It's 2012. Do you know where your politics are?
July 13, 2012 2:45 AM   Subscribe

This post was deleted for the following reason: Open Romney thread from two days ago where this has already come up, maybe point this there. It's gonna be a long few months, keeping the sheer volume of posts down would be helpful. -- cortex



 
I will say this: Average Joe is going to have a hard time getting the nuance of, "I wasn't involved in the company, I was just the CEO."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:47 AM on July 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


It doesn't seem to matter that's he's not human, so why would anyone trip about his length of time as a non-human CEO of a dead human investment firm?
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:02 AM on July 13, 2012


You don't have to be an ordinary Joe. I've done my share of senior management roles in business. It's not a "it's so nuanced you couldn't possibly understand" situation.

There is no definition of CEO and Chairman that doesn't make the buck stop with you. Sometimes power sits more with the Chairman *or* the CEO but if you're both... you're running the company. You might have a great team under you and a fantastic FD/CFO.. but you're still running the company.

Well, the easy test is this: was he paid like he was CEO?
posted by MuffinMan at 3:03 AM on July 13, 2012 [17 favorites]


It won't be that different when he is in office. He will be shown as the CEO of America on paper but the real power will be exercised by people elsewhere. So, I would say that he is the candidate who has real experience of playing the game of being in-charge.
posted by london302 at 3:06 AM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


My dad is a former regional director of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission. When I called him up and told him what the Globe story put out there he said "you can't do that."

The excuses they are giving for this don't hold an ounce of water.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:06 AM on July 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


Guys!! Guys!!! Wouldn't you rather talk about :siren: this? :siren:
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:10 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Asking questions about Obama's past gets you called a racist.

No, continuously questioning his citizenship despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary gets you called a racist.
posted by PenDevil at 3:21 AM on July 13, 2012 [78 favorites]


I think asking too many questions about tax affairs of rich people should be stopped. It is richist
posted by london302 at 3:24 AM on July 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


If the Republicans were to nominate an ethical and responsible business leader with a solid record of success and legitimate profits standing on a firm foundation of good business practices including reliable employment with the belief that secure employees are happier and more productive, their claims of "good for the economy" would hold a lot of weight and be quite a strong argument.

What they have right now is a man so unethical, so adamant in dodging responsibility, and so willing to tear apart livelihoods for personal benefit that from a business sense that I cannot name a single candidate within my lifetime who even compares to this level of disregard for the long term.

Mitt Romney's wealth is irrelevant. How Mitt Romney obtained his wealth is relevant and even a core issue given the platform on which he presents himself. I wouldn't hold it against Romney to be worth ten times what he has now if it were earned with a sense of empathy for his fellow man. In fact, I'd consider that a major positive. As it stands, the path he took to wealth is sickening and strong evidence that he is a terrible candidate whose very career has already done enough damage.
posted by Saydur at 3:36 AM on July 13, 2012 [32 favorites]


It just shows he's a giant !$#^$ liar and everyone around him is willing to back him on that. Great guy -
posted by newdaddy at 3:39 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it matter? Hmmmm.... the people here who were never going to vote for him are still not going to vote for him. The people who were going to vote for him probably still don't give a shit, and the election will largely be decided by the number of people who can be bothered get off their arse to vote on the day which, in turn, will be largely decided by cash expended.

I suppose I'll go with 'no'.
posted by pompomtom at 3:44 AM on July 13, 2012


What I want to know is why Gingrich and Santorum never hit on this aspect of the story. They both went after him at various points for Bain and only backed off because they thought it seemed anti-business to the electorate they were aiming for. Hitting him for being a liar would have been a much better path in the primary atmosphere.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:45 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does it matter?

(Yes, it matters, despite the eventual backdown the Bain attacks were potent even during the primary, a pro-Gingrich SuperPac released a half hour long film on the issue.)

