Romney cites incident of helping campaign contributor
July 17th, 2012
10:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney cites incident of helping campaign contributor

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Tuesday mentioned an example in which he, as Massachusetts governor, provided assistance to a campaign donor, but argued it was not the same act of "favoritism" he now accuses President Barack Obama of committing in the Oval Office.

Asked in an interview with CNN Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA if he had ever aided a political donor, Romney said his administration had "one circumstance" where a campaign contributor "was looking for help."

"We set up a very elaborate process to make sure that neither I nor other members of my staff were involved in the decision making," Romney added. "We wanted to make sure that by appearance and reality that this was done without bias, without favoritism."

His comments come the same week his campaign launched a new line of attack, blasting the president for funneling federal funds to companies whose owners had contributed to his campaign coffers.

In their "cronyism" approach, Romney's team points to reports that high-level contributors to Obama's 2008 presidential campaign won spots on advisory boards that distributed government loans to energy companies, as well as a report that a high-level donor was put in charge of hiring in the Obama White House.

Pressed Tuesday on whether Romney thinks Obama broke any laws, the presumptive GOP nominee said: “I don’t know about any specific law which prevents a president from carrying out a conflict of interest of some kind or providing money to businesses owned by campaign contributors, but it certainly stinks.”

Romney's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for further explanation about the incident Romney cited.

Obama's re-election team has forcefully denied Romney's claims, saying the Republican candidate was simply trying to distract voters from increased attention over his business record and financial portfolio.

"Launching a warmed over and false line of attack that has already been debunked by independent news organizations and fact-checkers won't help him," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Justin Lear and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Pennsylvania
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. American

    Cronyism Romney...

    Read conservative Andrew Sullivan's article on Romney's grotesque hypocrisy with cronyism.

    July 17, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  2. Larry L

    What a steaming pile of crap. Romney can't say an entire sentence without lying.

    July 17, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Mack

    He did it retroactively of course. You think the Koch boys and Sheldon are going to want a return on their investment?

    July 17, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. ohgran

    "the presumptive GOP nominee said: 'I don’t know about any specific law which prevents a president from carrying out a conflict of interest of some kind or providing money to businesses owned by campaign contributors, but it certainly stinks.'"
    If you are going to accuse someone of something, shouldn't you know about any specific law? Perhaps he was saying that there really isn't a law against what he is accusing the President of but he just THINKS there just has to be something wrong somewhere by someone. Nice distraction but really weak. Think of all the contributors to Romney who won't get anything in return. Really? Full disclosure was voted down again by his "friends".

    July 17, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. Chris

    but but but.. Crony Capitalism!! Oh yeah, Mitt did the same thing... Except his guys defaulted...

    July 17, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  6. Ins1te

    If Romney does it, it's fine. If Obama does the same thing, it's an issue. Go figure.

    July 17, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  7. Phil Thomas

    Wow desperation, they are really resorting to Fringe stuff its over before it even started

    July 17, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  8. enuff

    I guess Romney decided to come clean on ONE incident so that maybe no one will try and out him after he accuses Obama of the same thing. Maybe he thinks if he makes the first ripple himself, nobody will try and make it a wave. That shows how shallow he really is. It's all about the surface appearance.

    July 17, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. Four and The Door

    Pressed Tuesday on whether Romney thinks Obama broke any laws, the presumptive GOP nominee said: “I don’t know about any specific law which prevents a president from carrying out a conflict of interest of some kind or providing money to businesses owned by campaign contributors, but it certainly stinks.”
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    From Day One in the White House, Obama has made it clear what his priorities are. The good of the nation is very low on what he spends his time and energy on. Politics is Number One. That's just how he runs the show. What can be done to further the liberal political agenda? But this whole approach has backfired. The poor results for the nation and for the large majority of Americans ( the middle class and poor taking the biggest hit ) has become a serious problem that he needs to own up to. He cannot avoid these serious issues in the campaign. Long term very high and broad based unemployment. National debt that has our country decades in the hole and no plan to pull out. Nothing. This is what he will need to answer for. The voters expect responsibility and competence. He offers nothing. We have one choice. Romney 2012.

    July 18, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  10. normajean @ verizon ,com

    What "stinks" is that this person can't get through his pointless days without a "pot shot" at the president....Romney has already been shown to have feet of clay but he can't resis trying to bring down others ...no matter their position.He may be wealthy but that doesn;t automatically come with character...something he has managed to avoid in his high riding days. Would he make a good president? What do you think if his first thought is how it works for HIM???? The people pay!!!!

