Traditionally, the real presidential election doesn’t kick into high gear until after the parties hold their nominating conventions. But if this is still all the warm up, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has some rough months ahead.
Wednesday, Romney spoke to the NAACP, and the reception was chilly to say the least. When the former Massachusetts governor announced that as president he would be repealing the Affordable Care Act, the audience even went so far as to boo him.
Romney is claiming that as a victory. “I had the privilege of speaking today at the NAACP convention in Houston and I gave them the same speech I am giving you. I don’t give different speeches to different audiences, alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s OK, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine.”
Slate author John Dickerson agrees that the speech was a success, at least when it comes to changing the subject. “He changed the conversation. In an election that is so close, both campaigns seem less concerned about the substance of their argument than that the argument take place on favorable turf. On issues from health care to charges and counter-charges about outsourcing, both Romney and Obama are willing to endure boos, howls from fact-checkers, and even some cries of hypocrisy if it will keep the argument on the topics that do them the most political good.”
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Unfortunately for Romney, it appears that the subject is about to get changed again, and not to one with which he’s comfortable. Despite his persistent claims he was not involved with Bain Capital past 1999, the Boston Globe has reported it has found documentation proving that is false.
Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.
Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”
Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
Both Bain and the Romney campaign say there is a simple reason that Romney was both listed as running the firm in documents and simultaneously “not involved” with any of Bain’s workings, but as of yet haven’t been clear as to what that simple reason is. However, it may be time for Romney to find another stump speech to get booed at, since the campaign is obviously in a desperate need to change the subject again.