The Buck Starts Here

W. Mitt Romney’s campaign is struggling to get some simple facts straight. When did he leave Bain? Why is his signature on new business documents in 2002 if he “retroactively retired” in 1999? Why is the sworn testimony he provided at his 2002 ballot access hearing in Massachusetts in conflict with his financial disclosure documents?

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His lack of candor raises more questions: Who was running Bain if Romney was not, and why was that information not shared on corporate filings? Why is he running from three years of the Bain record when it is the entire rationale for his campaign? Why won’t he release his tax records and Bain records to back up what he says and clear up this mess?

This is not a good sign.

The candidate that has continually touted his business and managerial success and skills is making a mockery of himself.

It makes you wonder what he is hiding?

The inability of his campaign to provide basic details about the chronology of W. Mitt Romney’s time at Bain that square with documents the business filed is troubling. It is not the sign of competent management, let alone exceptional management.

And Romney’s sloppiness calls into question how well Bain was actually run. It seems that a “retroactively retired” executive was signing documents pertaining to new business as late as 2002.

A well-run business does not provide false or misleading information over a three-year period to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to State agencies.

Was Bain out of control when Romney went to Utah? Did Romney do a poor job of transitioning power? Did Romney inappropriately use his ties to Bain for personal benefit while at the Olympics?

It is difficult to come up with a reason for Romney’s ever-changing story.

That Romney has picked a fight over what he was and was not responsible for is odd, to say the least.

It is politically expedient to try to disassociate himself with the offshoring that occurred at his company.

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It becomes more difficult to explain that the reason you are not responsible is because while you were the President, CEO and sole shareholder of Bain at the time, you later retired from those positions retroactive to when you still held them.

It is completely nonsensical.

W. Mitt Romney was still deriving massive profits from Bain’s actions no matter how the business was managed (or mismanaged) yet he and his spokespeople will not even comment about the business practices themselves.

It is an odd attempt to have it both ways because Romney and Bain were offshoring and outsourcing pioneers before W. Mitt Romney went to Utah to preside over the Olympics.

Additional new documents have surfaced that show that when W. Mitt Romney was indisputably running Bain, the company invested in a Chinese firm that served as a pioneer in U.S. outsourcing of jobs in 1998.

Not only does W. Mitt Romney’s vast wealth flow from the shuttered factories and outsourced jobs of companies Bain took over but he also made vast sums of wealth from the offshoring of other companies.

Perhaps Mr. Romney would like to retake this opportunity to retroactively re-retire?

In deciding to have it both ways, W. Mitt Romney opened the door to questions of his honesty and questions around conflicting legal testimony and documents. Romney is responsible for raising these questions; he cannot blame anyone but himself.

And if he cannot fix his own campaign he cannot make a case that he can fix anything more complex.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.

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