    July 18, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  11. Republicangrandma

    Romney sounds like pinocchio that goes to church and telling every church member not to lie. Oops wait! He does not go to church. He is Mormon.

    July 18, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  12. Phil Thomas

    Funny statement coming from a guy taking the Money he is taking and the amount of Billionaires hes hopping in Bed with. I'm sure those guys see no ROI but its sad how desperate Mitts Camp is getting

    July 18, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  13. Thomas

    Romney said his administration had "one circumstance" where a campaign contributor "was looking for help."

    Romney / Rubio
    "favoritism" only once 2012

    July 18, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  14. WeR4Freedom

    Lis Smith LOL!!! Just as Romneys story was checked out with Bain by fact check and no proof, the obummer administration is staying awake all night to keep it alive. Sorry obummer team, it's been debunked and this stinks coming from the highest office in America. Obummer is not for the success of Americans, he feels that success is because of him and his massive addition to the government staffing. Look at us now, we keep spending more than we bring in. Obummer has no leg to stand on. It's time for a new President. And a President Romney would be way better for our country for real hope and real change.

    July 18, 2012 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  15. chris

    Can you say lier.Say again what are you going to do first Mitt?

    July 18, 2012 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  16. Sirned

    I can do crony capitalism because I'm a Republican. You can't because you are a Democrat. See how this works?

    July 18, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  17. Marry

    -Mitt Romney on Tuesday mentioned an example in which he, as Massachusetts governor, provided assistance to a campaign donor... (he did not want anyone to know about!)
    -"We set up a very elaborate process to make sure that neither I nor other members of my staff were involved in the decision making," Romney added. "We wanted to make sure that by appearance and reality that this was done without bias, without favoritism."-
    Discovering a gardening company working for him, employing illegal workers Romney’s replay was: How can you do that – I am running for president for peats sake!
    In other words, he could afford to pay American workers a decent living salary but he prefers exploiting illegal workers instead. Important, he does not want anybody to know! That explains a lot about his character and state of mind and how he does business and why he cannot come clean with his Bain years. Lots of profiteering for him and paid for by the poor and middle class!! People, do you listen to what he says???? He is talking about YOU!

    July 18, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  18. Jerry

    As I have said before, Mr. Obama carries a lot more political baggage than Mr. Romney. So HE and his so called campaign team may want to stop the made-up attacks, which already have been disproven by media sources either supporting and/or close to Mr. Obama.

    Mr. Romney has worked with his or his investor's funds. Señor Obama, well, HE has distributed millions upon millions taxpayer funds to his cronies, contributors, bundlers, etc., etc., etc. And, a number of of those grants/loans have already failed.

    I ask where this those taxpayer funds go?!

    Again, people that live in glass houses may want to refrain from throwing stones.

    July 18, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  19. dwilson

    I am the Teaparty Speculator in Chief of Tennessee and we call on the Justice Department and the SEC to fully and completely investigate Mitt Romney for the period indicated in his SEC filings between 1999-2003 that prove he was in charge of Bain Capitol. We welcome this investigation as it will prove exaxtly the kind of man he is for the American people. 10 years of tax returns is expected as well since our Governor Romney has nothing to hide. We challenge those that believe otherwise.

    July 18, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Obviously he hasn't been paing attention to what has happened in the past. Some bundlers were given nice positions in the government over the couse of time. I am sure that if we are cursed with Romney as president that will happend with him as well.

    July 18, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  21. Out Of Touch with reality

    obama helps donors but screws the American worker, hows that hope and change working for you now, all LIES

    July 18, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  22. Joan

    When asked about some of his Bain investments that failed and companies were closed, didn't Romney say that some investments work out and others don't? Green energy is the way of the future and many of the investments have worked out well but this one didn't. That happens. Why don't we hear about the hundreds of very successful ones? The question about where the stimulus money went is a good one though. It appears that many governors used the money that was supposed to be for job creation in their states to pay down their debt and mismanaged budgets. They did not use the stimulus money as it was intended and directed. An investigation of how the stimulus money was really used by all the governors would be pretty interesting. Also, it is pretty brave of any Republican to attack anyone of cronyism. Can they spell H-A-L-I-B-U-R-T-O-N?

    July 18, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |