The usually somewhat press-unfriendly Mitt Romney took to the airwaves Friday night, doing five separate TV interviews in which he aggressively stressed his claim that he was only "associated with" — not actively managing — Bain Capital after February 1999 (when he took charge of the 2002 Olympics), despite being listed as the firm's CEO and sole shareholder on its SEC filings.
“I was the owner of an entity that is filing those information — that information, but I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999, not that that would have been a problem, to have said that I was with the firm beyond that, but I simply wasn’t,” Romney said on CNN.
He also repeatedly said that the Obama campaign owed him an apology for suggesting that he misrepresented his job on the documents, which would be a felony.
“He sure as heck ought to say that he’s sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team,” Romney said on ABC. “It’s very disappointing on his part. It’s beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States to go out and say the kind of things that are being said and even Democrats are saying that.”
To CNN’s Acosta, Romney called the attacks on his record “disgusting” and “demeaning.”
“Is that’s really what expected of the campaign of the sitting president of the United States? … Is this up to the standards that’s expected of the president of the United States?” Romney asked.
It looks like he'll be waiting a while for that apology. Just this morning, the Obama campaign released yet another ad focused on Romney's time at Bain. The video features the candidate's own vocal stylings (a performance of "America, the Beautiful" performed at a fund-raiser earlier this year) played over quotes from news reports saying that his business "shipped jobs to Mexico and China," and that he "outsourced jobs to India" while governor of Massachusetts. And, for good measure, it reminds the public that Romney is in possession of legal but off-putting rich people things such as a Swiss bank account and "tax havens" in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
The ad seems particularly well timed when you consider the other takeaway from last night's Romney media blitz: his statement that he has no plans to publicly release his tax returns beyond the two-years' worth that are already out there.
“I know there will always be calls for more. People always want to get more,” Mr. Romney said on CNN. “And, you know, we’re putting out what is required plus more that is not required. And those are the two years that people are going to have. And that’s — that’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”
Looks like it's up to the Obama campaign to fill in any public gaps in understanding for him.
Update: The Obama campaign has responded to the apology request with a video compilation of Romney's nastier attacks on the President. As a spokeswoman told reporters, "I think that we felt it was important to remind people that Mitt Romney is the same candidate who just a few months ago was questioning whether the president understood America, understood freedom, and spent a lot of time — and a lot of time on his campaign still to date — attacking him. And that was maybe forgotten over the last couple of days." She added that the campaign was "completely justified to raise questions" when it came to Romney's career at Bain, since he's "leading with his business credentials as his top qualification for being president."