McDonnell furiously defends Romney from Obama salvo
July 13th, 2012
12:16 PM ET
11 years ago

McDonnell furiously defends Romney from Obama salvo

Williamsburg, Virginia (CNN) - The war of words over Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital flared Friday morning inside a Virginia trucking company, as the state's normally mild-mannered Gov. Bob McDonnell harshly rebuked the Obama campaign for demanding that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee release more of his tax returns.

At a press conference inside a Williamsburg trucking company organized by the Republican Governors Association to coincide with President Obama's campaign swing through the commonwealth, McDonnell and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker derided the president for using Bain to distract from his "horrible" record in the White House.

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Walker and McDonnell were in Williamsburg to attend the annual meeting of the National Governors Association.

"All that wonderful lofty hope and change rhetoric in 2008 has now delved into a message of division and destruction and malaise," McDonnell told reporters.

After spending several minutes picking apart President Obama's record on job creation and spending, McDonnell became animated when a reporter asked if Romney should release more than just two years of tax returns in order to put to rest questions about his personal investments and offshore holdings.

McDonnell called on the president to pull his campaign ads accusing Romney of outsourcing jobs while at Bain. He bluntly accused Obama of running a "reckless" and "irresponsible" campaign designed to "scare people."

"For this president to run his campaign on ads about Bain Capital, which are absolutely false misrepresentations, he has been called out by the Washington Post, by, he his just flat wrong," McDonnell said, beads of sweat gathering on his brow. "It's false and he ought to pull those ads. To talk about Mitt Romney's tax returns, when he has complied with the law, he ought to be talking about taxes and energy and getting people back to work and reducing the debt."

Walker made a similar argument, accusing Obama of trying to change the subject from his record in office.

When asked if Bain is fair part of Romney's record to examine, Walker said people should focus on his record as governor of Massachusetts.

And McDonnell, standing off to the side, shook his head and said, "No, no."

He took to the podium again and said that if Bain did engage in the outsourcing of jobs, it happened after Romney left Bain in 1999 (though the exact time of Romney's departure from the private equity firm is currently the subject of debate).

"All these attacks are things that happened after Mitt Romney left as the managing director of Bain," McDonnell said. "To the degree that there is any truth to these outsourcing allegations – these are things that happened after 1999."

McDonnell touted Romney's record at Bain as recently as May.

"As Governor of Massachusetts and head of Bain Capital, he did enormous work to stimulate entrepreneurship and free enterprise, over 100,000 new jobs," he recently told Fox News.

Filed under: 2012 • Bob McDonnell • Mitt Romney • President Obama • RGA • Scott Walker • Virginia
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    "reckless" and "irresponsible" campaign designed to "scare people." ???

    Baby, that's the whole GOP playbook! Why? Because all of the GOP's economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES!

    P.S. If Mittens has nothing to hide, he should release his last 10 years of tax returns. PERIOD.

    July 13, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. sammieb51

    I know there is a scintilla of truth in this post ... the problem is identifying it. Usually with Romney or his mouthpieces, if their lips are moving, they ARE lying.

    July 13, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. demwit

    Obama is a great story teller...

    July 13, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. rs

    This "evidence", and the GOP's defense of Mr. Romney means either of two things:

    First, regarding Bain, it is an outright lie. Mr. Romney is listed on the Annual SEC filings as the President, CEO, and be the sole stockholder, and he pulled down a six-figure annual salary, yet they claim he did NOTHING (man, I want a job like that!).
    Second, it is true, that Mr. Romney was President, CEO, sole stockholder and on salary doing absolutely nothing to guide HIS company and that this is Mr. Romney's model for being President of the most powerful nation on earth. He'll take the money, have the office and title and -do nothing. No thanks. Maybe he'll outsource our nattion's Presidency to China?

    Does the GOP REALLY expect anyone to buy this load?

    July 13, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. California Gary

    Goodness......listen to them squeal when the identical "Rovian" style tactics are used against them that they employed so effectively against John Kerry in 2004. When the shoe is on their foot, it doesn't feel so good. They shouldn't complain, seeing as how they basically invented this style of politics.

    July 13, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Jules

    Here's the thing – Mitt Romney took a leave of absence from Bain. He did not resign, he did not retire. He remained the sole owner, the CEO and the president of the company until 2002. Now, it is understandable he could not sell a company quickly, but could he have named a new CEO or new president? Of course. He did not. His intent was to return to Bain when the Olympics was over. It is truly hard to believe he did not have any interest in what a company he owned, was CEO of and president of and expected to return to did during that time. That is really a stretch. He would have us believe that he received 100,000 a year until 2002 over and above his investment revenue as part of a retirement package, except he didn't retire. My guess is that his tax returns from that time reflect this and that is why he won't release them.

    July 13, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |

    Ok ,you can go down in flames with the rest of the Gop bafoons party in Nov ,I read the articals and you should do the same the republican bafoons like to tell you ,don't believe what you saw with your own eyes ,well if your stupid and brain dead , ok?

    July 13, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. B.

    Romney obviously has reason to always be vague and opaque, as this latest Bain story shows!