Released by the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future on Wednesday, “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” is a systematic takedown of Mitt Romney as economic savior and corporate genius. The 28-minute film features ordinary Americans who were laid off after Bain Capital — the company Romney helmed for 15 years — bought and sold their companies. After losing their jobs, people talk about the stress of forfeiting their health insurance and others say they had to skip meals.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:48 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a hardcore Republican, in the sense of the great Republicans; Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. These were Republicans who actually tried to help people. They're on Mount Rushmore, you know.

I wish more Republicans today could remember that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:51 AM on July 13, 2012 [24 favorites]


The focus on Stericycle as an Aborted Fetus Trafficker ZOMG is a tad obnoxious. It's not like fetuses can be a huge portion of their business--I'd assume that more people have appendectomies than abortions, but you still couldn't sustain a solely appendix-based business, or otherwise sort out medical waste bits by body part. But it's the same logic of people who shriek about Planned "ABORTION FACTORY" Parenthood despite abortions making a very small percentage of PP overall services.
posted by nicebookrack at 3:51 AM on July 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


Rmoney can't be liking the fact that "Bain" is also name of the villain in the next Batman blockbuster. People are going to associate the two things I hope.
posted by Renoroc at 3:58 AM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


According to the Washington Post this is false, false, false.
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 3:59 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


More from the WaPo on this being completely not true.
posted by Luminiferous Ether at 4:02 AM on July 13, 2012


According to the Washington Post this is false, false, false.
We had examined many SEC documents related to Romney and Bain in January, and concluded that much of the language saying Romney was “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” was boilerplate that did not reveal whether he was actually managing Bain at the time. (For instance, there is no standard definition of a “chief executive,” securities law experts say, and there is no requirement for anyone to have any responsibilities even if they have that title.)
I am so totally using this as my alibi in future!

"Why didn't you answer those calls? You were supposed to be taking support calls at that time."
"While my job title is Support Consultant, that is simply boilerplate which does not reveal whether I was engaging in tech support at that time."
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:03 AM on July 13, 2012 [47 favorites]


But it's the same logic of people who shriek about Planned "ABORTION FACTORY" Parenthood despite abortions making a very small percentage of PP overall services.

Well, right, people like Mitt Romney and his party, which is why this comes up.

According to the Washington Post this is false, false, false.

Yeah, that is the type of "I wasn't involved in the company, I was just the CEO." stuff average Joe isn't going to buy. True or not. It's like Kerry's "voted for it before he voted against it", it's always going to sound bad.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:03 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also like this part:

Indeed, if someone wanted to make a criminal case, why quibble with ancient SEC documents? In 2011, Romney, as a presidential candidate, filed a public financial disclosure form, under pain of perjury, that stated:

“Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”


Well, ask Mr. Clinton if being under pain of perjury means you aren't telling a lie. Or, you know, anyone else in the history of perjurers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:11 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd like the Romney camp try to clarify the difference between being the acting head of the company and CEO by equating it to Prime Minister vs Queen of England.

I would then proudly wear the button "Romney for Queen of England '12"
posted by filthy light thief at 4:13 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to the Washington Post this is false, false, false.

The article doesn't really say that. It says this might have been an honest mistake, or maybe someone else was signing some SEC filings so it looked like Romney wasn't running the company, or maybe Romney really wasn't running the company, or it might even have been a felony.

The article was really pretty inconclusive, and the point of it seemed to be that saying Romney was running the company in 1999-2002 would be jumping to conclusions.
posted by tommyD at 4:18 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the fascinating things in this story, if you read closely enough, is that Romney filed his Massachusetts income tax in 1999 as a part-time resident and in 2000 as a non-resident, after declaring a Utah house as his primary residence, and then changed it to resident later.

If he hadn't done that, he couldn't have legally run for Governor of Massachusetts, and that status was in fact unsuccessfully challenged in court. So the "left in 1999" vs paperwork showing him as REALLY leaving in 2002 is supposedly classified as him taking a 'leave of absence'.

