Saturday, July 14, 2012

Romney’s latest Bain scandal

Mitt Romney is a chronic liar, particularly about President Obama and Democrats generally. These lies are clear, obvious, and easily refuted. He keeps repeating them anyway, which suggests a callous disregard for the truth.

Now he’s been caught in a lie that may be criminal.

The video above from the Obama campaign lays out the guts of Romney’s scandal: Romney has repeatedly claimed he left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Olympics, but Bain Capital filed reports with the USA regulatory body, the Securities and Exchange Commission, listing Romney as CEO and sole owner of Bain for three years after he claims he stopped having anything to do with Bain. That means he’s legally responsible for everything the company did in those three years.

So, either Romney lied to the SEC, filing falsified paperwork (which is a crime), or he’s lying to the American people. Put another way, the revelation utterly destroys his claim that he had nothing to do with the vulture capitalism of Bain—shipping American jobs overseas, bankrupting companies, destroying lives—after 1999 because he actually was in charge, despite his repeated claims heleft in 1999. Or, he wasn’t in charge and he lied to US Government regulators.

It’s not just lies to the US government, either. Today Romney told CBS News that he “had no involvement with the management of Bain Capital after 1999.” But as ThinkProgress points out, in 2002 he told a Massachusetts state hearing that “[T]here were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.” Which is it? Did he really have “no involvement” after 1999, or did he really have “a number of… business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings… and so forth”? They are mutually exclusive statements, so both can’t be true. This means either he also lied in his sworn testimony to the Massachusetts government (which is probably a crime under state law), or he’s lying to the American people now.

This scandal gets right to the heart of Romney’s use of his business experience as if it was a good thing: He and it were bad—really bad. It also reinforces growing doubts about Romney’s character, particularly his truthfulness and integrity.

Romney owes the American people a full, open and honest explanation for this. He might try the truth for a change—but I doubt he’s capable of it.

Update: Andrew Sullivan, in a really good summary of this scandal, concludes with this:
I'm getting the feeling that Romney thinks he is above the level of accountability required in a presidential candidate or even in an average ethical businessman. He seems genuinely offended to be directly challenged with facts - which he still won't address or rebut in detail. So he simply huffs and puffs and uses words like "disgusting" for a perfectly valid charge in the big boy world of presidential politics.
I couldn't possibly agree more.

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