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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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


    July 16, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  2. nru

    Does anyone remember the swift boat thing? The dems have learned

    July 16, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  3. demsrule

    Romney is a greedy whiner, cheat and manipulator that is motivated by money. Somewhere in his mind he thought no one would ask questions about his shady finance deals and his outsourcing. While he was relaxing away in his out of touch world at his lake home, the POTUS was in Virginia with over one thousand people campaigning outside in the pouring rain! People don't mind getting wet with someone who is willing to walk in the trenches with them! Obama is that man! Williard is out of touch!

    July 16, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  4. Jonathan Collins

    The time has come to put an end to the charade. Enough of the Democrat lies. Enough of the arrogance of thinking that Americans aren't intelligent enough to see through the Democrat lies because Obama has been nothing but a bust. From day one, when he chose to separate the parties, as he continued to put his personal agendas ahead of putting America back to work, to pitting American versus American as he spread his message that it's no longer to be able to soar like an eagle in America, but instead to steal from those who have more as if he was Robin Hood, through his continual lies and Chicago politics, enough is enough! Obama, you may have been the first African-American president, but you have failed America!

    July 16, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. Josh

    So Obama puts out misleading and quite simply false ads, and then tells the oponent to "quit whining" when he calls him out on his dispicable behavior? Really!? Romney clearly had left the company before any outsourcing or questionable behavior began. Obama knows this... this is no question here. But yes, Obama is low enough to blatantly lie about his oponent if it means he will get more votes. Obama telling Romney to "stop whining" is like a mugger robbing someone, and then telling them to "stop whining about it and move on". Is noone held accountable when they do something wrong anymore?

    July 16, 2012 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  6. jimbo

    Show us the tax returns – prove to us that you have nothing to hide................

    July 16, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  7. Norm

    Me thinks he doth protest too much.
    Man up Mitt.
    The Democrats are only using the same tactics that were used against them in 2008.
    Hey were there.
    You watched McCain and Palin do nothing but launch personal attacks against Obama.
    You act like this is your first campaign.
    Grow a set.or drop out if you can't take the heat.

    July 16, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  8. MikeH

    Even Republicans are telling Willard Romney to stop whining and release his tax returns.

    "Consequence" you are a tool, you are what Lenin called "A Useful Idiot". I doubt the RNC pays you more than the minimum wage, since your posts are so ignant.

    July 16, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  9. blueboycott

    Obama knows that the right has something big on him that they will use later in the contest. He is running scared.

    July 16, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  10. Blue Rhino

    @ Consequences
    Give instances of those Obama "lies" that Romney needs to disapprove. If it's Romney's tax record, check with the NYT unless if the NYT has magically become an Obama surrogate. Won't be surprise with your typical repub argument about the "lame-stream" media.

    July 16, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  11. joel

    Obama has a lot of nerve accusing Romney of being a whiner. He has stopped whining since his inauguration. We're four years into the reign of the worst president in American history, and he still blames Bush and Republicans for the problems he has magnified with his ridiculous stimulus program and out-of-control spending. Obama was elected largely by the votes of the ignorant masses, and if he is re-elected it will only be because the number of ignoramuses has increased. Four years in office and he cannot run on his record because it stinks.

    July 16, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  12. joel

    I meant to say he has NOT stopped whining since his inauguration. All he can effectively do is increase his power through executive orders which have also been used to coverup his knowledge of fast and furious. Obama is an uncontrolled, deceptive, liar.

    July 16, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  13. BretLA

    The Obama campaign is making a legitimate and factually-based claim, and the Republicans are calling it lies in order to avoid explanation? Nice try. Its ridiculous to think Mittens didn't know what was happening in his own company during the time when he was filing documents with the federal government indicating he was still 100% at the helm. This isn't a big stretch of a contention, nor was it born in the Obama campaign trenches. This contention has been raised by Republican opponents in the primaries. What is remarkable is how vehemently Mittens is trying to distance himself from Bain during the period in question. Its clearly not a glowing accolade on his record (are there any?) Flip flops look great at the beach but not in the oval office. The GOP really needs to get back to the drawing board and start creating an environment for electable candidates who are not pandering to its fringe, but who realistically represent the majority of the party. Apparently in the GOP the squeaky wheel, but not necessarily the most electable wheel, gets the grease. This should have been the election year they learned from the Palin debacle.

