Mitt Romney puts out new ad today calling Obama a liar for saying he outsourced jobs. On the same day, a Boston Globe article busted Romney for still being at Bain when he said he wasn’t, which ironically proves Obama right. Oh, Mitt.
Mitt Romney is accusing President Obama of lying in a new ad today. Romney says that the President’s ad regarding Romney’s outsourcing history is a lie. Romney asks how voters can trust Obama to lead if he “doesn’t tell the truth.”
That’s a great question. If Romney thinks not telling the truth is a bad thing, perhaps he can explain to us why he mislead the public about when he left Bain, a claim that allowed him to deny his reputation as an outsourcer.
Romney put out this ad today, in which a narrator says, “There was no evidence that Mitt Romney shipped jobs overseas.”
Titled “No Evidence,” it’s Romney’s push back against President Obama’s claim that Romney outsourced jobs while working Bain Capital. The mainstream media reports that “The claims have been largely debunked by fact-checking organizations” and this is true, they have.
They were debunked because Romney told us he left Bain in 1999. But that’s not exactly true.
Perhaps there was NO public evidence when the Romney campaign made today’s ad, but there is evidence today, and today is when he released the ad. Furthermore, while the evidence may not have been public a month ago, Romney knew when he had Bain stock and when he was an executive. Notice the careful wording “there is no evidence.” This is just more bad news for Romney, because it is now public knowledge that Romney claimed to be in charge on his disclosure forms during the job outsourcing.
We have already discussed the implications of Bain SEC filings at PoliticusUSA, but today the Boston Globe has made it official; Romney was at Bain during the layoffs and the outsourcing of jobs. In an article titled, “Mitt Romney stayed at Bain 3 years longer than he stated– Firm’s 2002 filings identify him as CEO, though he said he left in 1999” the Boston Globe details:
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.
Why does this matter? Well, for one, the Romney campaign has been denying this, and just like the tax returns he refuses to make public, his denial of responsibility for his time at Bain is troubling because of the dishonesty invoked and also because at a time when Americans need jobs and Republicans refuse to propose or pass a jobs bill (save finally the Veterans Jobs Bill after much ado), jobs are a big deal right now.
Romney’s chief economic adviser, R. Glenn Hubbard, said “Outsourcing is good for America.” Now we know that Romney owned 100 percent of the Bain stock and was an “executive” during the outsourcing. So yes, it’s accurate to say he was in charge then and it’s fair to ask if Romney understands the need for American jobs and what his plan is.
It’s not just about an attack ad being proven accurate, it’s more importantly about the policies and beliefs of the candidates. The President’s campaign points out that Mitt Romney:
• Supports a territorial tax system that would allow multinational companies investing overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes, which critics say “would prompt U.S. to shift offshore even more income than they already do.”
• Vetoed a bill as governor that would’ve prevented Massachusetts from sending state jobs overseas, and signed a contract for a call center in India.
• Invested, as a corporate buyout specialist, in companies “that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories” to countries including China and India.
We hope that the fact checkers are on board and they might start to learn something: The President is very careful with his words. What he lacks in sound bites and bumper stickers he tends to make up for in accuracy. Time and time again, he has been proven accurate when more information came out. There have been times when he was wrong, and he has adjusted his rhetoric to reflect the fact checking. This matters, for when someone is wrong, we expect them to adjust to reality and stop perpetuating an untruth. Everyone makes mistakes. But continuing to make them in defiance of the truth is telling.
Why exactly did Mitt Romney release an ad today accusing the President of lying about something that turns out to be true? Does Romney not remember his time at Bain, or does he think that by not releasing his tax returns, he can muddy these waters and keep them vague, thereby misleading the American people?
One thing is certain, Romney didn’t officially sever ties with Bain until 2002. Romney says that the SEC filings and disclosure reports don’t mean anything, they were legal technicalities. But he really can’t have it both ways. He was still making money from the outsourcing and he was still the executive in charge during a time he has denied being in charge.
President Obama has been proven right again. He’s done more homework than everyone else, which is why he comes to the fight prepared. I’d bet that Obama knew all along that Romney was in charge after he claimed he left, and he cornered Romney into denying it (yet again) by making outsourcing an issue.
Romney has once again fallen into the President’s trap of boxing him in between a lie and a secret (outsourcing and his tax returns). Now Romney either needs to keep lying and refusing to release his tax returns, or release them to prove that the SEC filings and disclosure forms were somehow wrong. And if those forms were wrong, Romney is in a whole different world of hurt.
So Mitt Romney’s question to Obama today about how can we trust him if he doesn’t tell us the truth is quite topical and of high interest today. Tell us, Mr. Romney, how can we trust you if you won’t tell us the truth? All of Romney’s slick shell game of find the truth “I wasn’t there, that’s just for legal reasons” denies that Romney made a profit off of the outsourcing and was in charge for some reason. He had a reason to claim he was the executive – now he has to own it.