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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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

    Republican will accept an arm robber to be on their team. The do not care whether the person committ perjury or not. Romnney need to come clean because people go to jail for such a thing.

    July 15, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. mom2homer

    So let me get this straight: one of Obama's campaign managers says something negative, and Romney says Obama is responsible for that; yet Bain did all sorts of things when Romney was president, sole stockholder, and CEO, and he's not responsible for any of it?

    July 15, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. judith

    Poor Mitt. If he can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Mitt has so much money and has always been so privileged that he feels he's above any accountability. This is the problem when these "masters of the universe" have too much wealth–they feel that none of the rules apply to them. Just like his spoiled wife saying that the Democrats want to "destroy" her husband. This is hardball, people! This President has withstood outrageous attacks with dignity and calm, but yet the Romney's think they should be immune from answering questions about their past.

    July 15, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Switters

    Hot off the AP "wire":

    A corporate document filed with the state of Massachusetts in December 2002 - a month after Romney was elected governor - lists him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors, LLC "authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record any recordable instrument purporting to affect an interest in real property, whether to be recorded with a Registry of Deeds or with a District Office of the Land Court."

    Mitt's response, "Oopsie....."

    July 15, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Debby

    Annie S the fact is Cutter didn't tell the truth. This makes her look like a flip flopper for the Obama team. She can't have it both ways put it out there then tell the Romney team to stop talking about it. It doesn't make sense and makes the Obama campaign look dumb.

    July 15, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. marconidarwin

    Reggi19 says: "Democrats always want things to go their way and they think that the loufer they speak above everybody that they will win the argument."

    Yes, which is why Romney is whining

    July 15, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony..."◄

    There's nothing wrong with that statement because it is true – the word EITHER gave Romney an alternative. Romney chose to take the "EITHER" because he "could not" have committed a felony??"

    The "whining" started with ginGRINCH in the primary and it will continue – The Republicans are a bunch of babies when it comes to telling the truth after they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 15, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Ronald

    Hum, lets see..they have been dishing it out for three years now and saying that their only job is not to let the President have another term and using every low, disgusting, lie they can think of and they get upset about this???? Really?

    July 15, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. New Moon Rising

    so it's not a case of whether or not Romney committed a FELONY... which he probabaly has ... , but that the president's campaign is suppoed to be CENSORED from articulating what could be a potential Felony ... becuase let's face it.. only the republicans like to control what people say ... like that little town in Georgia that now bans the Word " GAY " you havet o wonder what kind of fungus is infecting the bloodstream of the republican party ... but I've never seen such a bucnh of Old, Angry, Hostile, chritstian haters

    July 15, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Me3

    Bain is the poster child for what went wrong with this country under the greedy Republicans. Whether he was in charge of it at the time they outsourced jobs is irrelevent. He still started the company and certainly was a major share holder. Why is it OK for him to be pulling a salary as CEO while shirking his reponsibilities to run the company?. It that the kind of person you want running the country? The Bush years should have taught us what can happen when you have a brainless idiot running the country.

    July 15, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. realitychecks

    There,s no crying in politics...just prove the s.e.c. papers you signed were a forgery and sue the s.e.c.!

    July 15, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. emma

    As I recall, Stephanie Cutter did not "claim" Romney committed a felony. She said it was possible that he might have. Let me ask, when are political opponents' remarks considered libelous under the Law? How does Romney's complaint fit with his assertion, "I have big shoulders"?

    July 15, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. znHcats

    who's whining? You still whine like a rich spoiled kid.

    I'm not jealous of your fortunate but you are out of touch and don't even know and don't want to understand what the reality beyond your cocoon. You & your fellow republicans' economic plan is cut tax to the rich, deregulate in business& Wall Street.

    July 15, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. JoeThePimpernel

    If Ubama knows of felonies committed by Mitt Romney, isn't he committing a felony by not having Eric Holder prosecute?

    At the very least he is an accessory-after-the-fact.

    July 15, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    During his senate contest with longtime Senator Richard Lugar, Republican Richard Mourdock said republicans must stand their ground and not negotiate or compromise with democrats! Well, I believe when the Founding fathers created our system of checks and balances and a two-party system, the goal was for both parties to work together and find commong ground for the good of the union! I believe Mr. Mourdock's comments are about the most divisive in modern history!

    July 15, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Russell

    so, the Obama campaign lies, Mitt calls them on it, and the Obama campaign tells Mitt to quit whining that they are lying? Are you libtards still focused on voting for that (again and again) liar? How's that ObamaTaxCare working out for you?

    July 15, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. larry august

    hes not whining, when someone slaps you, you punch them back , if anybody's the whiner, its Odumbo always blameing someone else

    July 15, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. SkyKing

    Remember the SNL skits of Doug and Wendy Whiner?
    I can see some new ones coming of Mitt.

    July 15, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Robyn

    Mr. Romney, you performed a serious criminal act and got away with it.
    The fact that people are holding you up to shame and ridicule
    for your past misdeeds should be the least of your concerns.

    You could be moaning about this in a federal prison right now.
    Get over yourself and your self-rightous sense of entitlement.

    July 15, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Darryl

    Exactly, get over it..........Romney acts like a High School bully and does not like competetion. He needs to grow up and take his medicine. Politics is what it is,tough road to make people Believe You ! But if you LIE ? Your down for the count.And thats what he has done !

    July 15, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. oknotokok

    Many "HONORABLE MEN” are now FELONS. Is Romney a FELON or a LIAR?

    July 15, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. ST

    I do not see how Romney can go out of this problem. If he will keep quiet, the other side will not and will make sure every voter is aware of the issue. If he will release at least 12 years of Tax Returns, something he is fearing will be known. No easy choice!

    July 15, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. hypatia

    He's taking his cues from Boehner the whiner.

    July 15, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. JDinHouston

    Romney has yet to refute the facts, instead just complaining the facts have been exposed. I'd still like to hear how he could be CEO, salaried and primary stockholder and say he had no involvement in the company. The only story I've heard to explain it from the Romney camp is that it takes a while to find a new CEO. Really? No succession plan there for replacing a CEO? Sorry, but that excuse just reinforces Romney did not give up control or that he was inept in planning for a successor. So, which was it, a felony or just inept?

    July 15, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Karrie

    As I said in another post I made, Romney reminds me of my ex-brother-in-law. Any time you said something he didn't like, he'd say "you hurt my feelings. You owe me an apology". I finally said "You're 40. Grow up!!!!' He didn't talk to me for another 2 years, but I don't care. It needed to be said.

    July 15, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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