Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mitt Happens


Poor Mitt Romney.  He just can’t help himself.  First he’s pro-choice, then he’s pro-life.  Next he bashes Ronald Reagan, only to turn around and praises him later.  He passes a mandated healthcare law as governor of Massachusetts which has a penalty that acts very much like a tax and recommends it as a model for a national healthcare policy, then, when it becomes the blueprint for President Obama’s healthcare law, he reverses himself and promises to repeal it if elected president.  Pick an issue and, more than likely, Romney has had at least two opinions about it.  The only consistency about Mitt Romney has been his inconsistency.  Next to his stances, the weather in Florida seems virtually static.

Well it now appears as though the former governor of the Bay State may have stepped in something a little too deep even for him to get out of.  And wouldn’t you know it has absolutely nothing to do with healthcare.  Seems as though there’s a little discrepancy about exactly when Mittens resigned from Bain Capital.  He has steadfastly said he left the company in February 1999 to concentrate on the 2002 Winter Olympics; however, SEC filings have revealed he had some sort of role with the company up to and including 2002.

According to a story in The Huffington Post, “SEC files include at least six instances of Romney signing documents after February 1999, proving -- unless the signatures were forged -- that his claim to not have ‘been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way’ is wrong.”

This is no mere “you say tomato, I say tomahto, you say tax, I say penalty” semantics lesson.  The Romney campaign has been both precise and oddly consistent with its message regarding the timeline of his Bain Capital days.

“Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”

Note, the Romney campaign could’ve chosen to say, “While Mr. Romney decided to step down from his day to day activities at Bain Capital to concentrate on the 2002 Winter Olympics, he did stay on with the firm in an advisory role; hence his signature might appear on certain SEC filings.  However, Mr. Romney was not running Bain Capital or any of its subsidiaries during this time.”  

But that’s not what they said.  Let’s be clear here; the term active role is not open for interpretation.  However much the Romney camp wishes to spin this, the idea that someone could “retire” from a company, have no “active role” with said company, yet have his signatures show up in SEC filings after the date he was supposed to have retired isn’t a simple case of making an honest mistake or failing to understand the context of a prepared statement.  It is a flat out lie.  Period.

The response from the Romney campaign to the SEC filings has been lame to say the least.  “He [Romney] did not participate in the investment or management decisions on any of these or any other investments during this period, as has been said repeatedly by Bain Capital and as was unanimously determined by the bipartisan Massachusetts ballot commission in 2002.”

Unfortunately for Romney that isn’t the case.  Stories in both The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald contradict the above statement and Romney’s own 2002 disclosure statement which listed him as “Executive” of Bain Capital contradicts his 2001 disclosure statement in which he listed himself as the former executive of the company.  Normally the term former executive would follow the term executive.  Not so in Romney land, where up is down and a penalty is a tax, unless you’re in Massachusetts, where it’s only a penalty.

Why the insistence that Romney quit Bain in 1999?  Simple.  Because most of the outsourcing that occurred at the company happened after 1999, that's why.  If Romney had no involvement with Bain Capital during the years in question, then he can't be accused of being an outsourcer, which takes away a huge part of the Obama attack plan against him. 

While perjury charges are out of the question – the statute of limitations has run out – it’s clear that this latest fiasco will garner considerable attention from the voters, and deservedly so.  You don’t get to change your position on matters of legality and then have the audacity to accuse your opponent of “lying” about you.

The real villain here isn’t the Obama Administration.  If Mitt Romney wants to point the finger at someone, he can start by looking in the mirror; next he can look at his campaign staff who, thus far, have proven about as competent at running a campaign as the Three Stooges fixing the plumbing in your house.  Thanks to them, instead of talking about the economy for the last two and a half weeks, the used-car salesman from hell has been busy explaining the difference between a tax and a penalty and, now, apparently the difference between running a company and being an advisor. 

The latter explanation may well end up proving to be his Waterloo.


Links:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/mitt-romney-bain-sec_n_1671819.html

http://www.freep.com/article/20120713/NEWS15/120713035/Documents-conflict-on-when-Romney-left-Bain

1 comment:

David Marsilia said...

Semantics in politics and imprecise time-lines... what next?