But it really needs to be cleared up, because right now 'Bain' is not the only connection that Romney has to a Batman villain... he himself is looking kind of like Two-Face.
posted by mephron at 4:23 AM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


[Comment deleted. We need to not be doing the over-the-top "babies ripped from their mothers' wombs" thing here, ironic or not. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:24 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Let’s also not forget that Massachusetts Democrats tried to keep Romney off the ballot in the 2002 governor’s race on the grounds that he had been living and working in Utah, even paying taxes there, and thus had failed to meet the requirement to have lived seven consecutive years in Massachusetts. The effort failed..."
Good christ, this is from Romney's defenders? I don't think "doomed" is a strong enough word.

Pretty savvy campaign strategy by Obama - poke him in a sore spot from the primaries where the truth is surrounded by ambiguity and legal and business jargon, and laugh all the way to the polls as he flails around trying to explain it all.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:26 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of this adds fuel to the fire of: "What is Romeny hiding from those years?"
Why won't he release tax returns from before 2010?
posted by Flood at 4:33 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


From WaPo: One can certainly argue that because Romney did not fully extricate himself from Bain till after his Olympic sojourn ended, he should bear some responsibility for what happened in that period.

Yes, that is the entire point. The criminal stuff is just dressing. If the Obama camp can pin Bain's actions from 99 to 02 on Romney, it strengthens the Bain narrative - which is already having an impact - as well as the narrative that Romney is secretive (won't release more tax returns, has investments in the Caymans etc).

Romney's going to have to try to explain how he was simultaneously in charge and not in charge. Maybe he can pull that off, but saying the "President and CEO" language was just boilerplate won't fly with Joe Average, I don't think.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:42 AM on July 13, 2012


Here's a question. Once Romney became aware that the company he formerly ran was perusing a strategy of investing in aborted fetuses in his absence, a fact one of the main links in the FPP makes clear, shouldn't he have abandoned the Olympics and everything else he was doing to find a way to put a stop to it? Or, if he was locked out of the company, at least to speak out against a policy of making money by investing in aborted fetuses? Shouldn't he disclaim his experience with the company since, regardless of any good it has done, investing in aborted fetuses is part of that same legacy?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:46 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


what the Globe story put out there ... "you can't do that."

The excuses they are giving for this don't hold an ounce of water.

Even if they did hold water, what does that say? That SEC filings are meaningless, that CEO means whatever you want it to mean, and that there's one set of rules for Wall Street and another set of rules for everyone else. That's taking it in the best light for Romney, and it's still really bad.
posted by cotterpin at 4:47 AM on July 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


I will say this: Average Joe is going to have a hard time getting the nuance of, "I wasn't involved in the company, I was just the CEO."

I don't know if I count as an Average Joe or not, but the idea of being a CEO but being totally uninvolved is new to me.
posted by Forktine at 4:48 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even if they did hold water, what does that say? That SEC filings are meaningless, that CEO means whatever you want it to mean, and that there's one set of rules for Wall Street and another set of rules for everyone else. That's taking it in the best light for Romney, and it's still really bad.

I've been thinking about Karl Rove's strategy of attacking an opponent's strengths and I've just realized that I have no goddamned idea how you would use that strategy against Romney.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:58 AM on July 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


o snap you guys what if we are all ceos and just don't know it
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:00 AM on July 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


For the record, if anyone out there wants to pay me to be chairman and CEO, while expecting me to be do absolutely nothing, I am totally available.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:05 AM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


I've been trying to Google around for pro-life reactions to the Stericycle story. They are shamefully hard to find and that just lends credence to a lot of the criticisms of the pro-life groups when it comes to the lacking of any consistency in their positions.

I did find an interesting piece here by Susan Michelle Tyrrell, a woman who according to her bio on the site was abandoned as a baby on the streets of Palestine and adopted by a single American woman, who has been speaking on abortion and adoption issues since 2008.

