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Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, originally made the claim Thursday on a conference call.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

    Stop whining because that is trademarked by the liberals.

    July 15, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Wah, Wah, Wah, regarding the felon remark already.....if Mittens chooses to walk like a duck, talk like a duck and quack like a duck then he is probably a duck...or possibly a felon and most definitely a Obama/Biden 2012!

    July 15, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Scales of Justice

    If the President had to produce his birth certificate, I don't see why Gov. Romney shouldn't produce his tax returns. Romney keeps saying I have produced returns and financial info that is legally required. The President presumably produced all thatmwasmrequired to get on the ballot, but the Republican Tea Party wanted more and so the President had the birth certicatemproduced and it still was not enough. Double standard, you tell me....

    Do you think Gov. Romney's vp vet process only covers two years of tax returns? If he should win, is he only going to require that his cabinet members and other appointments only produce two years of tax returns?

    July 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. bettyboop33

    If he walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then he is probably a duck...or in this case at the very least a LIAR..LOL!
    Obama/Biden 2012!

    July 15, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Time for Change

    Obama is losing support over this one. Every major new agency has been able to pull up these facts, yet the Obama team still tries to make a connection where none exists. It reeks of desperation. There is obviously a reason why Obama cannot run on his own record, as it will only get him fired. So he resorts to the same tactics that he campaigned against in the previous election.

    July 15, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Kile

    The Obama team accusing someone else of whining? Seriously? All Obama has done for 3 and a half years is whine about how he inherited a mess and Fox News is against him and everyone that doesn't agree with him is a racist. Whining is all the Obama team has because they have no substance, no ideas, no solutions. They just want to destroy this country as quickly and totally as they can.

    July 15, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. SC

    @ Rahm Emanuel: If things about Bain that are good, I'm proud of it. I would like to be a part of it. Part of Bain that is bad, I don't know anything about it. It has nothing to do with me.

    Mitt Romney

    July 15, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Amazing

    Funny, Romney was happy to be negative when President Obama did not respond. Now, that the shoe is other the foot, he is complaining. Romney has been less than transparent on a number of issues and is not qualified to be President in my opinion.

    July 15, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. TKO

    Cutter was right. what she said is simply factual: either Romney lied to the SEC or to the American people. If he lied to the SEC, that is, in fact, a felony. If he didn't lie to them, he lied to us, and should take responsibility.You can't have it both ways, although trying to have it both ways sure seems to be Romney's calling card.

    July 15, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. s.positive

    Romeny is WEAK. He can't handle Cutter let alone the presidency. This only the beginningas the primary should have flushed a lot of things for people to see that he, Romney is part of thr American problem...

    July 15, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Dave Harris

    Like all bullies, Mittens can dish it out but he can't take it.

    July 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. works4me

    Did not, did to, did not... Just shut up and come clean. Or is that what's really troubling you, Mitt? Are you so frightened out of your "I want to look like you" jeans that, when the truth is told America will totally realize what a phony you are?
    This is what playing Team GOP and NOT Team USA gets you. For the Party only, the heck with the people!!

    July 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Mike in Texas

    Romney is the bully who picks on other kids. In the primaries, he was picking on little runts like Newt, Santorum and Perry. Now Mitt has met his match in Obama. He goes out and whines and complains that Obama is bad and he is good because he has business experience. When Obama pushes back Mitt goes crying the teacher saying Obama is being a meanie to him.

    Obama's argument is yeah I may not be the greatest but is this guy really a valid replacement? The guy who has off shore accounts, the guy who will only release one year of returns and follow his fathers ways of putting out multiple years.

    Republicans cry about Obama's birth certificate and his college transcripts but cry foul when people ask for more tax returns. Even some Republicans are saying, put it out there Mitt if you have nothing to hide. It is like the people who supported the Arizona immigration law. If you are from here why do you care if someone asks for identification? That is what I say to Mitt.....if you aren't hiding anything put it out there, if you have nothing to hide it will come back and slap Obama in the face and he will have egg all over it. But something tells me there is something in these returns Mitt doesn't want made public.

