Romney Responds To Question Of When He Left Bain

Jul 17 2012 | 11:44am ET

Weeks of attacks on his record as head of Bain Capital has culminated in an implication that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney may not have been totally honest about when he left the private equity firm he co-founded.

Romney and his campaign have said he left Bain in early 1999 to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. But a host of documents show that Romney may not have left the firm until years later.

Why does it matter? Because President Barack Obama has accused Romney of outsourcing American jobs overseas—but Bain did not begin investing in such companies until 1999.

Romney has said he played no role in any of those decisions. But in 2001, Bain identified Romney as its CEO, president, sole shareholder and controlling person. Another document from that year said Romney's "principal occupation" was as a Bain managing director. And even 13 years after he claims to have left the firm, Romney and his wife are still raking in millions from Bain as part of his retirement agreement.

Other documents, signed by Romney, show that he was sole shareholder, chairman, CEO and president of Bain in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Romney has said the confusion is due to the fact that it took some time for such disclosure documents to accurately reflect his role at Bain, an argument he took to the airwaves in a media blitz on Friday. Romney also defended the company he set up, saying, "there's nothing wrong with the fact that the firm went on and it was a successful enterprise."

Romney has also refused to release the board minutes from the period in question at Bain that could prove he had no role at the firm.


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