Because of such a clear controversy of pro-life issues, and the reports which show that the Romney’s investment firm ultimately profited $49.5 million from the Stericycle investment. There are two important questions we must address:

First, we do not have any evidence that the aborted fetal remains pick-ups began after Romney left the firm. Records like this are not easily available unless one knows what he is seeking exactly. StopStericycle.com has records from 2003, which is after Romney left, but until Stericycle or Romney can provide evidence that Stericycle’s suddenly started its business with fetuses after Romney sold his investment, we can’t conclusively be satisfied that was the case.

Second, Romney claims a pro-life conversion, though he does allows for exceptions in certain cases. He must address his relationship with the abortion profiteer. Even if some evidence exists showing perhaps it was after he sold his investment, Stericycle began this practice, Romney needs to address this to pro-lifers because he is running on a pro-life platform but is tied in some ways to a business linked to abortion since clearly the dates of his involvement were not as he reported.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:05 AM on July 13, 2012


what if we are all ceos and just don't know it

We are.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:06 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney seems to be an experiment to see just how far certain core groups of Republicans are willing to lower themselves in order to not vote for a black man.

Evangelical Christians find themselves having to swallow hard, close their eyes, put their values on-hold and elect a Mormon (a faith that evangelicals have long regarded as non-Christian and quasi-evil) And, now, a Mormon who looks to have made a bundle from the practice of abortion.

And, the business community is finding themselves in the position of approving a guy who seems to be turning-out to be every extreme negative stereotype of the uncaring, smirking, laughing-all-the-way-to-the-bank, let-them-eat-cake, born-with-a-silver-spoon capitalist made flesh.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on July 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


I've been thinking about Karl Rove's strategy of attacking an opponent's strengths and I've just realized that I have no goddamned idea how you would use that strategy against Romney.

Is it the hair?
posted by Flashman at 5:12 AM on July 13, 2012



I don't know if I count as an Average Joe or not, but the idea of being a CEO but being totally uninvolved is new to me.


Let me introduce you to George W. Bush - the CEO President...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:13 AM on July 13, 2012


I'm a hardcore Republican, in the sense of the great Republicans; Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. These were Republicans who actually tried to help people.

Today's party is so different from that of 100 years ago it might as well have a totally different name. That set of philosophies was killed off in the early 70s and hasn't been seen since. But I don't disagree with you that a capable fiscal conversative with business experience could be taken seriously by most voters. Evidently, we don't deserve that good a candidate, or if they existed, they would appear too liberal to drum up the kinds of financial support needed from the stakeholders on the right. Certainly even many leading Republicans of the 1950s seem screamingly liberal by today's standards; they'd never get anywhere now. You kind of have to be crazy and lame to be the right sort of person to serve as the front for arrangements which are actually managed and controlled by business lobbies and major global firms.

They're on Mount Rushmore, you know.

Not sure this is a badge of honor, because of its strong overtones of white supremacy.
posted by Miko at 5:20 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


its strong overtones of white supremacy.

Go on…
posted by zamboni at 5:31 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]




what if we are all ceos and just don't know it

Well, I was Time's "Person of the Year" once.
posted by chavenet at 5:40 AM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney seems to be an experiment to see just how far certain core groups of Republicans are willing to lower themselves in order to not vote for a black man.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on July 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


Why not just say Democrat, instead of "black man"?

I can assure you that these "core groups" would overwhelmingly vote for a black Republican instead of a white Democrat if the opportunity arose. To the extent a slice of a core group are hardcore racists and would in no way vote for a black man, even if a Republican, I'm pretty sure that they still wouldn't vote for the white Democrat. I would imagine they would not vote at all on election day.
posted by otto42 at 5:40 AM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


bringing some facts back into the picture....
posted by wallstreet1929 at 5:41 AM on July 13, 2012


Today's party is so different from that of 100 years ago it might as well have a totally different name. That set of philosophies was killed off in the early 70s and hasn't been seen since. But I don't disagree with you that a capable fiscal conversative with business experience could be taken seriously by most voters. Evidently, we don't deserve that good a candidate, or if they existed, they would appear too liberal to drum up the kinds of financial support needed from the stakeholders on the right. Certainly even many leading Republicans of the 1950s seem screamingly liberal by today's standards; they'd never get anywhere now. You kind of have to be crazy and lame to be the right sort of person to serve as the front for arrangements which are actually managed and controlled by business lobbies and major global firms.

