UPDATE, ROUND 2: Much of the same. Mitt Romney tells NBC that he had no responsibility in the management of Bain Capital after 1999, and that he will not put out any more than two years of tax returns.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney told CBS tonight that President Barack Obama “ought to apologise” for his campaign suggesting that Romney could be a felon because of contradictory statements as to when he left as CEO and chair of Bain Capital.
“Absolutely — my goodness!” Romney said, when asked if he deserves an apology for the felony remarks.
“What kind of president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party?” Romney said. “This is reckless and absurd on his part, and it’s something that’s beneath his dignity. I hope he recognises that even fellow Democrats have said that.”
He told CBS’ Jan Crawford that he was in Salt Lake City for most of the three years.
“I don’t recall even coming back once to go to a Bain or management meeting,” he said.
He echoed the statements to ABC’s Jonathan Karl.
“The president needs to take control of these people,” Romney said. “He ought to disavow it and reign in these people who are running out of control.”
ALSO, on CNN, Romney told Jim Acosta:
“I was the owner of the entity that was filing this information, but I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after 1999. I left in February of 1999,” Romney said. “There’s nothing wrong with being associated with Bain Capital, of course.”
Romney also said he did not plan to release any more tax returns beyond the one year he has released and the second year he plans to release. He said that voters have all they need and that the only ones who care about him releasing further returns is the Obama campaign.
“That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances,” Romney said. “I know that there will always be calls for more.”
He also told CNN that he “doesn’t have anything to say about the vice presidential process,” when asked about the report from Matt Drudge that Condoleezza Rice had emerged as his frontrunner for the pick.
A day after facing harsh criticism from the Obama campaign on his exit date at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney is about to launch a rather unprecedented media blitz, giving a round of interviews to the major news networks Friday night.
According to Ginger Gibson and Dylan Byers at Politico, Romney will give interviews to Fox News, CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS. They are expected to be released around 6 p.m. The rundown:
Jonathan Karl will interview Romney for ABC; Peter Alexander will do the asking for NBC; and Jan Crawford is the chosen one for CBS. Carl Cameron will be the interlocutor for Fox News and the interview will air on Fox News’ “Special Report” at 6 p.m. ET, according to anchor Bret Baier’s tweets. Jim Acosta will be asking questions for CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
It comes just after President Barack Obama said that the “buck stops with” Romney during an interview Friday with a local ABC affiliate in Virginia.
“Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does,” Obama said.
Romney’s Bain controversy over the past two days has centered on contradictory statements regarding when Romney left Bain. Basically, as we put it yesterday:
- According to statements Bain filed with the SEC, Romney was the “chairman, CEO, and president” of Bain from 1999-2002.
- According to Romney, Romney left Bain in 1999 and had “no input on investments or management of companies after that point.”
The Obama campaign hammered Romney Thursday, calling him a liar and implying that he could have committed a felony if he lied to the SEC. It is pressing Romney to release more information about when he left Bain Capital, more of his tax returns and more information about his offshore bank accounts.
We’ll be updating here as the interviews take place.
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