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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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

    I just love it when a bully is called out and have his ass handled to him he almost always runs home crying to mommy. Maybe Obama should give this creep a haircut while the white house staff holds him down. How great would that be?

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

    Let's 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 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. taxpayer

    So let me see if I got this:
    While Romney was hiding his money and sons from US service, we the taxpayers were paying for 2 wars. Does he live in this country or not ? does he benfit from the protection of our armed forces ? Shoudln't he pay for this protection like any other taxpayer living free due to their services ? What am I missing ? Is this the same GOP that uttered patriotism for the last decade ?

    July 16, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. roy

    And cut down on flip flopping....

    July 16, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  5. Blessed

    Why aren't asking how our tax law allows Americans to shelter income from taxes. I didn't recall this being a mission I sent my rep to congress on. The question shouldn't be whether a wealth person took advantage of our tax laws it shoud be how in the hell did we create a law like this in the first place. If you buy politiacians you can get this type of law...go figure

    July 16, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  6. straitsight

    Yes, really Mitt, enough with the whining, you don't hear Obama whining about his felony drug use do you? Mitt's function at Baine was to make it successful, and it was. Obama's function is to make us successful, now we are close to bankruptcy.

    July 16, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Florida Joe

    Time for Change


    Why doesn't Obama run on his record instead of trying to dig up dirt on Romney?
    Other than attack Obama why doesn't Romney tell us HOW is going to improve the economy, How is he going to make jobs....We sure saw how well the Repubs did on jobs where Boner and the House have done NOTHING
    And why doesn't this clown Romney release those tax returns.....Some more dirt hiding?????????

    July 16, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Investment Advisor

    @ Weekend Visitor.....Thankyou. I believe this is the no. 1 site for pre-school through kindergarten printed thought. Very childish indeed! And you all think your comments are so witty and intellectual.....reflect for a minute or two so as to escape embarassment in the future.

    July 16, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Jimmy

    Tell his wife to stop whinning too!! Attacking her husband PLEASE! He really thought he could get away with the dirt he has done to help destroy this country's economy. He made his bed now he has to lay in it, what' s in the dark always comes to light. If he didn't have anything to hide he/they wouldn't be whinning. The birthers wanted to see President Obama's birth certificate so let's see Romney's entire record of off shore jobs, tax release forms, offshore bank accounts (hiding his money), Bain Capital records, his record as Govenor of Massachusetts, Olympics Council, and last but not least USA Olympic Uniforms made in China. Wingnust would rather see this guy Romney be US President, wow tells you a lot about their character as well.

    July 16, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. Jimmy

    Felony or not the bottom line is this guy flip flopping lier regardless of what the story about him is. He's not fit or qualified to run this country!!!!

    July 16, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Eddie The Barber

    The Obama campaign is doing exactly what the two Bush's campaigns did to Dukakis and Kerry – Willie Hortonizing and Swift Boating him before the nasty man does the same to them and you know he plans on doing it but the Obama team beat him to the punch. It's just a little taste – a little payback for what the Republicans had done to Democratic candidates in the past. If Flipp Romney does in fact win the election – the obstruction he'll see from the Democrats in Congress will make the Tea Party obstruction look like child's play. Welcome to the Big Show Willard!

    July 16, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Rooscow

    Emanuel got it right, stop whining! If you want this country to vote for you based on your business experience, it is all in play; what you did, what you didn't do, and how you obeyed the rules or not. If you can't answer the questions, then you are leaving it up to the public to fill in the blanks themselves. Very boorish and amateur behavior.

    July 16, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. MesaMom

    If he's listed as the sole stock owner, chief of the board, and the CEO then he's responsible. You can't have the title and not take responsibility. The buck stops at the CEO. Is he going to say he's wasn't involved when he's president? Will he say he quit 2 years in and only had the name?

    July 16, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. janelle

    Romney doesn't "whine". Romney is a doer, a person who gets things done. Of course, Obama wouldn't recognize that because he's never gotten anything in his entire life, all Obama does is "whine"!

    July 16, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Purnell Meagre

    Is ROmney an amateur or what. Any politician know the best thing to do is give it up and let the issue or non-issue passs. Even Kristol told him so. Welll, now that he's "firm" on this, we know the returns willl be coming out any day.

    July 16, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Joey

    I'm curious to know why people think that Obama has "ruined" or "destroyed" America? Granted, he's not exactly the best President we've ever had, nor is he the worst either. I'm an independent-conservative and I see most of Obama's policies as pragmatic moderate at best, which leads to a flexability that leaders should have. Of course, I understand that most people listen to Rush or Hannity and take that bile as factual infomation rather then spun opinionated shows. The problem with American society isn't "socialism" or any ideology or religious belief but rather a political-media extremeism which manifests itself in the 24 hour media that has covinced people that their way is correct, that the other political ideology is wrong and evil and will destroy the fabric of their nation. They tug on the strings of patriotism to evolve it into unbridle, raging nationalism which leads to any constructive criticism to be dismissed. We see political leaders pandering to these people to gain office, we see our sacred political insitutions sullied by corporate/lobbist money and controlled by men and women who represent the wealthy by using political tactics to divide the people. We see a population who thinks itself better then the other peoples of the world soley because of namesake or the ability to beat that country up, or citing freedoms that most free countries have. Corruption, Greed, Vanity has been the downfall of Rome, and since history repeats itself and oh, it does; America will be next.

    Don't seek refuge in political messiahs or men from these two parties who claim to have answers, Don't bury yourselfs away in the bread and circuses of modernity, don't divide yourself along lines that mean nothing to the players. Devote yourself to democracy, the virtues of the Republic of liberty, equality for all and the right for everybody to have a fair chance at persuding happiness.

    July 16, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  17. Laverne

    I would love ot hear Santorum and Newt's conversations these days.......they are probably cracking up and is hoping and praying Mitt Romney loses and loses big!!!!!

    July 16, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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