    July 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Harry From Pa

    Ok lets say it like this. If you want a government that is open to the public, that people want. Why not just show your tax records? Everyone else out there is wanting to see them. If you call yourself in touch, release them. If you want to be like your dad who gave years of tax records, release them. If someone said they didn't take the cookie from the cookie jar but they have crumbs on their shoulder...... Now for the working longer at Bain. A simplistic approach to this would be, someone has a car, they want to by a new one so they give their car to their sibling, leaving it in the name of the person who originally had the car. After a couple years the sibling gets into an accident with the car or does something wrong with it. Who do you think will take some of the responsibility? Your name was on it, don't matter how long ago you got rid of the car...

    July 13, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Lisa P

    Ha! Scott Walker only wishes he had the sort of job creation record that President Obama does! 40th in the Nation, dead last in the Midwest, half the national rate. He doesn't want anyone examining records, he just wants them to listen to, and believe without question, his bought-and-paid-for lies. As does Mitt - what an odd coincidence. And McDonnell makes three, apparently. Not much honesty there.

    July 13, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. rs

    Meanwhile the "mild-mannered Gov. Bob McDonnell" (the same one who has signed on to some of the craziest TEA Party legislation into law- especially as it applies to women's reproductive rights) furiously defends Mr. Romney from the mean old charges of the Obama campaign (did the SEC filings lie?).

    Where was Mr. McDonnell's keen sense of decency when the GOP trooped out the crazy Birther lies? Why was his keen sense of decency not offended then? Oh, yeah. He's a Republican- its perfectly alright for them to dish up lies.

    July 13, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Dean

    I don't care what Romney did with his money (obviously, in a very successful manner). I do care about what Obama is doing with our money (a spectactular failure).

    July 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    When Karl Rove is on the other side, you'd better not pull any punches. Where were all of these moralistic Repubs. when John Kerry was having his military record besmirched by the Two Great Draft Dodgers, Bush/Cheney ? They were all giggling in the corner like school girls & winking @ Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie & T. Boone Pickens.

    July 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Independent Voters for Obama

    McDonnell trying to be top in the VP list of Romney... I like McDonnell, but I will not vote for Romney...he does not deserve my vote... He is running for Bush third term....

    July 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    The Pat Robertson protégé speaks with puppet like cadence.

    July 13, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Joseph Agunbiade

    For Obama 2012 we are just starting. Prime time is still in October. Romney, ready?

    July 13, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Norm

    It seems Obama has learned well from the McCain/Palin tactics of 2008.
    Now that the tactics are being used on the GOP....there's an outrage.
    Maybe they "evolved"....

    July 13, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    Aaaaaaaaaaand....when Mittens wanted to run for governor of MA, he testified before the MA state legislature that he was stil involved at Bain, giving him business connections to the state, during the time he now denies he had anything to do with Bain (1999 et seq).

    July 13, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Myviewis

    Obama is just desperate, as Obama said in his interview "everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?" and the answer is No. Obama has proven he could not and cannot manage the job of president. Obama's goal for a 2nd term is to tell a story to the American people that gives a sense of unity, optimism and have a conversation with the people about where do we go as a country. Obama is out of touch with reality, this is not a plan for people standing in the unemployment line, people who have exhausted all their savings, are living with relatives trying to start over. Obama is not about leading, he is an inspiration, motivational speaker and author. He really should stick to writing books of inspiration.

    July 13, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Pete

    So how much did Romney give this republican governor to back him up,nothings for free from these hypocrites and everyone has a price just ask Tom Delay,he was bought like most of them including McConnell wasn't he!!

    July 13, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Jeff in Virginia

    Just leave it to Sarah Palin's lapdog to write a piece like this. Great job!

    July 13, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. ST

    We can also say the same that defenders of Romney want to use the White House record, to distract from horrible Romney Bain Capital saga.

    July 13, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    This is called surrender can’t defend or fight back

    Romney ran on Bain records, he said he left Bain 1999 after 1999,2001 and 2002 he got salary from Bain he sign government document as CEO and owner

    July 13, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Myviewis

    I think Democrats as always are conveniently ignoring that 3 or 4 Democrat Senators involved with Bain Capital confirmed Romney was not involved with Bain after 1999, the paper people are looking at is the normal paperwork in progress to remove a person, to transfer investments, all the legal stuff attorneys work on and it may take up to 2 or 3 years for all records to be finalized and tax returns to reflect all the changes. Obama is just desperate and his desperation is making him look like a fool who has no comprehention of legal transitions that attorneys work out in corporations.

    July 13, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. rob

    CNN just filed a story about the whole issue where they basically cleared Romney. Of course the headline was misleading but in the story 4 people at Bain stated unequivicably that the Obama claims are false. Of the 4, I quote the CNN story: "....Three of the four are Democrats, and two of the four are active Obama supporters in Campaign 2012."

    Even when the Washington Post and CNN call the claims false the Obama campaign doubles down becaus they know that they will not be condemed by that same media. Jay carney will not be Hounded by the reporters at the pressers and Obama himself won't be asked about it. But thankfully, CNN has to play it somewhat honestly or they will lose the last 500 people who watch them and read their web site

    July 13, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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