched the crybaby-in-chief at all?

    Dixie Normous ... would those horrible things include asking why obama had to invoke executive privilege in the Fast & Furious investigation, or why he has helped the deficit soar to new heights, or why he uses the taxpayer money to campaign....the list is too numerous to mention. But swillers of obamadinejad's magic elixir will never ask those pertinent questions.

    July 16, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -SuperD

    Take the gloves off Romney. Call Obama what he really is and see if he likes that. Just repeat, repeat, repeat,

    "Our Socialist, President......etc..." Brand his sorry rear end, because Romney is not a Felon, but Obama is definetely a Socialist.
    **********************
    Socialist, with a SCOTUS-supported GOP Individual Mandate, courtesy of your boy, the Cayman Kid.

    July 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. rosaadriana

    Romney is a whiner.

    July 16, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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