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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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

    He would be the First President with off-shore bank accounts (Switzerland, Cayman Islands, who knows where). So his personal interests would be that those countries do well... conflict of interest anybody?

    July 16, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. jason

    talk about a spoiled rich kid... it's like he's never been picked on or something.

    but it's true. Rmoney does a lot of talking about how his record is clean, but very little showing that it is clean.

    July 16, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. midwest3

    The Republicans always have such short memories when it comes to slinging dirt – and they wrote the book on how to lie and get away with it.

    July 16, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Paul

    Good gawd, GOP. You've all but asked Obama for a genetic imprint to prove he's a citizen, yet your little clown boy can't release his tax returns. In your proverbial phrase, 'WHAT'S HE HIDING???? RELEASE THE RECORDS!"

    July 16, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Time for Change


    Why doesn't Obama run on his record instead of trying to dig up dirt on Romney?


    Because he would lose!

    July 16, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. ghostriter

    I find it funny that repubicans who have often called such fact checking outlets to be liberal fronts now using them to prove their points.

    While somehow not noticing the other articles on there calling Mitts out on his multiple lies.

    And after what conservatives have called the president, I highly doubt this rates higher than a saying your mama.

    July 16, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. truth

    They have insulted and lied on President Obama since he took office.
    Stop whining williard if you want to lead this country.

    July 16, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Operator

    I am sick of Obama's lies, he has broke a lot of campaign promises with the biggest one being a transparent administration. Obamacare has a lot of taxes that are hitting us in the middle class (medical devices, increasing the amount of uncovered medical tax deduction, capping our FSA, increase in Medicare tax) and he promised to not do that to us. He's hurting businesses. Him and his party are total hypocrites, blasting Romney for being wealthy yet he's running around with the Hollywood elite having mega fundraisers. He didn't pledge his support of gay marraige until he decided he needed their contributions and he's done nothing but divide this country trying to cause gender, race and income divisions. It's time for him to go and I'm willing to give Romney a chance. Obama has had his and failed.

    July 16, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. stormbrew

    the argument that Mitt Romney is not culpable because he wasn't there is like saying a general is not the one who gave the order because he wan't on the battlefield. He profited from the policies and that makes him culpable and everyone can see that. Romney is not smart enough to beat President Obama, he has been shielded all his life from reality.

    July 16, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. randall_16

    that's it. the gloves are off! would the mightiest country on earth really want to settle for a soft-core whiner to become its next leader? this guy mittens is pathetic.

    July 16, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. realitybites


    Take the gloves off Romney. Call Obama what he really is and see if he likes that. Just repeat, repeat, repeat,

    "Our Socialist, President......etc..." Brand his sorry rear end, because Romney is not a Felon, but Obama is definetely a Socialist.
    He can't SuperD. It's illegal to publically call others discriminatory and derogatory comments hence everything in the book eccept what the GOP want's to call him (ie. Socialist, Communist, secret Muslim, Barry, Obummer, etc, etc.)

    July 16, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Learntoread

    Why doesn't he just run on Roney Care? It's working amazingly well in Mass...99% of Mass residents are insured--only 44,000 people paid a penalty...he sould be proud of ROMNEY CARE–it's a great system and he created it! and it was backed by the Heritage Foundation ( that's a right wing think tank for any who don't know it )....In fact Romney Care is working so darn well that Obama decided to adopt it on the national level...yep Mitt started it!!!! So run on THAT, MItt!

    July 16, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Indeed. Someone change baby Mitten's diapey-wipies and get him his binky...time to go down for his nap.

    July 16, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. V

    Romney got caught and the Republicans are running scared. There is no such thing as "retrorretired". This is just another buzz work the elite use to cover their behinds. Just open up your books Mitt and let the American People decide if you acted criminally or not. If you don't have anything to hide, then quit hiding it.

    As for apologies, you haven't proven any one wrong yet. If you do, then it is time for apologies. BTW – Still waiting for you to decounce Limbaugh and what he said – oh, but that was "different" wasn't it. . . Hypocrite!

    July 16, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. rc

    Whining from Romney? I hope the next campaign commercials show Obama blaming, Bush, Europe, ATM's and anyone making over $250k per year for the his inability to create jobs. He is the excuse maker in chief.

