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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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

    Oh please, the bully bishop whines like a little girl.
    The bishop has been lying all his life. We watched gillespie on Meet the Press yesterday morning. He NEVER answered a direct question from Gregory. All he did was attack the President and twist and twirl everything he had to say.

    July 16, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  2. EffortPA

    Just show us the tax returns!

    July 16, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  3. Wes

    There is nothing new under the sun regarding this political ping-pong. Each election cycle we are offered the same rhetoric that postures the respective teams. I don't think election campaigning should begin earlier than 90 days prior to the election so that the public has to endure all this nonsensical diatribe. Mr. Romney is a mediocre corporate raider of a large hedge fund entity, and President Obama is bound to an unfulfilled promise boxed in by congressional opposition. Neither will achieve much beyond their opined extemporaneous hyperbole. Most people make decisions based on superficial ideologies and shallow minded prejudices; like the last 10,000 years or so. We should press our local representatives to listen to our own views and work them into a lather so that we will be listened to, understand our needs, and respond to our demands. The squeaky wheel gets the most grease and is the most annoying. I don't decide my political, financial, or philosophical judgments on short distorted televised clips paid for by obscenely wealthy, one-dimensional minions of polarized social influence. I try to form my decisions on direct results seen in our society, and partially from the legislative effluent that flows down the governmental river we voted and paid for, rather than listen to some clerical level intellectual pundit that cannot stop talking. I am thankful for the mute button on my TV remote; I installed one on our unit as a child in the early 60's. I can read well enough to know what is being said between the lines and I also know that the stuff on my cupcakes isn't frosting.

    July 16, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  4. Mw1979

    So the people who criticize Obama are racists who don't want a black President, but Romney should just stop whining when people insinuate that HE BROKE THE LAW? Thanks for the clarification!

    July 16, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  5. Gedwards

    "Obama's team urging its rivals to "stop whining.""

    That's all Pres Obama and his team know how to do. He's even trademarked the phrase "that I inherited."

    July 16, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  6. kevin

    show us the papers Mitt! That will shut them up.....what? You did outsource? You did hide funds? dodge taxes? Oh, better whine then.

    July 16, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |

    Release your tax returns and that should clear up the lies that President Obamas' campaign is telling. Otherwise stop whinning about the attacks.

    July 16, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  8. Montykoolaid

    In the GOP primaries when Romney was asked if he felt bad about pouring millions into attack ads against his opponents he smiled and said "If you cant stand the heat..." and left it at that.

    Now here he is whining like a little spoiled brat wanting an apology? Are you serious?

    Sorry Mitt, either you drop out now and hope they can find someone last minute before the convention or you screw the GOP come November.

    People are starting to get a good look at you and it is no coincidence they are cringing.

    July 16, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. ReeferPower

    Obama has been whining and making excuses for 3.5 years – they don't want anyone else hogging their unionized monopoly on whining.

    July 16, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  10. Vincent

    Considering how many times the campaign teams from both sides have blurred the truth or made statements on behalf of a candidate (or had a surrogate make the wild claims), i havent seen either side apologize for any of these.

    If this is what Cutter said in the response to the newspaper article:
    "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."

    Then the explanation given by Cutter is fine:
    "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."
    It was a definition of what would be a felony if it had occured.

    July 16, 2012 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  11. Guest

    You mean like going berserk like the libs do when we point out that Obama has a Connecticut social security number andhe has a computer generated birth certificate(not the real one) and that it is differently styled than the others produced in Hawaii at that time.

    July 16, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  12. Montykoolaid

    Is he sobbing into $100 bills about how mean people are to point out the discrepancies about everything he says?

    I swear I had nothing to do with that company since 1999 despite being %100 owner, shareholder, and director.until 2002! Oops, guess that means you were a pioneer of outsourcing jobs and investing millions and reaping the profits of Stericycle. Which makes a nice chunk of change destroying aborted fetuses.