    July 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Put honesty in the White House.

    I'm voting for the "whiner".

    July 15, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Mike in Texas

    If Mitt really has nothing to hide show the returns and make Obama look foolish and attack him back. It would be a great campaign move but something tells me he won't because there is something in these returns.

    July 15, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. TKO

    Cutter was right. what she said is simply factual: either Romney spoke falsely to the SEC or to the American people. If he "prevaricated" to the SEC, that is, in fact, a felony. If he didn't speak falsely to them, he did to us, and should take responsibility.You can't have it both ways, although trying to have it both ways sure seems to be Romney's calling card

    July 15, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. demidiot

    Exactly. We should not pay attention to what democrats are saying, as they have no clue to what is happening in the US today. Romney 2012!!!!!

    July 15, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Fair Taxes

    Romney IS a whiner. Instead of whining that someone outted him on his lies to the SEC he should prove that the claims are untrue, if he can.

    Complaining that someone revealed his lies just makes him look more guilty.

    July 15, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Shadow

    It's a classic Chess "fork": Romney just needs to decide which piece is worth giving up: a concession to the public that he has been lying about Bain, or...possible felony charges against him. Cutter won't need to apologize in the end, as Romney will be grilled either way and the attention will be taken off of Cutter.

    July 15, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  20. 2+2=5

    Look at the Republican comments, they can't even hide their bitterness from last election, it's "Obama" and President Obama to you. Get it right. How can we take anyone seriously that cannot even get themselves past the first few words in their statements without being blatantly bitter, and without feeling like they are nowhere near approaching voting age. Scary, and aside from that, I love when people claim Obama has lied, I'd love for any of you to make a list of these lies, trust me, many have tried and failed miserably because the reality is more likely that obstruction, whether the people themselves or Congress, further debate, or in FF case, not pulling a Bush and blowing the cover of secret agents as an example, but don't worry, Fox will make sure you will never know this as usual. As Joseph Stalin once said," the death of one is a tragedy (FF under Obama), the death of a million (Iraq under Bush), is a statistic." As for Bain, they did not call him a felon, as usual, extremist thinking takes over common sense. The Obama team has every right to question his dealings and bring it to light to his supporters that not everything is what it seems. Who are not only not very smart, but refuse to read or watch any other news but Fox, and in doing so only make the extremism and polarization in America worse. Joke is on you in the end. Lessor of two evils will inevitably be Obama anyway, so cry me a river.

    July 15, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Truth: "Mitt i think is time that you put on the gloves and hit them back. Eye for an eye no more nice guy! They want dirty politics let's give it to them."

    Hit himm with what?!? You've been trying for 3 years using every dirty trick and lie you could think of. Never mind focusing on actually fixing our problems.
    Secondly, Your candidate and party are deeply flawed.

    July 15, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. John P

    It may turn out that it isn't a felony after all and only a serious misdemeanor. The worst that could happen is that he wouldn't be able to personally participate in his stock transactions. He's certainly wealthy enough to leave that task to a legally qualified investment professional in good standing with the SEC. And outsourcing jobs is certainly not a crime nor is it a crime to lie about being a job creator. Maybe job creation won't be the #1 issue in November and this will all blow over allowing Romney to flex his international relations muscles or he may have the opportunity to share his views on Christianity with the various denominations supporting the Tea Party. If the housing market becomes #1 issue, he can reiterate his intention to let foreclosure be just part of the normal way to market a house.
    The Democratic operatives criticizing Romney for "whining" may regret it as they haven't been paying attention to the new and very popular "conservative-speak" in which almost all communication is couched in a whine.

    July 15, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. Skipper

    So quickly the GOP forgets about the Swift Boat thing....

    July 15, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Larry L


    Annie S the fact is Cutter didn't tell the truth. This makes her look like a flip flopper for the Obama team.
    The "fact" remains Romney is lying, yet again, about his control of Bain Capital. Does anybody see Romney as the sort of person who would own something and NOT control it? Really? He's lying.

    July 15, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. snowdogg

    Mitt can't stop whining... that is how he talks.

    July 15, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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