The nearest thing to an old-style conservative is Barack Obama.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:44 AM on July 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


I mean, Romney can go to heck and all, but--more secretive than Obama? Asking questions about Obama's past gets you called a racist.

Assuming that what you say is actually true - which I don't, because it's false and I think you're probably an idiot, not a racist - that still wouldn't make Obama himself secretive unless he was the one deflecting inquiry by calling everyone a racist. Since Obama himself hasn't been going around calling people racist, and has in fact disclosed everything from his annual income to his long form birth certificate, I would say that yes, Romney is more secretive.
posted by NathanBoy at 5:47 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The only reason Teddy became president was because someone murdered the bought-by-corporations McKinley. The only reason he was veep is because the NY republicans hated everything he stood for and wanted him out of the state. Lincoln only won because he was running against three other candidates.

So the two best Republican candidates were despised by the republicans of their day. Bimetalism isn't an issue any more, (despite the vocal goldbug Paulites) but don't fool yourself, in every other way the republicans have changed little in terms of their relationship to the wealthy. They became the party of corporate wealth during reconstruction, if not before. They've been bulldogging supply side economics for longer than a century. In the nineteenth century, they called "trickle down" "horse and sparrow."

Now the CULTURE WAR bullshit is mos def a new addition, and what has really changed in the GOP camp since the 70s, but suffice it to say, economically the republicans have changed almost zero since their inception.
posted by absalom at 5:51 AM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney is going to have to release more tax returns to quell this, and it's going to be hi-larious.
posted by bardic at 5:53 AM on July 13, 2012


The entirety of both the WP and FactCheck.org's coverage is "Bain told us and the government what happened, why would they lie?" with the WP fact checker strongly hinting that the guy they talked to from the SEC is a Democrat and therefore probably lying.

Kessler is, might I remind you, the same fact checker (and oh, how I'm trying to resist the quotes on that) who insisted that the claim that Ryan Budget eliminating Medicare/Medicaid as we know it, i.e. moving to a highly privatized system, was false because he repeatedly refused to acknowledge the "as we know it" part.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:55 AM on July 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


Romney is going to have to release more tax returns to quell this, and it's going to be hi-larious.

Growing Republican Chorus Pushes Romney To Release Tax Returns
posted by zombieflanders at 5:57 AM on July 13, 2012


Look, Romney himself on a number of occasions has said directly or implied strongly he was at least somewhat active at Bain until 2002. The fall-down point seems to be was he active, or inactive. Yeah the whole inactive CEO/president is pretty silver-spooned wankeriffic. But, hell. If he used Bain to justify being able to run for political office in MA I'd say his argument got weaker significantly.

Given Mitten's extremely poor track record of keeping his facts straight I think it is time to start shifting to assuming he was active with Bain unless he can present clear evidence to the contrary.
posted by edgeways at 5:59 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


To sum up:

Obamacare is evil.

Besides, Romney did it first!

Vote for Romney.
----

The Detroit bailout was communism.

Besides, it was really Romney's idea!

Vote for Romney.
----

Romney has conservative ideas today but changes his mind every three days.

Vote for Romney.

brought to you by: Liberals for Romney.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:01 AM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is the stuff about him investing in a firm whose stated purpose was to outsource U.S. jobs to China also false?
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:01 AM on July 13, 2012


Hey, this is actually good news. When Romney is the President of something, he has nothing to do with it.

"ROMNEY 2012: I Will Stay Home and Count Money"
posted by deanklear at 6:01 AM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Active/inactive. This is more confusing than the offside rule. Whatever the case, it looks like nothing but trouble for Mitt (and isn't that a strange name?)
posted by Myeral at 6:02 AM on July 13, 2012


Kessler is, might I remind you, the same fact checker (and oh, how I'm trying to resist the quotes on that) who insisted that the claim that Ryan Budget eliminating Medicare/Medicaid as we know it, i.e. moving to a highly privatized system, was false because he repeatedly refused to acknowledge the "as we know it" part.

