Mitt Romney’s “I’m like rubber, you’re like glue” tactic appears to be backfiring. After weeks of getting clobbered over his Bain record, Mitt Romney released a new web video Thursday accusing President Obama of lying about his outsourcing claims. The video states Romney wasn’t working at Bain Capital when it outsourced and cites factcheck.org (more on that later).
Unfortunately for Romney, he failed to put these claims to rest. His problems multiplied, as new reports surfaced questioning his record at face value.
The Boston Globe published a bombshell story, saying Romney stayed at Bain three years longer than he claims.
Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings. The timing of Romney’s departure from Bain is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date.
In response, Bain Capital released a statement on Romney’s exit from the firm. It reads:
“Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure. 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. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.”
The Romney campaign disputed the claims, calling the Boston Globe story inaccurate. In a written statement, Romney Spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point.”
The problem is the Romney campaign’s “independent fact checkers” used facts that were in question.
Another mind-bending headache for Romney: David Corn’s exclusive piece for Mother Jones, narrowing in on his alleged outsourcing history in China. He reports Romney poured millions of dollars into a Chinese firm that profited off of outsourcing U.S. jobs.
The SEC filings do not reveal how much Romney initially invested in Global-Tech (which is now known as Global-Tech Advanced Innovations). But Brookside first acquired 748,000 shares at a time when Global-Tech was mounting an IPO at $19 a share. If that was the purchase price Brookside paid, then Romney’s firm originally invested $14.2 million in the company.At the time Romney was acquiring shares in Global-Tech, the firm publicly acknowledged that its strategy was to profit from prominent US companies outsourcing production abroad.
Corn points out another serious liability for Romney. The outshoring Chinese company that Bain sold most of its shares in 1998 went to a company in Bermuda, soley owned by Mitt Romney.
An SEC filing submitted on December 21, 1998, reported that the Bain affiliate now controlled only 4.63 percent of the company’s shares. But Brookside was sharing its stake in Global-Tech with Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors LTD—a Bermuda-based corporation of which Romney was the “the sole shareholder, a director, and President.” That is, Romney had split his Global-Tech holdings between two of his various business entities. (The SEC filing doesn’t indicate why he did that.) Sankaty is a story in itself. It was recently the focus of an Associated Press investigation that reported that Sankaty “is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed” and that there is a “mystery surrounding” Sankaty. Reporting on this Romney entity, Vanity Fair noted that “investments in tax havens such as Bermuda raise many questions, because they are in ‘jurisdictions where there is virtually no tax and virtually no compliance,’ as one Miami-based offshore lawyer put it.” With Sankaty, Romney was using a mysterious Bermuda-based entity to invest in a Chinese firm that thrived on US outsourcing.
The Obama campaign suggested Romney either mischaracterized his time running Bain Capital — a little padding of the resume, if you will — or worse, that he committed a felony by filing false statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.On Thursday, Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told reporters Romney he could have been “misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments. And if that’s the case — if he was lying to American people — then that’s a real character and trust issue that the American people need to take very seriously.”