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Ms. Cutter and the rest of these rumor-mongers have reason to be concerned. Slowly but surely, the truth is trickling out. An article by Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler reveals that the story by the Boston Globe “seems to hinge on a quote from a former Securities and Exchange Commission member (Roberta S. Karmel), which would have more credibility if the Globe had disclosed she was a regular contributor to Democrats,” and that there “appears to be some confusion about how partnerships are structured and managed, or what SEC documents mean.” The paper also states that in order to believe the claims made by Cutter, et al., “one would have to believe that Romney, with the advice of his lawyers, lied on government documents and committed a criminal offense. Moreover, you would have to assume he willingly gave up his share to a few years of retirement earnings–potentially worth millions of dollars–so he could say his retirement started in 1999.”
The Post also confirmed Fortune’s assessment that Romney “was only a passive investor” in Bain Capital. ABC News came to the same conclusion. “Democrats say it defies common sense that someone who technically owned Bain Capital could have no say whatsoever in its investment activities and operations…But, as fact checkers note, Team Obama does not provide any specific evidence to back up claims that Romney was actively managing Bain between 1999 and 2002.”
Yet a follow-up article by the Washington Post fact-checker — that awarded the Obama campaign three-out-of-four Pinocchios for lying — illuminated the crux of the issue. “Indeed, if someone wanted to make a criminal case (against Romney), why quibble with ancient SEC documents?” asks Kessler. He continued:
In 2011, Romney, as a presidential candidate, filed a public financial disclosure form, under pain of perjury, that stated:
“Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”
Kessler noted that if Romney lied on that form it would indeed be a felony. He concludes his piece with a challenge. “Still, if the Obama campaign wants to put its money where its mouth is, it should immediately lodge a complaint about Romney’s financial disclosure form, filed just last year, rather than try to mislead people about potential violations in relatively unimportant SEC documents.”
Kessler is missing the point. Misleading people is precisely the aim of this whole charade. Nothing illustrates that reality better than the statement made Sunday by Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Referring to Cutter’s either/or contention that Romney lied about his time at Bain Capital, or he lied on SEC filings, Axlerod was asked if Romney was a felon. Axlerod said that if Romney made false allegations on SEC forms, that it would constitute a felony–even as he noted that Cutter did not accuse Romney of actually being a felon.
In other words, rather than making anything resembling a substantiated claim, members of the Obama re-election campaign and their media enablers are resorting to the lowest form of innuendo. Virtually any accusation, no matter how meritless, can be plugged into the formula. Thus, the Obama campaign could say, if Mitt Romney cheated on his wife, then he’s an adulterer — secure in the knowledge that at least some of their media surrogates would be more than willing to run it as a “breaking” news story.
The strategy here is clear. Hurl enough accusations at Romney to make him a reactive candidate, who spends more time defending himself, rather than a proactive candidate who can continue to focus on the president’s dismal economic record, his contempt for the Constitution, and the numerous scandals that afflict his administration. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney rose to the bait, demanding an apology. “He [Obama] sure as heck ought to say that he’s sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team,” Romney contended.
Such a quixotic request demonstrates a disturbing level of naivete. Hell will freeze over before Obama and his surrogates apologize for anything, much less something that puts Romney on the defensive, no matter how absurd the charges are. It is who they are, and what they do. The sooner Mitt Romney comes to terms with it, the better his chances in November. Counter-punching is insufficient strategy. President Obama, as his most recent attack on private enterprise indicates, intends to expand on his socialist/Marxist vision for America in a second term. Mitt Romney remains the last obstacle in his way.
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