Politics

Romney Adviser: Romney Not Responsible For Bain Because He ‘Retired Retroactively’

Mitt Romney and senior campaign advisor Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie, a senior campaign advisor for Mitt Romney, appeared on Meet the Press this morning to answer questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, and unveiled a new excuse for why Romney should not be held responsible for the company’s actions during a time in which he remained CEO and president:

GREGORY: He was still financially linked to Bain. And of course, a lot his fortune is due to his time with Bain. Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?

GILLESPIE: He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.

Throughout the primary season until just last week, the Romney campaign stood forcefully by their assertion that Romney “retired” from Bain Capital in February of 1999. But with the release of previously unreported SEC documents last week which suggest that Romney in fact retained the titles of CEO and chairman well into the new century, the Romney campaign has struggled to adequately answer voters’ questions.

Gillespie was also questioned about whether Romney supports the business practice of outsourcing jobs overseas, a favorite tactic of Bain Capital. Gillespie was noncommittal, instead stating that Romney believes businesses should be free to do as they see fit.

Gillespie also tried to paint Romney’s decision to release just two years of tax returns as transparent. “The fact is, Governor Romney has put out already 2010, and will put out 2011 before this election. So, very transparent,” he told Gregory.

UPDATE

Watch video of Ed Gillespie’s remark:


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UPDATE

Gillespie made a similar claim on CNN: “He took a leave of absence and in fact, ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February 1999 as a result.”

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