While the sun was busy bombarding the earth with a giant energy ball, Washington was absorbed by a storm of a different nature, one that threatens to consume the Romney campaign.
And so we found Mitt Romney last night making the rounds of the network and major cable newscasts, decrying the Obama campaign’s haymaking of the fact that Romney is listed as “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” of Bain Capital for three years after he says he had left the company. (Video at the bottom of this post.)
Different aspects of the story were broken last week by Mother Jones and TPM, but it wasn’t until the Boston Globe picked it up (initially without crediting the progressive news sources who did the actual digging) that mayhem ensued.
The excuse Romney peddled on the newscasts last night was that his gig overseeing the Salt Lake City Olympics occurred so suddenly, that he didn’t have time over the course of the next three years to change his officially-listed status with the company, even though he had actually, really, functionally retired — which would kind of amount to lying to the SEC.
Romney’s major talking point, though, was of a piece with his much-criticized (including by yours truly, writing for AlterNet) appearance before the NAACP this week: he repeatedly accused President Barack Obama’s statements on Bain, and those of his surrogates, as being “beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency.” Kind of a neat little signal to send to those who believe that having a black guy in the White House is “beneath the dignity of the presidency.”
But the question remains, why is Romney so keen to deny his involvement with Bain from March 1999-2002? As Brother Kilgore alludes, the conventional wisdom holds that those were years when Bain’s outsourcing activities were especially energetic. However, says Kilgore, Bain is pretty well-known as a willing outsourcer in any year. So what gives?
Writing at Hullabaloo, digby suggests the real problem is Bain’s November
2009 1999 investment in Stericycle, a medical waste company that disposes of, among other things, aborted fetuses. The Huffington Post first brought this fact to light, and Mother Jones‘ David Corn followed through with the SEC documents to prove it.)
Stericyle has long been in the sights of the anti-abortion movement, and Romney can’t win the 2012 election unless the right-wing evangelical Christian base turns out for him. To that constituency, having a president who reaped financial rewards from a company that serves abortion clinics just might be “beneath the dignity of the office.”