Democrats to Romney: 'Stop whining' over felony remark
July 15th, 2012
12:04 PM ET
11 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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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. ck

    Obama's team says Romney committed a felony by lying. independent fact check sources all confirm that Romney committed no wrong. Romney goes on air to rightfully defend himself. Now Obama's team accuses him of whining? You've got to be kidding me.

    July 15, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Thinker

    If Mitt the twit is so thin skinned, he has no business running for president. He needs to put up or shut up. Lets see the tax returns.

    July 15, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Chris

    Oh how I dislike the duplicity and hypocrisy of politics...when Romney was running negative ads against his Republican rivials it was exceptable but when its done to him....

    July 15, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Daniel

    Just releast the facts, if he was CEO in those years his tax forms would show this, if he was not CEO he really needs to explain the misinformation on the SEC filings. This far more serious than the Whitewater crap the Republicans brought up during the Clinton years. Romney is going with the Herman Cain philosophu, deny the truth and attack the people who told the truth.

    July 15, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Rick in Phx


    Calling Romney a "a whiner" over lies born in the campaign rooms of Obama schemers really takes the cake. Better just to campain on honest arguments than to see what greater Obama lies Romney should stand up against.

    As an Independent I wish Romney would run on honest arguments but he threw that out the window during the republican primary. So for Romney to now whine about the exact same tactics he used on his republican opponents is what takes the cake. If he thinks he's gonna get us independents to vote for him by playing the victim then he better start rethinking his campaign stratagey soon. We Independents remember well the ads Romney used aganist his fellow republicans and it would serve you well to remember them also. Open your eyes and take a good look at Romney, don't just give him your vote because he's a republican.

    July 15, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Lisa

    How about those tax returns , Mittens? Shouldn't your pal Trump be demanding them? God only knows if that was Obama holding such secrets!

    July 15, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. Redleg56

    Romney says one thing,, his siggnature says another, unless he was a do-nothing figurehead at Bain. LEts face ti aonyone who hides from military service because of his religion and then demonstraites in favor of other mother's sons going to Vietnam is a wprthless excuse. It snot that Obama is lying, its that Romney got caught in a lie.

    July 15, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. ED FL

    Try being honest and tell the truth.Where is your fortune ,how come you have to hide it in a foriegn country. How much tax have you dodged by hiding that loot. You do not have a chance to get elected based on your integrity and lying.Draft dodging didn't help you or the integrity of your family.

    July 15, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. mjw

    I am so glad Stephanie stood up for what she said, sitting right next to Kevin Madden. Both he and Gillespie did not answer the questions regarding why was Romney's signature on the SEC filings yet telling the people he had left 3 years earlier. Even blind Bartemeus could see that something is wrong. It is either a cover up for something more or he is plain out lying to the American people. I am sure there will be more shoes to fall after this massive campaign from private source is investigated. The thing that gets me, they can demean this president anyway they want, call him names, blatantly lie about his record and then cries when a volley is returned. Suck it up. We expect more attacks on the president from Karl Rove and the super-pacs. Romney in his own words said he could not turn round the economy in MA in 3 years while he was governor, but he expects this President to turn the economy of the US around with an obstructionist congress. They all feel the need to call out the President but never heard them calling out Republicans to apologise for anything. Give me a break.

    July 15, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. AgrippaMT

    Whine, whine, whine, just like a spoiled little rich boy. Hey, Mittens tell us where you want us to send your cheese to go with your whine.

    July 15, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Alina1

    Romney whining like a kid that wants that toy so badly. WHINER.

    July 15, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. Two Of AKind -

    I agree with Obama on Transparency. So will HE please:-

    [1] Hand over ALL the paperwork regarding Fast and Furious
    [2] Give the American people all the info on Bin Laden's "death" – And no – giving "secret" info to Hollywood to make
    an Obama proaganda movie doesn't cut it!
    [3] Tell the truth about the convenient White House "leaks" that made him look soooooo good in election year.
    [4] Tell us how he's going to keep his promise to 800,000 anchor babies to give them the "American Dream ticket"
    with $120 Trillion in UNFUNDED liabilities?
    [5] Explain how any normal man will lie about his own mother's "illness" to push his Healthcare plan.
    [6] Tell us why ALL his records, apart from his name [well one of the two he's used], address and CURRENT status
    are sealed? He's like "The man who never was" and THAT is a very bad sign

    Obama was NOT vetted before he was elected and tALL his records are SEALED? Why? He could be a criminal – how do we KNOW he's suitable for President?

    And he's acting the "attack dog" because Romney only presented 2 years of taxes? Gimmee a break!

