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. njbchicago

    President Obama and his campaign staff HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO STAND ON, other than a health care law that over 1/2 this country hates. That's what he has to show for his 4 years in office. Oh, and give him credit for Bin Laden (although any President would have done the same thing but that's ok, credit where credit is due). Republicans can get very nasty too. Romney is more Presidential than that, but there are MILLIONS of his followers who have no problem calling these sleaze buckets what they are...... although I can't use that type of language here. Sleeze buckets is good for now.

    July 15, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. njbchicago

    Never thought I'd say that about a President. But President Obama has proven time and again what a nasty person he is. He'll do ANYTHING to get what he wants. Even pass a bill that only 40% of this country wanted. He stops at nothing. He is a LIAR and encourages his staff to do the same. IS THAT WHAT THIS COUNTRY WANTS IN A LEADER????????

    July 15, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. lies from obama(and mabye his father)

    If Obama was any more like a 4 year old, he would have a naptime. This is the bullheaded politics that caused lockups in congress.

    July 15, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. The R.O.T.P.

    why would I even cosider backing this filthy country anylonger.....

    July 15, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. Zil Zerimar

    Mitty how about apologizing to those workers that are out of work because of your Bain Company?

    July 15, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. Harry From Pa

    Thank you Mr. President.... the GOP been bashing you and have also been against you every step of the way, yet you still overcame those obstacles. Don't apologize for doing something they been doing all along. You even showed your papers, why wont Mitt Rmoney show his?

    July 15, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. Richard T.

    Mr. Etch-A-Sketch aka Mittens aka Willard Romney prefers to deny statements made by his wife (Boston Globe 11-11-2000) and others regarding on-going involvment with Bain as Chairman of the Board, President, sole stock owner, as well as, remaining on the Bain payroll as being in such position. So Mittens is the Mrs a lair?

    How does one "retro-actively" resign (per spokes person Gillespe)? So the documentation.

    Will you ever acknowledge responsibility for the vulture capitalism of Bain?

    July 15, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. gt

    of course..just keep telling lies and people will believe it..obama new m.o.

    July 15, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. Jatovi

    He shouldn't apologize. What has he done wrong? This is politics.

    July 15, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. rs

    Given that Mr. Romney has apparently been caught in another lie, and all the lies the GOP has propogated on the ACA, and Mr. Obama, I'd say niether Obama or the Dems should apologize.

    July 15, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. mommytwice

    The president, as usual, sounds intelligent, thought out, and reasonable. Romney, by stark contrast, sounds like a whiney 3rd grader who got his little feelings hurt. Again, I say, Mr. Romney, show us the proof....prove you weren't at Bain during that time, because the company's paperwork says you were. Prove it or shut up and face the American people with the lie you told. Or should I say, this most recent lie you told.

    July 15, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. T'sah From Virginia

    Maybe President Obama would come out with an apology when Romney supplies his taxes to prove that he was not with Bain during those years he was still the CEO and owned 100% of the stocks. Romney also needs to show us his tax returns for all of the years he had money overseas in TAX HAVENS for the Rich Accounts and how much taxes he paid on them!!! Until then – NO APOLOGIES!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 15, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Robme

    Robme should apologize for sending jobs overseas.

    July 15, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Dennis

    What unmiddigated GALL this President Obama has! Who is he to critize anybody about maximizing income for investors! Aren't the people of the United States Investors in HIS Presidency? Who is Obama to hold Romney up to critism over how a business is run, when he as President has increased out National Debt from 6 – 7 Trillion to 16 or 17 Trillion, who has over 88 million workers unemployed under his watch! Just the 6 months ended June12 saw THE Largest climb by 932 Billion Dollars in the Debt in the History of the USA? Who just lied through his TEETH that the Health Care Bill was a TAX, and just had the Supreme Court in the Country confirm HE LIED! If Romney has to COME to Jesus on Bain, then I CHALLENGE CNN to make Obama come clean on his DRUG USE! Obama, while runnig for President in 2007, said, sure I used drugs, but no MEDIA source made OBAMA "HONEST" as CNN claims to do! What President in the History of our Country ever gave the Justice and IRS Departments the right to stuff ballot boxes, or raid every home in search of income to TAX for Healthcare! Romney doesn't have to bow his head for one second over Bain! Compared to the ruthless President we have, and the way Obama is BANKRUPTING our economy, and leading workers to Bread Lines, Romney looks like George Washington!

    July 15, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    I wouldn't apologize either. He needs to get over it. Somebody needs to remind him, "That's Politics"

    July 15, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. AJ

    Romney ran a dirty primary campaign and said it was ok, now the outsourcing king wants an apology.

    July 15, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    No need to apologize to these loots. Obama12.

    July 15, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  18. Really?

    Of course obama won't be apologizing. He lives seeing this country go down the tubes. And finally Michelle is proud.

    July 15, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  19. CA Dream USA

    Keep up the pressure...Romney is the first President and CEO of a company who believes he is not responsible what a company does..Wow Mitt....Romney Lies

    July 15, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  20. Native USA

    The only appology Obama does is for America to foreigners..........he never appologizes to Americans he has wronged or lied to or about.............standard operating for a liberal.

    July 15, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Bristol

    Why should he apologize? His campaign is raising a valid point that Romney refuses to provide the information that would disprove the claim. He collected over $100,000 per year, his name remained on SEC documents stating he was running the company, and there are more documents that show he was actively involved in running the investment pools. There's blood in the water and it's not Obama's.

    July 15, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  22. California

    Hussein Obama is just shameful.

    July 15, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  23. Catmandew

    Obama you have made apoligies to every country in the world just for us being Americans! One more wont kill ya!You need to make one to the public for the poor job and still blame W after 3 years alot of excuses!

    July 15, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. Time for Change

    Obama should be embarrassed at his own handling of the situation. For his campaign to even suggest a felony is irresponsible. For a true leader, it would be a no brainer to apologize, but Obama is too arrogant to admit the mistake. Pity, he could have made some points by doing so, but it's clear that it's a win at all costs attitude for Obama. He's lost the respect of millions of Americans.

    July 15, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  25. Alan

    No surprise here. If Obama will not apologize for ruining America, we surely will no apologize for his lies about Romney.

    July 15, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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