Obama: 'We won't be apologizing'
July 15th, 2012
05:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama: 'We won't be apologizing'

(CNN) – Mitt Romney should not wait up for an "I'm sorry" phone call from President Obama after Democrats questioned the veracity of Romney's statements surrounding his departure from Bain Capital.

Romney originally called for Obama to apologize Friday, saying on ABC that the president "sure as heck ought to say he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"No, we won't be apologizing," Obama said in response. His remarks came during an interview airing Sunday on CNN affiliate WAVY, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Last week, Democrats seized upon reports 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.

In his interview Sunday, Obama equated Romney's request for an apology as a political game.

"Sometimes these games are played during political campaigns," Obama said. "Understand what the issue is here. Mr. Romney claims that he's Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters, entirely legitimately, want to know what exactly was that business experience."

Obama said there was "nothing wrong" with a business mission of maximizing profits for investors, but drew the line at outsourcing jobs to countries with cheaper labor costs.

"That company was investing in other companies that The Washington Post called pioneers of outsourcing," Obama said. "And he's now claiming, 'Well I wasn't there at the time,' except he files an SEC listing that says he was CEO, chairman and president of the company. As president of the United States, one of the things I've learned is that anything that happens on my watch is my responsibility. That's what people expect."

In the interview, Obama waved off his rival's grievance that he's running an overwhelmingly negative campaign. The Romney campaign released an ad Sunday called "Hope and Change?" questioning whether the president's 2008 campaign slogan had proved disappeared in 2012.

"You don't hear me complaining a lot about what's been said about me," Obama said. "And Lord knows a lot's been said about me over the past three and a half years. I understand the nature of our democracy has always been a little bit messy like this."

Obama also said he was glad to see Romney speaking last week at the NAACP, and that the booing that met Romney's pledge to repeal the president's health care law indicated his rival was willing to speak to all Americans.

"It doesn't sound like it was too severe," Obama said of the audience response. "My understanding is that some on his campaign said, 'we expected that.' I think the truth is I'm glad to see he's competing for every vote, just like I am. That's the way it should work. I don't think any constituency is a lock for anybody."

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Mittsadimmwit

    Mitt will soon be announcing that he was not Governor of Massachusetts when the health care was made law... he is retrocativily handing in his resignation dated days before the date it was passed. This means he can now wipe his hands of any of it and talk about how bad of a plan it was for the Lt Governor to pass, even though they have now been retroactivily been named Governor for the last part of the term.

    July 15, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  2. christ2012

    Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

    July 15, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. Independent Voters

    I am not Republican or Democrat register... I dun mind about the Bain capital who invested or outsourcing jobs... It is their biz...but for Candidate for the President...it is matters...and the most important is..how much I trust the candidate...I can tell that I dont trust Romney...and their team...their campaign..have been attacking the President...not just in the ads, but since the Primary...now their campaign..is weak..and losing..then they complaint...that even shows the Americans that Romney's team are weaker...who want to vote for a team who is losing..and not clear strategy..I will choose someone who are strong and tough..that why I will vote for Obama..

    July 15, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  4. fire0bama

    Gov. Romney, 0bama is a Chicago thug. He only apologizes to Muslims in foreign countries. He would never apologize to the American people for his lies and failures because he hates us and he wants to destroy America as much as he can.

    Stand our ground and fight against 0bama and his thugs! Romney 2012!

    July 15, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  5. Paul

    Ed Gillespie said that turning around the failing 2002 olympics took up so much of Romney's time that he couldn't work at Bain at all. So Romney can only do one thing at a time? His management skills were that taxed by the Olympics? He wants to be president, and he can only watch one ball at a time? Something doesn't add up. Is Romney really a one trick pony?

    July 15, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. judy

    milk toast can dish it oit but he sure can't take it. Quite your crying mitt. Wheres your tax returns????