    July 15, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  13. lies from obama(and mabye his father)

    Stop whining!? All Obumbled does is whine. He was rolling on the floor when he couldn't get his (extremely partisan) "jobs bill" through congress. Now they expect him to "stop whining" about a direct assault on Romney's charecter? And has anyone considered the third option? He told the truth! If republicans were questioning Obama's CU reccords, the media and liberals would scream bloody murder. This is distractionism and lying. Two things the Obama campaign is very good at.

    July 15, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. An Independent Thinking Voter

    I can not vote for Mitt Romney. There are MANY, MANY reasons but probably the biggest is that I just don't trust him. He as no core, He doesn't believe in anything. He doesn't stand for anything.

    The Bain stuff does matter because he has said that his 25 years in the "PRIVATE SECTOR" have made him uniquely qualified to turn the economy around. It's hard to see how someone that maxiimized profits at the expense of people would have any credibility in helping to get people employed again. If Romney had been Bill Gates and founded a new industry that spawned a whole new type of job, then MAYBE his vaunted biz background would mean something. Romney simply re-arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic and made sure all the rich folks made it into the life boats.

    July 15, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  15. mary

    The SEC documents are legal documents. You can't say...I signed the documents...but. We have all signed official papers that say....All information is factual and can be prosecuted under perjury/./fraud laws,,,etc. So why are they making a big deal out of it.....His story about the explanation makes him... look like liar.

    July 15, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Pete

    Romney and his staff are delushional and they'd better start an exit strategy if they want these dirty facts to stop,that's all!!They'll pound Romney to bits and his business empire he supposidly has will crumble because these facts won't go away over night and could be costly for Romney in the future,alls fair in politics,ya gotta take the good with the bad,so stay in Romney and take your medicine ,you deserve it!!

    July 15, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Truthtoday

    The "Birthers" now complain about dealing with presumptions of a felony committed. Yes, the same people that charged President Obama was not born in the United States, now coplain that his campaign is wrong for sharing the truth about Romney and Bain Capital. How typical is it for Romney to cry wolf after silencing himself on the birth issue. All I have to sayto Romney is "Shut up and take it like a man." That is, if you have it to do so. Obama should no more apologize than the Birthers, including Romney, apologized. I hope Obama wins. If one vote seals the victory, then it will surely be mine.

    July 15, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  18. Beauty

    Yes, Mitt, defend your practices at Bain Capital and if that is indefensible, try your 47th position in job creation in Masachussett. If you put out your tax returns like someone who has nothing to hide, American people will respect you and celebrate your success....................................until then, sorry!!!

    July 15, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  19. tangledthorns

    Who cares what Romney does with his money? I'm more concerned about how Obama is squandering our tax dollars by giving it away to cronies and foreign organizations!

    July 15, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  20. yogi

    It's about time that Romney is called out on the endless whining, all he has done so far is only Obama this Obama that. Romney has offered NO ideas NO solutions, why not? Simple because he has NO idea how to create jobs, HOW to improve the economy. His business experience is extremely shallow: going around to apply templates, and outsourcing with only one goal: To make MONEY on the backs of anyone that doesn't fit that goal. Yes, I know it is capitalism but also one of the worst kind, money first people last.

    July 15, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Corinne

    Obama ran his first presidential campaign by blaming Bush which is fair enough, however shouldn't he be able to run his present campaign based on his 4 years in office , of course he can't , so he is back to laying blame .
    Obama has been the weakest , inexperienced and divisive President , he has to go or America will end up like Greece.

    July 15, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Darryl Miler

    The Reason why Governor Romney want to change the subject is because he likely guilty of Criminally Misrepresentation of himself as to both the IRS or even the SEC. Hiding the fact that he actually did not leave Bain Capital until the signature actually stop appearing on Bain Capital SEC Reports. Business Contract Law 101.... anyone with and MBA or business degree can see the lives

    July 15, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Nick

    How how is instead of talking about the possible jobs Romney sent over seas after he left Bain, (which I believe he didn't and don't really care if he did), lets talk about the fact that he was about to help create jobs as apposed the jobs Obama cannot create. Obama cannot run on his own record so he has to run on a technicality of Bain's paperwork. O by the way, what Bain did is called Capitalism people. What is wrong with private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit.

    July 15, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Mr. Izz

    Um... the facts are out there, yet the Democrats are still calling Romney a felon. Obama takes credits for everything good going on, and deflects about everything bad going on. He complains about Congress not doing anything, yet he had the opportunity to get a lot done with the Congress available in his first two years.

    The reason they aren't going to apologize is because nobody reads the apology anyway. Everyone now thinks that Romney is a felon, and an apology (which apparently Obama is willing to do for the rest of the country to the world...) is not going to change anything.

    Seeing how low the President's campaign is stooping. I dang well hope that Romney beats him in November. The country isn't going to change anyway, but this is starting to get a lot more personal.

    July 15, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. chuck weidemann

    The real world will gobble the little rich boy up.....its tough out there when money doesn't buy you the prestige you've grown up with.

    July 15, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21