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People are focusing too much on "was-he-or-wasn't-he" at Bain. The question behind the question is whether or not it's appropriate to hold Romney responsible for what happened there post-1999. And obviously it is. If Obama ran an ad that said, "Bain destroyed jobs in 2001, Romney owned Bain, we hold him responsible," that ad would surely pass the fact checkers, I would hope. (And yet, that hypothetical ad is hardly any different than the one they ran.)

Did Bain destroy jobs? Check. Did Romney own Bain? Check. Do we hold him responsible? Check. It's all true.

It's subtle rewording of the same basic message in a way that clears the controversy.

The element to this that everyone seems to be missing is whether or not Romney supports what happened at Bain after 1999. He was still officially the top guy, with all the inherent authority, regardless of whether or not he was on the conference calls.

So here are some questions Romney needs to be asked:

Did he approve of the decisions being made at Bain post 1999? Even in retrospect? Would he have done anything differently had he been more involved? Does he wish he had been more involved so he could have prevented all those layoffs?

Do you believe the owner of a company is ultimately responsible for its actions?

Whatever happened to that great Republican value of personal responsibility? It is so incredibly craven and cowardly for Romney to be trying to dissociate himself from a company he fully owned. Is this the kind of president he's going to be? One that ducks responsibility?

He really needs to be hammered on this.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, kevinpdx, jfromga, Chi

    Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

    by Zackpunk on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 03:09:23 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't disagree more, I mean after Rick Scott (0+ / 0-)

    I guess we have a large swath of folks who don't take fraud all that seriously when picking a candidate, but I think securities fraud (or financial disclosure fraud) is far more important than whether Bain did bad things or not. Business is business, white collar crime is a whole different level.

    •  That's complicated (0+ / 0-)

      Getting mired into a complex legal argument won't resonate with the American people. Signatures and filings... No one understands or cares about that. You have to go for something that people can relate to. This is about ownership. He owned the company. He owned responsibility. And he's trying to duck it. It takes two seconds to explain and it's easy to understand. And it defines his character, which is ultimately what this will come down to.

      Strange Angels - a progressive online dating site.

      by Zackpunk on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 03:36:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know, tie it in to the same stuff that (0+ / 0-)

        caused the meltdown (and the great depression, which is why these SEC laws started in 1933) and the fact that Republicans want to repeal what little regulation that keeps people lie Mitt from misleading on the big stuff...

  •  I don't understand why Mitt is trying to distance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, Chi

    himself from Bain.  I thought the GOP was all for capitalism and freedomz.  Why isn't he saying, Hell yeah, I was there!  This should be a humongous success story, shouldn't it?  Is he admitting that not ALL capitalism is good and honorable?

  •  Excellent point Zackpunk. And, one that Wolf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Blitzer at CNN, seems to be missing.  I just watch a report at about 6:15 pm suggesting that current Bain senior partners are responding that Romney really did leave in 1999, but that his departure for the Olympics was so sudden, that it took two years to break the company up into the current five or so partnerships, with new leadership, so the fact that Romney is listed as CEO, President, Chairman of the board, and sole owner through 2002, is only a technicality.

    CNN even points out that two of these current partners are Democrats.  

    Yes, transitions take time, but the core of this dispute is not about the question of "was Romney in the office every day," or where there transitional managers, but rather Romney is denying he had any link to Bain's outsourcing, the company that disposed of fetuses, and exploited bankruptcies.

    This basic methodology was developed while Romney was totally in charge, and he remained "sole owner," and "Chairmen of the Board," and remained on the legal filings as the legal officer in charge.  

    It defies credulity to think the new partners would have taken major departures from the traditional Bain methodology and strategy without Romney's knowledge and approval.

    Blitzer needs to be re-focused onto the central issue.  Romney has denied any links, and/or responsibility for Bain after 1999.  Even on a disclosure, or tax form, I think.   Now, the facts, come out that until 2002, he was still filing as sole owner, and legal officer of the company.

    To say, current partners now say they were really in charge, during this transition, does not change the underlying deception in any way.  And, now Mitt Romney is saying President Obama is a liar, and CNN is claiming the role as fact checker.

    So the details matter.  But, don't get lost in the forest, for all the trees.  Romney was still linked to Bain through 2002, as sole owner, and legal officer.

    CNN is saying Romney's ad saying the President's ad is a lie is true based only on his period as Governor of Massachusetts.  His period at Bain must also count.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 03:34:05 PM PDT

  •  I think an analogy might be (0+ / 0-)

    if you owned a baseball team and were making the personel decisions.

    Then later on you hired a GM to run your team and make the talent decisions. You still own the team, but someone else is taking the responsibility for the moves.

  •  He wasn't just an owner. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Romney was also an officer of some Bain entities. That means that he had legal responsibilities for the companies' actions. A shareholder can say he is just a passive investor, but not an officer or director.  That means that in a way it is worse for Romney if he did nothing to manage Bain during that period. Because that would prove he did not fulfill his legal responsibilities as an officer and director.

  •  Mitt was a part-owner of Bain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He owned the successful parts and disowns the all the politically toxic parts.

    Mitt is used to being CEO and being surrounded by fixers, so he doesn't have to worry his little corporate head about making sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. If something went wrong, he could just blame and fire a minion.

    Problem is, American voters and media like the Boston Globe don't report or answer to him and can't be fired by him, just because he likes firing.

    When you run for President, we're not in your employ, you are in ours. Mitt still doesn't get it even though he's running out of days to learn.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Thu Jul 12, 2012 at 04:30:32 PM PDT

  •  I think it makes more sense (0+ / 0-)

    to say that we hold the President responsible for the government, we expect him to accept that responsibility in line with the Truman sign, "The buck stops here".  You take the title, you take the responsibility.  To quote Truman again, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen".

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