    July 15, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. SafeJourney

    Wait till you see the time line of Romneys employment at Bain. Its all mapped out. comming soon

    July 16, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  8. J.V.Hodgson

    I see double standards here Its Ok for mitts to have as a surrogate someone who still pusues the bither stuff = Trump that does not require Romney to apologise, but whiney Romney takes a small part of cutters remarks out of context and in the "If" mode ( If being the biggest word in the english language.) and gets upset. If he is that thin skinned he'll be no good as president.
    If he benefitted from his position 1999-2002 WHICH HE DID VIA SALARY and probably his share of corporate profits. Then he shares responsibility good bad or indifferent for all that Bain capital did.
    But its not the first time he wriggles in this demeaning way he cannot even just say My Mass health care bill I still support as approriate for Mass, and it has some differences to PPACA. He cant do that because the Tparty will ruin him at the convention, and QED he does not want to admit he had benefit and therfore influence in Bain because he perceives it as losing votes in key battleground states. Also he has to accept the fact he made his Business skills a key reason to vote for him... in which case you take the good the bad and the Ugly as Obama did with Wright.


    July 16, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  9. John

    I agree that Obama should not apologize to Romney. Obama should really apologize and then resign for trashing America.

    July 16, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  10. stars

    Mitt you owe president Obama, Herman Cain and Newt an apologie you were the one that dug up the dirt on Herman Cain but he is so stupid they he can see it. or just to much of a uncle tom to admit it. you are lower than a snake dude.

    July 16, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  11. Ezo

    Romney must come from the same bloodline as Sara Palin (damn, it hurts me to have to write this woman's name). He can dish it out, but can't take his own medicine. Hey, Mitt. You can't call timeout during a Presidential campaign. Suck it up, loser!

    July 16, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  12. MikeH

    I think the Obama Campaign's latest video put Romney's sniveling and lies in proper perspective. Romney should apologize to Obama for all the bald-faced lies that Romney has uttered about Obama.

    That said, Willard Romney may have committed a felony, he can release his tax returns to show America to prove he has not. Or, as his dad said, Willard has something to hide by not doing so.

    July 16, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  13. Chris

    Obama hasn't apoligized for any of the 'other' errors of his campaign staff nor for the multitudes of errors of his cabinet to date. One cabinet member after another has caused this country embarrassment and/or tax payer dollars and you would have to believe that Obama's lack of discipline in these matters only means that he could care less about the 'ol USA.

    July 16, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  14. Hindsight 20/20

    What's to apologize? Those are valid questions. Did Romney submit false documents to the SEC? It speaks of his character. Something we need to consider for POTUS.

    July 16, 2012 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  15. tammyk tammy

    I do not believe that Pres. Obama as a former legal scholar would take such a strong stance without some pretty compelling evidence. No apology needs to be made to the businessman who's arrogant response to Americans is that you little people only need to know what I want you to know. What you don't know can hurt you. As a person whose job was outsourced to India last year due to pure profit motives, I know all too well the damage that these "businessman,job-creators" are inflicting upon Americans. PEOPLE OVER PROFITS. OBAMA 2012. NO APOLOGY NEEDED.

    July 16, 2012 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  16. tammyk tammy

    I still have Hope and believe that Change is coming in Nov. I am proud of Pres. Obama' accomplishments so far and know that he works everyday on my behalf. Making sure that Americans truly know what they are getting with Robmoney is a necessary part of politics. Robmoney had better toughen up and stop whining because it's gonna be a long four months. So nice to see what the GOP dishes out get hurled back in their smug greedy faces.

    July 16, 2012 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  17. Orwell sees it, again & again

    Bishop in Chief wants a confession, so he can forgive the evil doers.

    Diamond, your LIBOR-Barclay buddy, an admiral in the Olympics, needs some help

    July 16, 2012 05:21 am at 5:21 am |

    Run Mitt(I have nothing to offer)McCain as fast as you can. You can't hide. Get them Mr President!

    July 16, 2012 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  19. tammyk tammy

    It's complicated....Yeah that's right, it's complicated.... It took Bain three years of outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies to come up with the billions for Mitt's retirement package. You couldn't expect him to live off of the millions he already had socked away offshore now could you?

    July 16, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  20. fernace

    Everytime the President speaks I'm hearing a calm, rational person! Everytime Romney speaks I'm hearing denial, whining & doublespeak (aka flip-floppery)! I'm gonna have to go w/the guy who's calm & rational! Forward Obama 2012!!

    July 16, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  21. exrepublican

    Romney is actually saying to Obama, "not fair, you're cheating! I thought we agreed our campaign ads were to be lies only".

    July 16, 2012 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  22. kevin

    God's Speed Mr. OPresident! Go get 'em.

    July 16, 2012 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
1 2 3 4