As I recall, it was more an assertion that it was not eliminating Medicare if you still called it Medicare. So, it would not be eliminating the Army if you disbanded it and replaced it with vouchers for individuals to buy private bodyguards as long as you called the program "Army". The "as we know it" was insisted upon by the fact checkers.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:03 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, Count Money will have to drop his royal title once he's named Treasury Secretary.
posted by chavenet at 6:04 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm reasonably sure that Romney's new strategy of blatantly calling Obama a liar is gonna blow up right in his face. Just one man's opinion, of course.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:06 AM on July 13, 2012


chavenet: "Of course, Count Money will have to drop his royal title once he's named Treasury Secretary."

"Effective today, the treasury will be lowering its interest rate to one percent. One. Ah ha ha ha."
posted by schmod at 6:06 AM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyone know the LDS Church's stance on lying?
posted by mikelieman at 6:15 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


bringing some facts back into the picture....

Dude, this is the American voting public. If facts had any impact there wouldn't be birthers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So ... what sorts of evidence would determine Romney's guilt or innocence? Would financial records be enough or would testimony about Romney's participation in business decisions be needed?
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:17 AM on July 13, 2012


Hes's such a tool, isn't he?!
posted by stormpooper at 6:21 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my!

After hitting google for an answer to my own question, buried deep down in the criticism of the Church, there was this, published by the Church.
There are so many in the world who do not seem to know or care about right or wrong. The 13th article of faith is known to all of us. I repeat it for emphasis:

“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

We all need to know what it means to be honest. Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.
posted by mikelieman at 6:21 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: I once lasted 3 years as President and Chief Executive without being involved in, or responsible for, anything. Now I'd like to break that record and try it for 4 years.
posted by bashos_frog at 6:22 AM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]




According to the Washington Post this is false, false, false.

Glenn Kessler is an idiot. My dad also said that you can't put down that you are doing a job if you are not. Glenn Kessler is a writer. My dad was a regional director of enforcement for the SEC. He then went to the private sector and became an officer of a fortune 250 company where he was responsible for filing the same forms Bain filed.

WaPo has it wrong, very wrong.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:23 AM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Where oh where could we find testimony from Romney that says, oh I don't know...let's say, attending board meetings for Bain and at least one of Bain's corporate holdings between 1999 and 2002?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:24 AM on July 13, 2012


For the record, if anyone out there wants to pay me to be chairman and CEO, while expecting me to be do absolutely nothing, I am totally available.

Well, not exactly "nothing" -- you have to have stashed millions in offshore accounts, have friends who own NASCAR teams, and look sharp in a crested blazer while standing on a yacht.
posted by aught at 6:25 AM on July 13, 2012


Hey, that thing Romney said last night about being a president who wouldn't just hand out free stuff -- is that chill given that he apparently took a hundred stacks a year for being inactive?

Seriously, this should play as a Democratic win either way. Either he got paid twice the annual average household income for not working, or he lied about his business. How is he not screwed?
posted by samofidelis at 6:26 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


bringing some facts back into the picture....

Kessler's just coveing his own ass for having gotten it wrong a few days ago.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:26 AM on July 13, 2012


Maybe he had one of those no-show jobs, like on The Sopranos. Oh, but then he showed up. I'm confused.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:29 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He thought it was a "No-WORK" job, not a No-Show" job.
posted by mikelieman at 6:31 AM on July 13, 2012


Glenn Kessler is an idiot. My dad also said that you can't put down that you are doing a job if you are not. Glenn Kessler is a writer. My dad was a regional director of enforcement for the SEC. He then went to the private sector and became an officer of a fortune 250 company where he was responsible for filing the same forms Bain filed.

Do you know more about this than I could possibly imagine ?

