President Obama’s attacks on former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are pretty much universally agreed to have gone too far by this point. The President’s own surrogates are walking the attacks back, and other members of the press are rapidly spinning this as a very convincing instance of egg on the face of a major national campaign.
But until tonight, no one had heard Romney himself speak on the attacks. Fortunately, thanks to a hard hitting interview with Jim Acosta of CNN, that discrepancy has been remedied. Watch the interview via Mediaite below:
The interview is vast and wide-ranging in its scope, and we strongly suggest that readers watch the whole thing. However, the following are the parts we think are most relevant and hard hitting.
Romney on his role at Bain Capital after February of 1999:
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 I was with the firm beyond that, but I simply wasn’t. I left in February of 1999 to run the Olympics. I went and did that full-time, relinquished all management, authority and role.[...]
There’s a difference being being a shareholder and running the entity. I had no role whatsoever in managing Bain Capital after February of 1999.
On his involvement with Staples:
Actually, Staples at that point was an investment by Bain Capital. Bain Capital had already sold its shares, distributed its shares in Staples. So my involvement with Staples was entirely on a personal basis. I continued to be involved with the firm, but it was as a fiduciary for Staples, not representative of Bain Capital, because Bain Capital had no further interest in Staples at that point.
And finally, on President Obama’s “felon” attack:
Is this the level the Obama campaign is willing to stoop to? Is this up to the standards expected of the presidency of the United States? I don’t think the American people think so; I certainly don’t think so. I think it’s a very disappointing revelation on their part. [...]
It is disgusting, demeaning, and something I think the president should take responsibility for and stop.
Difficult to put it more clearly than that.