When the campaign to expose Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital began, the President’s allies said it would undermine Mitt’s main argument for the presidency: Mitt understands how the economy works. What no one realized then is that it would also expose that Mitt has no idea how reality works.
For the past few weeks, the defense of Mitt’s record at Bain has centered on the supposed fact that Mitt left the company in 1999. This premise theoretically absolves him of some of the most egregious activities engaged in by his business colleagues, including rampant layoffs, investments in companies that promoted outsourcing, and an investment in a company that –of all things — disposed of aborted fetuses.
An offshoring abortion profiteer who likes to fire people isn’t the best image for a Republican nominee for president. No wonder “Anyone But Mitt” was such a popular slogan during the GOP primary.
Focusing on when Mitt left was a weak defense from the beginning because it suggested that Bain — Mitt’s pride and joy and main credential — had engaged in activities that even Mitt considered shameful. It became a ridiculous defense when SEC documents revealed that Mitt was the CEO of Bain Capital until 2001 (a fact that was convenient when he had to prove he was a Massachusetts resident so he could qualify to run for governor in 2002.)
The idea that the CEO of a company isn’t responsible for the company’s activities is patently silly, and President Obama said as much in an interview last week. This forced Mitt to do something he has not done willingly in this campaign: Talk to someone aside from Fox News and the far-right echo-chamber.
On Friday, Mitt recorded interviews with ABC, CBS, NBC CNN, and, of course, Fox News. He demanded the President apologize for holding him accountable for what Bain did through 2001 — and astoundingly he stuck with the argument that he wasn’t accountable for a company he owned and legally controlled. “I had no association with the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999. That is when I left the firm.” He said this five times in nearly the same way, evidently attempting to simply bore the media into submission.