Despite growing evidence that Mitt Romney had a more significant role in Bain Capital after 1999 that he has been willing to admit to, Romney lashed out at critics, including those in the Obama campaign.
In a series of interviews Friday, Romney insisted that he did not play a role at Bain after 1999, despite a number of documents filed between 1999 and 2002 showing Romney as “sole shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Capital.”
“I had no association with the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999,” Romney told ABC News. “That is when I left the firm. I am very pleased with the experience I had with the firm but as everyone knows I went on to run the Olympics for three years. I was there full time. After that I came back and ran in Massachusetts for governor.”
Romney also told CBS News’ Jan Crawford that he was not politically responsible for anything that happened after February of 1999, when he took over the management of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
“Actually, when you leave an enterprise and you have other people who are managing the enterprise, who take responsibility for the investment decisions, who decide who’s going to get hired and fired, who decide compensation decisions, they’re the managers, they’re the people running the business,” Romney said.
The interviews contradicted statements Romney made under oath in 2002, when his eligibility to run for governor of Massachusetts was being challenged. At the time, Romney said that he returned from Utah for “business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings,” as well as social events.
Romney nevertheless demanded an apology from the Obama campaign for statements made by campaign aides, who had noted that lying on SEC filings is a felony.
“What kind of president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party?” Romney asked. “This is reckless and absurd on his part, and it’s something that’s beneath his dignity.”
Obama campaign spokesperson Ben LaBolt told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that the campaign will not apologize, and said that Romney was trying to claim credit for the positive things Bain has done while refusing to “accept responsibility” for its problematic decisions.
Will Not Release Taxes
Romney said that he would release his tax returns from this year, along with the returns from 2010 that have already been released. But he refused to release any other returns, as the Obama campaign and many Republicans have called for him to do.
“Those are the two years that people are going to have,” Romney told CNN. “That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”
The Obama campaign has called on Romney to release more returns, citing the example of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, who released 12 years’ worth of tax returns during his 1968 presidential campaign.
Rules Out Rice as VP
Romney also ruled out former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice as a potential running mate. Rice had been touted as a front-runner in an article on conservative website The Drudge Report, but Romney told Fox News that he would pick an anti-abortion running mate, as he’d promised during the primary campaign. Rice has described herself as “mildly pro-choice.”
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