President Obama: Mitt Romney “absolutely” should answer whether or not he was responsible for what happened at Bain Capital

“Harry Truman said the buck stops with you…”

President Obama sat down with Scott Thuman of
WJLA ABC7 in Washington, D.C. for an interview. During that interview, he was asked about Mitt Romney’s Baingate issue. The president again spelled out why it’s relevant and said Romney has questions to answer about whether or not, as chairman, CEO, and president of Bain Capital, he is actually responsible for what that company did.

SCOTT THUMAN: What about Bain Capital? It’s a big issue for the past 24 hours right now. Mitt Romney’s campaign says he left in ’99, yours says it’s 2000, there’s a significant difference, is he being dishonest with the American public?

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?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Yeah, absolutely.

There’s been a LOT of talk about this issue this week but I keep coming back to some very basic points. With regard to his situation at Bain, these are the two salient points we must all keep in mind:

  1. Romney wants to take credit for jobs that were created after he supposedly left Bain in 1999 but not the ones offshored and outsourced after that date even though evidence shows he was still involved.
  2. SEC filings that have come to light this week list Romney as the the chairman, CEO and president” of Bain Capital, even after he supposedly left in 1999. But, really, if you are considered to be the chairman, CEO and president of a company, isn’t it reasonable to hold you accountable for both the successes and the failures of that company? In other words, does Romney only get to take credit for the positive things and not the negative things?

Bain representatives suggest that it was just a paperwork formality that Romney was listed. Charlyn Lusk, a spokeswoman for Bain Capital, issued a statement saying, “Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999.”

Really? It took three years to get that corrected? Color me incredulous.

We’re about to choose the president of the most powerful and influential country on the planet. If we don’t take full measure of the candidates that are running, we hurt not only the USA but the world. Brushing this stuff off as if it were just a paperwork snafu is a glib answer. But it’s not enough when the stakes are this high.

  • CA Berkeley WV

    Romney’$ innovation at Bain was the “Heads I win, tails you lose” acquisition. In order to run for governor of MA he had to testify he never left for UT, and he said that was due to his active role in Bain. MA has a 7 yr residency rule. He blamed his MA tax avoidance on Ann those 3 years. So he wants this “fact” to be like KB Toys, gone. He running for president, for Pete’s sake.

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