    July 16, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  14. Hindsight 20/20

    Those are legit questions. Did he make false statements to the SEC? Or did he not work at Bain as CEO? You can't have it both ways.

    July 16, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  15. Dan

    What I learned here. This News source will be extremely dishonest to me.
    Things are pretty black and white here. Extremely disappointing.

    July 16, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  16. obsthetimes

    So the dems can say anything they want, however outrageous ?
    Obama has more surrogates than ants in an anthill.

    July 16, 2012 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  17. Put honesty in the White House.

    I'm voting for the whiner

    July 16, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  18. Gimmeabreak!

    Obama has the gall to call someone else a whiner? Good grief, that is ALL Obama has done during his presidency – whine, whine, whine - it's always someone else who has caused this and that to happen, so that poor Obama couldn't just clap his hands or wiggle his nose and get all the mean people to go along with him immediately. Whiny Obama day in and day out! Whine, whine, whine. Gimmeabreak!

    July 16, 2012 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  19. adinfinitum7

    You just can't escape the conclusion that he is a baby – a "momma's boy". Do we want a man running the country or a pantywaist.

    July 16, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  20. Bob Ramos

    "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."
    Cutter is 1000% right. There is a reason why SEC documents are so important. Investors rely on them to make decisions about investing their money – large and small investors. So the CEO of Bain would have had to certify, under penalty of law, that the documents are fair and accurate and fully disclose the facts contained theirin. There is no way on earth any competent CEO would sign off on them unless he knew that they were so. That means an active involvement with the company.

    Romney could settle all of this in 48 hours by releasing his IRS 1040 forms for the subject years with all supporting documents. If the W-2 forms are there and they show income from Bain, then he did work at Bain during the years in question.

    July 16, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    If revelations came out like this against President Obama, Republicans would already be shouting for Impeachment proceedings, even though it had nothing to do with his Presidency. Guess Republican standards for their own pecadillos are significantly lower than they are for Democrats.
    By the way, guys, this tactic was invented by Karl Rove. It's called "swift boating". You invented it. Get used to it being used against you.

    July 16, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  22. joe

    So if Obama stops lying Romney will stop complaining. Oh and by the way, let's stay on subject. Can you spell e-c-o-n-o-m-y. Obozo wants Americans to quit whining about the economy also.

    July 16, 2012 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  23. Jennifer NYC

    Wow! It is amazing how people are so gullible. Ms. Cutter is one Nast. Attack dog. They can't talk about accomplishments, or the economy which they have gloriously mucked up even worse than Bush, God help us if these people get back into the White House. Have the Dems ever once said how they would get us out of the frightening amount of debt and their outrageous Obamacare which adds yet another $2 trillion to the debt? They can' they are distracting everyone by lobbing these untrue and outrageous attacks against Romney. No honor.

    July 16, 2012 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  24. Tax Evasion is Patriotic in the GOP

    How patriotic is it to hide money in foreign countries to evade taxes when brave veterans are returning to unemployment? How patriotic is it to evade taxes when your country is at war?

    July 16, 2012 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  25. cosmicsnoop

    If hypocrisy were deadly, these fools would be dead and buried long ago. Calling Mittens a felon is wrong, oh boohoo, how can you do that!? Well, let's see, I believe the President has been called un-American (pretty funny since he is in charge of said country), a Commie, Marxist, Socialist, racial epithets, there seems to have been many, many wasted efforts to show he was not born here, etc., etc.. However, pointing out what seems to be true, Mittens committed a felony, and OH BOY! Wow. But plenty of people will vote for this whimpy milk toast thinking he will save us and we will be so much worse off since this guy would NOT have gotten Bin Laden, for instance.

    July 16, 2012 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
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