Globe won't correct Romney-Bain item

July 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM
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BOSTON, July 12 (UPI) -- The Boston Globe has declined a request by the Mitt Romney campaign to correct a story that Romney ran Bain Capital for three years longer than he says he did.

The newspaper reported Thursday that Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed after 1999, the year Romney said he left Bain, showed he was still indicated as the firm's "sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president," and may have stayed at the helm of the Massachusetts firm until 2002.

Romney -- the presumptive Republican presidential nominee -- has said the bankruptcy of Bain Capital companies and the layoffs of some workers occurred after he resigned from the company in February 1999.

Both the firm and Romney's campaign say the indications in the filings are due to legal technicalities, and maintain he had no role in the firm after 1999.

Politico reported late Thursday that Boston Globe Editor Martin Baron, in an e-mail to Romney campaign communications director Gail Gitcho, declined the campaign's request to correct the newspaper's story.

"We received your request late this afternoon for a correction regarding this morning's Globe story," Baron wrote. "Having carefully reviewed that request, we see no basis for publishing a correction. The Globe story was entirely accurate."

Baron noted the Globe item was "based on government documents filed by Bain Capital itself."

"The story also cited state financial disclosure forms filed by Romney that showed he earned income as a Bain 'executive' in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings," Baron wrote.

"The Globe story accurately described the contents of those documents."

Roberta S. Karmel, a former SEC commissioner and current professor at Brooklyn Law School, told the Globe the Romney campaign's position that Romney was technically in charge of the company "on paper" but had nothing to do with its operations "doesn't make sense."

"You can't say statements filed with the SEC are meaningless," she told the Globe.

"Was he getting paid? He's the sole stockholder. Are you telling me he owned the company but had no say in its investments?" she added.

A senior Romney strategist told Politico the Globe story is nothing new and will not distract the campaign.

"You have a lot of people inside the Beltway, who like to sit back and be armchair quarterbacks, strategists who talk to you and don't go on the record," said the adviser, whose name was not reported. "We have a plan. We know what the plan is, and we're going to implement the plan."

Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama, said the Bain story shows Romney was either "misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments," or he "was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony."

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