Sorry, I just couldn't resist...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2012


Seriously, this should play as a Democratic win either way. Either he got paid twice the annual average household income for not working, or he lied about his business. How is he not screwed?

If only. Unfortunately the Democrats, particularly in recent years, have a remarkable knack for botching seeming no-lose positions. I say this as a 30-year registered Democrat. It's a lot like being a Mets fan in many ways.
posted by aught at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Either he got paid twice the annual average household income for not working, or he lied about his business. How is he not screwed?

You're dealing with people who "support the troops" yet openly mocked John Kerry for being a decorated combat veteran with a Purple Heart in a war their guy didn't even fight in. Remember the Purple Heart Band-Aids? This will probably hurt with swing voters and independents, but not with Republicans.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love me my Mets!
posted by mikelieman at 6:37 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seriously, this should play as a Democratic win either way. Either he got paid twice the annual average household income for not working, or he lied about his business. How is he not screwed?

I will refer you to our most recent President, who was essentially the same guy with a fake Texas accent.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 AM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can assure you that these "core groups" would overwhelmingly vote for a black Republican instead of a white Democrat if the opportunity arose. To the extent a slice of a core group are hardcore racists and would in no way vote for a black man, even if a Republican, I'm pretty sure that they still wouldn't vote for the white Democrat. I would imagine they would not vote at all on election day.

Yeah. See the enormous polling potential of Colin Powell years before Obama. The only reason Powell didn't run is because his wife thought he'd get shot and asked him not to. I bet she's kicking herself right now.
posted by corb at 6:39 AM on July 13, 2012


The FPP is incorrect there was never an investment in aborted fetuses. There was an investment in a company that incinerated "aborted fetuses" or what Mitt would call "unborn babies". Investing in aborted fetuses would only make sense if one was harvesting stem cells. The company doesn't appear to have done that. Instead they simply threw the remaining living tissue, as pro-lifers would call it a still living baby, into a furnace.
posted by humanfont at 6:39 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel that the level of involvement he had, and what year fetuses were handled by the company Bain acquired, and a lot of these other details, are beside the point. Romney very clearly lied, either to the voting public or the SEC, emphatically and repeatedly. And his motive was either to make money by breaking the law (if the SEC) or to fool the voting public.

And not a single employee of Bain from that time period has come forward to say "oh yeah I worked for that guy" or "no, those SEC documents must just be inaccurate."

It's entirely consistent with his hiding money offshore, refusing to show his tax returns, refusing to disclose super-PAC donors, and most importantly, refusing to enunciate his real foreign or economic policy until after you've voted for him. Why anybody at all would trust this man with their vote is beyond me. Dishonesty is his only visible platform. This is your Manchurian Candidate - look no further for him.
posted by newdaddy at 6:41 AM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Market win! I want to get me one of them jobs that pays you millions to have nothing whatsoever to do with the company's operations for two or three years while you're off pursuing your outside interests. The demand must be really high for that kind of work to command such staggering sums! But I guess I should just get back to working and feeling guilty for spending a couple of seconds on this post now, since I obviously don't have the divinely granted management chops to run a Fortune 500 company in absentia solely using my psychic powers like those among the elected few.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:42 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will refer you to our most recent President, who was essentially the same guy with a fake Texas accent.

To be fair, Bush was way less competent in his born on third base businessman phase. Romney and Bain may be evil, but at least they were successful.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:44 AM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That makes for a fantastic campaign slogan.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:45 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah. See the enormous polling potential of...
Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bauchmann, etc.
posted by edgeways at 6:48 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: Evil has never been so successful.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 6:48 AM on July 13, 2012


[fixed zombieflanders' Huffpo link]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:54 AM on July 13, 2012


Why is this any more lying-y than the other lying?
Look, there are no consequences for making shit up. None. I shall illustrate with a one-act play:

Scene: CNN.
DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: "OMG worst thing ever."
REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: "Meh, also obamacare job creators!"
WOLF BLITZER: "We'll have to leave it there."
posted by moammargaret at 6:57 AM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


What I want to know is why Gingrich and Santorum never hit on this aspect of the story. They both went after him at various points for Bain and only backed off because they thought it seemed anti-business to the electorate they were aiming for. Hitting him for being a liar would have been a much better path in the primary atmosphere.