    I must have really misunderstood what I knew about Mormonism O_O

    July 16, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  13. whitmanguy

    "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." I don't know about the "felony" aspect here, as I'm not a lawyer. But the gist of the argument seems incontrovertible. He was CEO when it suited him, and now that it doesn't he wasn't. In short, he's a weasel, felony or no felony.

    July 16, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  14. PaulC

    If you can't stand the heat stay out of the White House.
    Romney's claim of "unfairness' is nothing compared to the outright lies put forth by the Repugs.

    July 16, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  15. Jeff from Columbus

    So, let me see if I have this straight. Obama's campaign made a claim – that Romney controlled Bain from 1999 to 2002. That claim was proven false by and CNN.

    Romney calls Obama on this – that he's made a false claim about Romney. Obama not only refuses to apologive. He tells him to "stop whining".

    So, apparently, personal accountability doesn't apply to the President. He can say whatever he wants, truthful or not, and everyone else just has to deal with it.

    July 16, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  16. Toad

    Romney getting a dose of his own medicine! Remember Gingrich and Florida?

    July 16, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  17. nobody important

    So a Obama staffer makes an outrageous and divisive remark, on the record, and then refuses to apologize for it multiple times. She, as well as the rest of the campaign, then blame those they accuse for whining... Sounds like something a certain infamous, historical, power-thirsty regime would do...

    Sorry, was that comment out of line? If so, I apologize.

    July 16, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  18. incredulous

    The minute you call out Romney for something that is obviously true (and negative, such as his chronic flip-flopping) he begins to whine and go into a huge fit of denial. Why can't he take responsibility for once like a man? Maybe his magic underwear should kick in and prompt him to "magically" tell the truth once in a while about what he's done, what his political beliefs are, and ultimately what his religious beliefs are (only relevant because they are so 'out there'). I assure you, if he were to stand before this country and admit the latter, he'd be labelled a complete nutter and Republicant's would scatter to find a reason to dump him. I know most of them have wanted to dump him anyway, so just do it already and let's get on with it.

    July 16, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  19. David

    Two ridiculous and irrelevant stories on Romney from CNN and not a single word about the Obama campaign's ridiculous comments. They have lost their minds over there and CNN is worried about Romney whining????? Are you people serious?? Obama does not even know Chavez is a threat, calls his opponent a felon, blatantly lies about Romney outsourcing, flat out refuses to take any of it back while telling the American people there is nothing they can do to get rid of his stupid law, but have no fear CNN has you covered – they are going to talk about Romeny whining. WOW.

    July 16, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  20. wgf

    Filing a document with the federal government that knowingly contains false information is fraud. It really doesn't get much simpler than that.

    July 16, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  21. njfinest2009

    Everyone continues to blame Obama for the economic failure of this country! How about blaming the republicans who have held up job bills all this time? Who is really the blame? Mitt Romney can put this thing to rest by doing 1 thing and 1 thing only. Show the tax returns once and for all. He does need to stop whining! He wants to call Obama a liar but he's off limits? Your fair game ROMNEY!

    July 16, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  22. NOT2BLUE

    Republicans have demonized this president in every way they could from calling him a Muslim to a Kenyan and now they get a little bit perturbed when they get a dose of their own medicine? Obama's base is demanding this type of blowback. We want Obama to mercilessly pound this fool Romney with everything we can throw at him. Apologize? Not in a million years you idiot. Givem hell BARRY!

    July 16, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  23. Wally

    Spoiled rich kids are good at "Whining", it's the ONLY thing they are good at.

    July 16, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  24. David

    What about Romney's sworn testimony to establish residency when he ran for governor? If his testimony was not true then, he should be tried for perjury and put in jail.

    July 16, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney says Bain Capital is his calling card. Look at my experience at Bain as proof of who I am. We are looking at it. Whether or not he had a direct hand in shipping jobs overseas, he most certainly profited from it, and did nothing to stop it.

    July 16, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
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