The controversy surrounding Mitt Romney’s departure from Bain Capital continued to swirl Sunday, with a former Bain partner admitting that Romney was “legally” in charge of Bain from 1999 through 2002, and an adviser to Romney claiming that Romney retired from Bain “retroactively.”
Ed Gillespie, a top adviser to Romney, said “that he [Romney] could be part time” at Bain after taking on duties running the 2002 Winter Olympics, but that he instead “took a leave of absence.”
Gillespie added, “he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”
He made a similar statement on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The statement drew a mocking response from supporters of President Barack Obama, who noted that Gillespie was essentially conceding that Romney had in fact been involved with Bain through 2002.
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, published a story on Saturday saying Romney’s position on his departure from Bain has “evolved,” and that evidence shows that Romney had at least some connection to the company he founded after February of 1999, when he maintains he left the company.
Former Bain partner Ed Conard also admitted Sunday that Romney had been officially in charge of Bain through 2002. Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes whether Romney was in fact CEO of Bain during that time, Conard replied, “Legally, on documents, I suppose, yes.”
Conard said that Romney’s departure as CEO was delayed by negotiation of a severance package for Romney.
Since running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney has maintained that he departed Bain in February of 1999. The timing of Romney’s departure is important, because Bain was involved in a number of politically problematic transactions after Romney’s claimed departure time, including the shuttering of GST Steel and investment in a company that disposes of medical waste, including aborted fetuses.
Romney again attacked the Obama campaign Monday. On “Fox and Friends,” Romney said, “What does it say about a president whose record is so poor that all he can do in this campaign is attack me?”
Obama denied that he was simply attacking Romney. In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Obama said, “we’ve done a whole slew of positive ads that talk exactly about how we need to change our education system, how we need to change our tax code, how we need to rebuild America, how we need to promote American energy. Those just don’t get attention in the news.”
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