Obama: 'We won't be apologizing'
July 15th, 2012
05:19 PM ET
10 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."

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"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."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. 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 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Louden Swain

    Obama loves being right and stubborn... As well as playing golf.

    July 15, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    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.
    Obama wishes he had one day of the critically important business experience Mitt Romney had at Bain. Seriously, Obama has no clue how businesses run and companies like Bain are the elite experts at how businesses run. So with the private sector of the American economy so important to our government right now, some of this expertise will go a long way towards really getting the recovery happening. And Obama has struggled for 3 1/2 years trying to figure out how to make positive contributions in the economy. One mistake is that he looked to academia for Economic advisers. Big mistake. He could have been much more effective actually listening to business experts. Like Mitt Romney.

    July 15, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Roy

    Remember Mitt Romney was joking a little of also being unemployed just like the others while he was chatting with a group of people last year. That was very unrespectful for what he did since he is very well-off while many of us are struggling while being unemployed.

    July 15, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. clownshoes

    Obama isnt apologizing? Thats a first. Maybe if Romney was a foreign country.......

    July 15, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. mikle

    Obama only apologizing for America, but never for his action.

    July 15, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Jules

    President Obama is exactly right. Romney and his handlers made minced meat out of his primary opponents through negaive campaigning. You can call it whatever you like, Romney. I call it Karma. the Golden Rule, reaping what you sow, what goes around comes around. Whatever. We know that you and your billionaire friends have not and will not run a clean campaign with no negative advertising since you have already gone in that direction so guess what – here it comes .... more than you ever dreamed possible in your silver spoon life and nobody is going to feel sorry for you so just head off to the Caymans, Bahama's Switzerland, wherever and visit your money.

    July 15, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Phil Thomas

    exactly people in Glass Houses should not Throw Boulders Mitt Romney

    July 15, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Valentina

    Obama not a whiner? Oh, that is sooooo funny I almost wet my pants. He is an ideal Whiner-In-Chief who complains about everything being everyone else's fault. He is pathetic.

    July 15, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Jules

    Take it to him, Mr. President!

    July 15, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. PJ/TX

    There's nothing to apologize for. Romney's character (or lack of) is on the line, and this latest "retroactive"
    retirement story is proof.
    Ed Gillespie is as trustworth as his super PAC partner, Karl Rove. They call it a "social welfare" organization
    so they won't have to name their donors. Weasels at work.

    July 15, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. Snow

    What else would you expect from the liar in chief.

    July 15, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. John

    Romney is nothing but a big crybaby who likes to dish it out but can't take it when somebody fights back.

    July 15, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Joan

    What a classy guy that President Obama is. He is so honest and fair. Newt Gingrich and all Ronneys GOP running mates
    said Ronney was a Liar. More and More we will see the truth of that as he run. I just hope the American people will be
    smart enough to vote for Mr. Obama. He his the Real Deal. If not, the country is going to go backwards. Why is a man as
    rich as Ronney running for President? He makes tripple times the salary of a President right now. He does seems to really hae that overwelming love for the country and the people. So the only other reason is the Power.

    July 15, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Phil Thomas

    Why don't you lead with that over a weekend CNN, we won't be apologizing instead of an apology Romney begged for with Acosta sitting on his lap doing an Interview.

    July 15, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. B.

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the Kitchen.

    July 15, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. Election 2012

    Fact-checkers on Obama's accusations? Obama doesn't care. For his Presidential re-election, there are no rules, no limits, no class, no decency and no principles. It's say and do anything and everything, hope something sticks for every single vote.

    July 15, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. The Elephant in The Room

    America is much more than just businesses running amok in the "Free Enterprise System". Mitt Romney doesn't understand that. He seems to equate corporations with PEOPLE. He often says that Americans should trust "THE MARKET" (whatever that means) to fix societies problems instead of government action.

    But when he and his "free enterprise" business get caught in a paper trail, he wants us to GIVE THEM A PASS – – in essence saying that those papers and representations we (BAIN) made to the government (SEC) were not relevant. Or he is saying that we should excuse their sloppy work and/or cavalier attitude in completing those documents.

    Should shareholder excuse mistakes, errors, misrepresentations, etc. in all corporate communications like annual reports, financials, etc? You can't claim that business is the ULTIMATE entity in America and then switch around and ask the all mighty corporation to be cut some slack for it's screw ups. What kind of leadership is that?

    July 15, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Scales of Justice

    The President is correct. The SEC filings are prima facie evidence that Gov. Romney remained at the helm of Bain from 1999 until 2002. If Gov. Romney received a salary from Bain, I would presume he was being paid for work related to Bain business. I don't understand how Gov. Romney can say the President is lying given the SEC filings and especially given the Governor's recent statement that he will disclose any other tax returns.

    July 15, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Jane

    President Obama should apologize right after the GOP apologizes for the fillth and racist garbage spewed during the 2008 campaign and for the treasonous refusal to agree to Anything the President proposed to Congress, with the sole intention of getting back into power. Also, the Republicans in Congress should give back their salary (and their free 'socialized' medical coverage) for the last 3.5 years; they did not do their job.

    July 15, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Larry C

    The President should not apologize to Romney; he should apologize to the American people for the rotten job he has done.
    He has no shame...

    July 15, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. woody

    No, what Obummer needs to do is apologize to the American People for his own lying to the people and his worthless administration.

    July 15, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. luckjoe

    I pray that obama will be defeated. He is an artful public speaker who has managed to destroy America.

    July 15, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Darryl

    Sorry for what ? Mitt Romney still acts like he's back in High School and being an immature idiot. I can't say it any better than that because thats exactly what he acts like.In thew last few months he's been following the President around from town to town, state to state with his bus. Whats all that about ? Just seemed really childlike and very immature to me.Then Romney and his wife got on T.V. and had the nerve to both say " We think it's OUR turn to be in the W/H and that they DESERVE it." That comment was the most arogant and self-righteous self-entitled thing anyone can say. Thats how they are and their children as well too. They feel they are above the rest of society and deserve better because they have allot of money and everybody is less of a person. Americas worst American Family !

    July 15, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. Larry L

    How many people would believe that a man with Romney's personality would own a corporation but not try to control it? Does this make sense?

    July 15, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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