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Attacks on Romney are 'Chicago-style politics,' adviser says

Published July 15, 2012 11:39 am
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Attacks on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over his role at Bain Capital Partners LLC after he assumed management of the 2002 Olympics are "classic Chicago-style politics," senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said.

"He was not involved in the management, was not involved in the day-to-day decisions — he wouldn't have had time," Gillespie said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City to save the Olympics for a country he loves more" and took a "leave of absence" from the firm.

The Boston Globe, in a July 12 report, said that Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed Romney was identified as the chief executive of Bain Capital three years after he said he left the firm to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. SEC filings also name him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors LLC in 2001 and 2002, Bloomberg News reported July 13.

During that period, Bain completed a series of deals that resulted in relocating jobs overseas and bankruptcies that led to worker firings. Gillespie said Romney wasn't part of that decision-making as he was no longer at the firm.

"It is standard, though, while on leave, to sign those documents for the SEC," Gillespie said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

'Mitt Was Gone'

While Romney's name may have legally been on Bain documents, "Mitt was gone" running the Olympics and it took several years for the management committee that took over to negotiate the terms of his departure, former Bain Capital partner Edward Conard said on MSNBC Sunday.

The negotiations were "very complicated" because all the partners were involved and Romney and his lawyers were hard to reach, Conard said Sunday on MSNBC's "Up with Chris Hayes." Romney was the first to leave the partnership, so his terms would set the standard for other departures from the company, Conard said.

Romney was "never there" during the meetings on investment decisions, Conard said.

Romney, speaking during a series of television interviews July 13, called the attacks from the Democratic Obama campaign "disgusting and demeaning." The Republican candidate's five- show blitz on Friday was intended to "make sure people understood he's not a felon," Gillespie said on CNN.

Obama's Record

"They want to talk about anything but President Obama's dismal record when it comes to the economy, and it's working," Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, said on CNN.

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago mayor and former Obama White House chief of staff, focused on Romney's resistance to publishing more of his tax returns. Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Emanuel said Romney's campaign seems to have decided it's better to get attacked for lack of transparency than to show what's in his returns.

Romney's released tax filing, including multiple foreign accounts, "looks more like the Olympic Village than it does like a middle-class family," Emanuel said.

"Next four years, the president of the United States is going to have tax reform, and you're going to have to debate it with Congress and shape it," Emanuel said on ABC. "Will it be a middle-class family's desire to save to send their kid to college or protecting the loophole in the Cayman Islands?"

Campaign Attacks

Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire, said on the ABC show that Obama campaign attacks on Bain Capital and Romney's tax returns show that Obama is "just a small politician and running on small-ball politics at a time when our country is facing grave, grave challenges."

The Obama campaign is attempting to distract voters from the president's record of overseeing "the highest deficits and biggest government since World War II, the worst jobs quarter in two years and the highest poverty rates in a generation," House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"People are not worried about the details as to when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to save the Olympics, or the details about his assets, which are managed by a blind trust, for Pete's sake," Ryan said.

Labor Department figures showed July 6 that the job market is making little progress as payrolls expanded by a less-than- forecast 80,000 in June. Excluding government agencies, private hiring increased 84,000, the weakest in 10 months.

The unemployment rate held at 8.2 percent to mark the 41st consecutive month that joblessness has remained above 8 percent — the longest stretch of such elevated levels in the post-World War II era.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, said Sunday on "Fox News Sunday" that voters in November are not going to "worry about some attack on Bain," and will focus instead on deciding which candidate has the best plan for creating jobs.

With assistance from Susan Decker in Washington




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