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. FlotsamJetsam

    Romney can make this go away, by just releasing his tax returns and proving he derived no income from Bain in that time period. Why not do that already?

    July 13, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. winky

    Why did McDonnell step in for walker when he started to talk about Romney's Massachusetts record? No,no is their something to hide there too.

    July 13, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Logic N LA

    I never cared about his tax returns, but now that we know he was still CEO of Bain after 1999, yes, I want to see them. I want to know how much he profited from theri deals, whether he was active or passive in his 100% ownership of Bain

    July 13, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. 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...
    Look this guy is beyond ridiculous, I mean he doesn't even take responsibility for anything involving him and his company. A responsible person would take responsibility for his company if they did something wrong..

    July 13, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. anagram_kid

    Myviews wrote, “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.”

    I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt that what you meant to say was “To obtain a second term, Obama’s goal 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.”
    In any event, how is that a bad thing? I would applaud ANY politician that attempted to build unity. But then again there is nothing the president could do that you would not criticize. I can only image how awful it must be to be so consumed with abject hatred.

    July 13, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. Dave

    "when you have no record to run on, you paint your opponent as someone who the voters should run away from." – Obama 2008

    July 13, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. The Elephant In The Room

    Focus on his time as Mass Governor ? ? ? That`s the LAST THING Mitt Romney wants to do. Mr. 47th-in-Job-Creation, Grandpa of Romneycare ? ? ?

    I am amazed that these Governors [Warren & McDonnell] took such partisan shots at the President.

    July 13, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Chris

    It's funny that all the Republicans are defending Romney for not releasing his taxs. But these same people would be all over a Democratic canidate that refused to release their tax returns. Its time to outlaw politcal parties and return the government to the people!!!!

    July 13, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    When Bush was running for election the second time, he focused on how gay marriage would destroy America. It was uttered repeatedly. The sheeple's attention was moved from what was important to the Bush prejudice. Now the GOP have issues when others play by their rules?

    July 13, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Too much heat eh Gov Ultrasound. Going back to projection again. I bet Newt and Santorum think that politics is hardball after getting mud dumped on them by Willard RMoney. Too bad for Willard that the facts don't allow him to weasel out. Lied then or is lying now, his choice. The tax returns from 1999 -2002 will settle the dispute once and for all; we look forward to seeing them so we can all see it. McCain got 23 years worth, we voters deserve the same.

    July 13, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  11. NameBill

    Did Bain set up call centers in India and help other companies do so too or not? It should be fairly simple to find out who's lying here.

    July 13, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    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).

    Ahh yes, the latest dumbest conservative talking point. It doesn't matter how he got his money from outsourcing your familiy's jobs overseas to China, then hides that money in offshore accounts so that you, Dean, have to pay more in taxes for the same services that Willard uses. Just keep burying your head between the cheeks.
    Dean did you care when W was taking your tax dollars to square up daddy's unfinished beef with Sadam? Bet you a Romney 10 grand you didn't. Just another johnny come lately on deficits just like Cheney.

    July 13, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Eri

    I think Bain Capital is going to haunt Romney all the way to November.

    July 13, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. American

    Defending the indefensible. It is precedence started by Romney's father where every presidential candidate releases their tax returnS.

    Romney is no exception. What is hiding?

    July 13, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. GOP = Greed Over People

    "Obama of running a "reckless" and "irresponsible" campaign designed to "scare people."

    Just shows that President O is capable of learning the "scare tactics" used by the GOP.

    At least these "scare tactic" are verified by the FACT that there is a signed SEC form stating Mr. 1% was 100% owner of Bain in 2001.

    Some "inconvenient truths" cannot be denied not matter the amount of spin.

    July 13, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Mr 1% the "VULTURE CAPITALIST BUSINESSMAN" will outsource all the poor, disabled, unemployed and elderly, to China and sell America to the highest bidder!

    Guess the good governor does not remember "death panels", "birth cert" or crosshairs over Dem political districts.

    July 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. GOP puts "chri$t" in "chri$tian" since 60% of the GOP believes they should not care for those less fortunate!

    If Rev. Wright was a valid issue, then so is Bain.

    July 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Tony

    That is exactly what Romney is doing. Romney refuses to run on his record, which includes his Bain experience and the Massachusetts healthcare plan, and just attacks Obama nonstop. Like Romney said, politicians always accuse others of doing what they do themselves.

    July 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Martha in CF

    Why doesn't Romney have his money in the US?? I would say he has something to hide. And anyway, how much money does one family need? There are people hurting the US - contribute some of the wealth to the needy!!!!

    July 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Maxx

    Yeah, please don't talk about the bad things Romney has done. We wouldn't want to know about any of that.

    July 13, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Scott

    Once again Obama is desperate grasphing at straws to fuel his campaign of lies and deciet. Numerous Organzations, democrats, fact check,org and newspapers all have said he was not involved in Bain after 1999. So I am not surprised when he took the story from the Boston Globe, which is a liberal rag, similar to the the National Enquirer.

    July 13, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    At best, McDonnell, Willard is a CEO who does not know what's going on in his company like oh I don't know...Kenneth Lay. At worst, he's a pathetic liar. Your choice, Mr. Ultrasound in the name of Small Govt.

    July 13, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Ed from Watertown

    Romney is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to make the case that the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” is not responsible for the actions of his corporation, even if he has given day-to-day management to others.

    He was the sole stockholder, he was receiving the profits, he put the people in place to run it.

    How can any rational human being say he is not responsible for the corporate ethics of the organization he put together and for the actions of the management team he put in place? I guess this is what Romney really meant when he said corporations are people. In fact specifically, that corporations are mythical little green people who are really in charge, since nobody else seems to be.

    And Mr. Romney, is this the type of lack of the responsibility you will show as President? Thank God Harry Truman is no longer with us, because he would take his "The Buck Stops Here" nameplate off his desk and put it where the sun don't shine on you. Because you have no right to even think about using it.

    July 13, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. cali girl

    I think it is time for Robmey to put up the docs. No more screwing around. It all sounds way to fishy.

    July 13, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. winky

    Why in the world would u want to be a republican these days fiscal responsibility my

    July 13, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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