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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney's diaper is soiled so he's whining like a baby but he's going to have to wear that soiled diaper until he comes clean because we aren't going to apologize for the mess he created.

    July 15, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Mike

    This election is the best so far and is only going to get better. Romney is looking like a hypocritical fool. As if the GOP wouldn't pounce on Obama possibly committing a felony. Romney is backed into a corner and the real mud hasn't even been flung yet. GO OBAMA!!!

    July 15, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. sharky

    LOL that is funny. I am not a Romney fan, but ya know what

    Me to Democrats STOP USING THE RACE CARD!!!!!!!

    Democrats are just as stupid. But frankly calling Romney a felon IS wrong as it is a lie.

    July 15, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. Biff Omney

    Who here wants a president with Swiss bank accounts?

    July 15, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. TomNPitt

    Willard carpet bombs his opponents in the primaries with lies, and makes false statements about Obama whenever he feels like it. His problem now is he's getting hamered with some information that may be legal (in his rich mind), but they are actions the average American does not see as fair or right. Everyone wants to win. Americans don't like to see people win by using international rules and back stabbing Americans to win. Legal or not!!

    July 15, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. mjw

    Did anyone hear Ed Gillespsie said "Romney resigned retroactively?" So now there are three explantions

    1. He resigned in February 1999 to take over the Olympics and had nothing further to do with BAIN.

    2. He signed the SEC documents because it took 3 years to change over to the new ownership. He had no active role.

    3. In 2002 he resigned retroactively to 1999 .

    Gillespie was so befuddled he would not answer the question but keep trying to talk about the President's record. The thing is if they talk about his record honestly they would see the progress but they cannot afford to be, it will make this this President capable (which he is) but more importantly it will make them wrong and look like fools (that part we already know).

    July 15, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. smknbluebear

    i guess we'll hear mitt the moaner whine about releasing more than one year's taxes, too...

    July 15, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. notabobblehead

    I wouldn't call Romney a whiner. I'd call him a liar! He won't make his tax info public, he is hiding more. How did he get his money to the Camen Islands, Bermuda, Switzerland. Tax dodging?

    July 15, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Reggie from LA

    @Consequence: "Better just to campain on honest arguments than to see what greater Obama lies Romney should stand up against." ALL Robme has done since he became the "presumptive" is bash Obama and threaten the healthcare act. Nothing more. Even when he has been asked questions about other stuff, he would quickly race back to link something negative to Obama, even if he hadn't sufficiently answered the interview questions. Besides, I hear that he "radioactively" retired from Bain. Ooops! Sorry. I mean he "retroactively" retired while bilking taxpayers for excessive Olympics. You should research what he had to say about grabbing money from the Fed. Wonder if he "saved the Olympics" for gratis.

    July 15, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. DB

    That's rich. The party of whine complaining about reactions to their stupid statements. They should be able to recognize whining, that is certain.

    July 15, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. gregory21

    He can say what ever he wants about the President, but can't take any criticism. It's politics. Grow up, you baby.
    romney's staff are a bunch of cry babies.

    July 15, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    A lot of nasty and awful things said about the president. Tea baggers walking around with signs showing president Obama made to look like hitler,and a bone in his nose.And now their upset because mitts record is being question. To bad, Suck it up!

    July 15, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Squigman

    This (to Romney), infringes on his right to free speech. Whining is the national pass time for many republicans, and republican wanna-be's. Don't be in any hurry to shut them up. They're already dumb'd down because of their belief that books and learning are the root of all evil. After all, an educated populace, is a danger to republican ideology. Don't believe so. Just listen with the intent that was once given to that cartoon show you just turned off.

    July 15, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. Brian Dodge

    It's amazing that the Romneyians posting haven't noticed that the Romney camp called her remarks all sorts of bad things – demeaning, beneath the office of the president, disgusting, out of line, troubling – but not one of them said it was UNTRUE. Release Romney's 2000 & 2001 tax returns to prove he's telling the truth – put up, if you can – or shut up.

    July 15, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. JL. Taylor

    The republicans have been atacking President Obama every day from the day he took the office.
    How laughable it is that they are upset over the truth being told about Romney.

    July 15, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. gkingii

    Exactly how does something Mr. Romney did at the end of the last century trump (to the news media & democrats) the mess that has been made of our economy, first by Mr. Bush and now by Mr. Obama. Seems if it's about outsourcing jobs, Mr. Obama has the bully pulpit, the power and the office to do something about it, instead of attacking someone who was, at the time, doing his job.

    July 15, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Dean

    Obama is the outsourcer..........................Solyndra worked so well here that he just gave $20 million to Africa so they could start their own Solyndra type business.

    July 15, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. SkyKing

    Wait until the Republicans nominate him, but before this General Election, to indict him for the alleged felony.

    July 15, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. stew

    Mittems is the biggest Snow Job since Bernie Madoff. I want to see him arrested he is a bully since his high school days, a coward for not serving in the Military, a lieing theiving businessman, a two faced governor. Why would anyone need to apologize for speaking the truth, get over it Republicans you picked a crook to run and I want his guilty lieing slick rear in Prison.

    July 15, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. bob ho

    the felony was the million doallr payoff to Obama from his best buddy John Corzine to not be prosecuted for the MF Global embezzlement.

    July 15, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. HenryB

    This Willard character takes the cake. A completely negative primary campaign and now he whines about someone laying it on him. He is the part who does this negative campaign thing the best. whawhawhawha. Sniveling whiner. No apology forthcoming either. Hahahahahahaha.

    July 15, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. elvis costanza

    I know politicians are "different" but I'm beginning to think Romney has some sort of serious narcissistic borderline personality disorder. What a strange dude....

    July 15, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. Wingedhussar

    Cocaine possession is a felony in every state and is a federal offense, what does make Obama Ms. Cutter.

    July 15, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. Henri

    For those of you attacking Ms. Cutter, when and through which medium did she call Mr. Romney a felon? Please cite the exact source source and the quote. She never claimed he was a felon, but only offered an observation of the penalty if there was a violation of the law – not the same as calling someone a felon. Please read the words that some actually says, and not the words you want them to have said!

    July 15, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. chilipepper

    Yeah, you hard lefters just want people to lay down and take the slanderous lies being laid down upon them. Wouldn't that be nice. Standing up for yourself when people slander you is whinig? People get sued for slander. Shows Rommey is a fighter and will fight the on coming hard left commies trying to fundamentally change America.

    July 15, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
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