Friday, July 13, 2012

Romney Not Boss of Bain But He Got Free Stuff For Years


Romney to CBS Via Talking Points Memo
Romney: The documents show that there’s a difference between ownership– which is that I owned shares in Bain but did not manage Bain. I left as everyone knows to run the Olympics in February of 1999. I was full time running the Olympics. I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain after I went to the Olympics and that’s been demonstrated by people who work at Bain, by all of the documents but I still retained an ownership interest.

Crawford: Even if you weren’t making daily managerial decisions, though, doesn’t the buck stop with you?

Romney: 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.

From Video Below
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, here's what I know, we were just talking about responsibility, and as president of the United States, it's pretty clear to me that I'm responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and, you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you. Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital, and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company, that you are responsible for what that company does. Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations. But again that's probably a question that he's going to have to answer, and I think that's a legitimate part of the campaign.
SCOTT THUMAN: And you think he should answer that soon?

From Howard Fineman on Huff Post
. . . the Romney camp committed its biggest mistake, basing their defense of the candidate on the theory that he had bowed out of any role in Bain as of early 1999, and, as such, could not be blamed for any offshoring, consulting or other work that Bain did thereafter. This was too cute by half. For one, were they saying that there was a lot of offshoring, but that Mitt wasn't around for it? Or were they saying that there wasn't any offshoring, at least none that Bain was responsible for?


But the larger question: Why did Mitt and his minions behave this way, that is, putting a blowtorch to a campfire? The first reason is Bain, and the culture that surrounds it. Bain Capital, which Mitt Romney founded, was not and is not now in the business of telling people what it is up to. The press is a pox, at best, in a business that requires stealth attacks on undervalued assets.

The second is the attitude of the Romney campaign, which is staffed by classy, good people who also have no use for the press. With the exception of Fox and perhaps a few other publications and outlets, they think that the press corps is against them. But this is and can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Obama's attitude is not really much better, but he makes a show of respect. As far as the Romney camp is concerned, most of the press are aliens from a distant evil planet. Finally, most important, there is Mitt Romney himself. He has no interest in speaking to the non-Fox media. He is bad at it and hasn't practiced enough to get better. His top adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, is a former tabloid reporter who used to rip politicians to shreds, but now uses his considerable talents to keep other reporters at bay, or in fear, if he can get away with it.

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