    July 16, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Jason

    @ Super D "Our Socialist, President......etc..." Brand his sorry rear end, because Romney is not a Felon, but Obama is definetely a Socialist.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (Quote Inigo Montoya)

    July 16, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. bilk7

    Romney's whining does look "unbecoming", a word Romney used against his opponent Shannon O'Brien when running for Governor of Massachusetts.

    July 16, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Expat American

    About time the Democrats started fighting back. They aren’t going to beat the bully lying Republicans by using their age-old strategy of waving their ivy league diplomas to rise above the scum. If you want to win, you have to be willing to throw a few punches back every now and then.

    July 16, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. bill.x

    Romney wants to be Town-Crier in Chief. Man-up, specially everyone knows you are just trying to deflect from your lack of response to the issues.

    July 16, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Weekend visitor


    All this refusing to apologize... "suggestions" of wrong doing, etc.,are childish and sound like a kindergarten playground!

    And OBAMA – who is intentionally provoking everyone, is the biggest trouble-maker of all! He emerges from his cesspool
    with a big smile on his face, and everyone claps, cheers and carries on! Wake up America!

    GROW-UP! ! – and talk about the "big-boy issues" of unemployment, national debt, health care and the FUTURE of this country, THAT would be productive!

    July 16, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Keeping it Real

    So Romney is whining because the Obama campaign suggests he has committed a felony. Mind you, every new network has beat this to death and have all indicated that Obama's claim is not justified. I think Romney's concerns are valid.

    Obama has been whining ever since he took office about the problems he inherited and making every excuse he can for his failure to turn around the economy. Mind you, he had a Democrat House and Senate for nearly three years. Yet Democrats still tried to label the GOP as the problem? Obama also has acknowledged , by virtue of executive privilege, at least some knowledge of the Fast and Furious disaster. Enough at least that Holder would freely sacrifice himself in contempt. Obama said he has no knowledge of it.

    Verdict: Obama is a whiner and a liar...

    July 16, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. ghostriter

    Mitt Romney has taken to saying that he created more than 100,000 net jobs through his work in the private sector, and more jobs as governor than President Obama has created since taking office. But the first claim is unproven, and the second is misleading.

    It’s true that the private equity firm Bain Capital, which Romney headed from 1984 to 1999, invested in many companies that went on to add jobs. But there’s no thorough count of the jobs gained and lost in all the companies in which Bain invested. And it’s highly debatable whether Bain, and Romney, deserve credit for all of the jobs created, particularly when there were other investors, executives who launched or ran the companies, and new owners in later years.

    So Romney gets to claim jobs created after 1999, but none of the off shoring. Makes sense.

    July 16, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. realitybites


    Mitt Romney was called a "maniacal liar" by a member of HIS OWN PARTY (Newt Gingrich). That's not "ooops, he misspoke," or "well, those facts are not quite correct." That's "MANIACAL LIAR." What does that tell you???
    That's because you have to be if your a moderate Republican running under the flag of an increasingly rabid far right ideology. Mr. Etch-a-sketch has been lying his butt off since he started this campaign. He knows the Jesus Freak/teabaggers wont get behind him if he doesn't echo their rigid agenda. Either that or he just somehow woke up one morining and decided that he wasn't conservative enough. I just don't see that, I don't think he's a born again, religious zealot. You have to try to convince youself that you have a sole to do that. Hard to when your a blood sucking corporate money grubber who cares more about the bottom line investment that those hard working little people who have a "saftey net" to fall on once you've screwed them and sent their jobs to someone in another country who cares very little about the welfare of their low paid overworked population. Funny how it's ok to support the careers and employment of people in a communits country AND call our president a socialist.

    July 16, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. abe1

    Remember the Swift Boat ad. which derailed and tarnished the image of John Kerry by the Rep. surogate to win an election based on falsehood. Mitt Romney should come out and present the facts to the american people and not wait like John Kerry did after the damage was done. I agree stop whining and lay down the facts.

    July 16, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. lolo

    Romney wanted to play with the big boys did he. He better quit hiding behind Ann's skirt, because more is coming down the pike. You republicans can spin it all you want, but don;t expect the rest of us to buy into it. Romney is nothing but a big wimp with money. Don"t forget he is a liar also.

    July 16, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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