Because those two were absolutely incompetent. And whatever the inverse of trustworthy is: it seemed like whenever they criticized Romney about something real, he went up another 2 points.
posted by gjc at 7:02 AM on July 13, 2012


It's less a single lie than a set of possibly illegal and/or unethical lies (saying he's not in control of a company when he was) combined with a set of unpleasant but legal truths (outsourcing after massive US layoffs, paying a lower tax rate due to dodges only a rich person can take advantage of) that fits into a narrative that is in direct conflict with the perceived strength (business expert and executive experience) of the candidate.

Of course, it may not be effective, who knows. But polling seems to show that it is starting to have an effect.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:03 AM on July 13, 2012


I'd like to think that we can have a real discussion about Romney's lack of leadership skills and numerous policy position changes without resorting to saying shit like "invested in aborted fetuses." That characterization is true to the exact same extent as saying that someone who runs a veterinary clinic is "invested in dead puppies." Or that people who work at security firms are "invested in crime."

But then I remember that this is Metafilter, and Romney is a Republican. Carry on.
posted by decathecting at 7:05 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


As always, the election will come down to the economy and charisma.

"I like his wing-nut, libertarian economics, but he looks like he sweats a lot..."
posted by Trochanter at 7:05 AM on July 13, 2012


Okay, I'd like to take a moment to make sure I get this right.

Romney has previously claimed in 2002 in a sworn statement that he “left on the basis of a leave of absence [that he], would return at the end of the Olympics to my employment at Bain Capital, but subsequently decided not to do so and entered into a departure agreement with [his] former partners, [a term used] in the colloquial [...] not legal sense", while in his federal filing in 2011, he states that he "retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 [and] has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way".

Do the words "leave of absence" and "retire" mean the same thing in arcane American legalese?
posted by the cydonian at 7:07 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And now Romney is "calling for an apology" because someone noticed that he might have committed a felony. He wants Stephanie Cutter to apologize because she correctly noted that, if the dishonesty he's being accused of is accurate, he lied to the SEC.

Again: He's calling for an apology, although nobody insulted him; his request is that the Obama campaign apologize for saying something that's true about a very serious issue because he doesn't like it.

I think this little scenario captures Romney perfectly: he cheats outrageously, he gets caught, and then he demands an apology because someone uncovered his misdeeds.

I really hope he does not win in November. This guy is a sociopath.
posted by clockzero at 7:08 AM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney's "just because I was in charge doesn't mean I'm responsible for what happened" pretty much jives with the Conservative view of the entire Bush II presidency, so it makes sense that he thinks he could get away with that line.
posted by Cyrano at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will say this: Average Joe is going to have a hard time getting the nuance of, "I wasn't involved in the company, I was just the CEO."

I imagine Paulbots will condemn Romney for this, at the same time as insisting that being the editor of a newsletter with your name on it doesn't mean you're responsible for multiple occurrences of blatantly racist content.
posted by Foosnark at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the focus on the whole Romney/Abortion linkage is to highlight how vulnerable he is to his own base. If there's one thing his base hates, it's aborting unborn babies. And they were counting on those votes.

Add to that the thing with lying about the money, and there goes the moderates. I think among LDS circles, he's probably got issues with the appearance of dishonesty and stuff.

All in all, it appears that everything is going right according to script. Romney is perfectly positioned to be defeated in November. It'll look totally legitimate due to all these issues, and business-as-usual will continued for all concerned.

BUT at least it's a fairly entertaining show.
posted by mikelieman at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2012


I don't know if I would call that Santorum campaign incompetent. He went from an absolute joke to a contender to a likely nominee in 2016 by the end. The Republicans love to nominate the previous runner-up the next time around and Santorum got there.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:10 AM on July 13, 2012


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