Desperation leads to ‘retroactive’ rationalizations


As has become painfully clear of late, Mitt Romney doesn’t want any responsibility for the activities of his private-equity firm, Bain Capital, after February 1999. He was still the CEO, president, chairman, and sole stockholder of Bain for years after that point, and still received a six-figure salary, but the Republican and his defenders say those facts don’t count.

Yesterday, one of Romney’s senior adviser, Republican strategist Ed Gillespie, made a new argument on “Meet the Press.”

For those who can’t watch clips online, Gillespie’s new defense is that Romney “actually retired retroactively.” This wasn’t a verbal slip-up – Gillespie used the same phrase on CNN.

In other words, as far as the Romney campaign is concerned, the candidate is absolved of responsibility for his company’s investments, layoffs, and bankruptcies because Romney “retroactively” erased those years from his business record, perhaps taking advantage of some kind of loophole in the space-time continuum. I suspect Gillespie at this point wishes he could retroactively come up with a new talking point.

Meanwhile, additional details continue to come to light. The Huffington Post reported over the weekend on a corporate document filed with Massachusetts in December 2002, soon after Romney’s election as governor, that identified him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors, LLC “authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record any recordable instrument purporting to affect an interest in real property, whether to be recorded with a Registry of Deeds or with a District Office of the Land Court.”

The Boston Globe also reported on Saturday that Romney’s version of events has “evolved” over time, and some of his accounts contradict one another. That’s never a good sign.

And finally, Chris Hayes had a very interesting discussion yesterday with Ed Conard, a former Romney colleague and former partner at Bain Capital, who conceded that Romney was “legally” the chief executive officer and sole owner of Bain Capital until 2002, not 1999.

Mitt Romney

Desperation leads to 'retroactive' rationalizations