President Obama and top campaign staffers made clear this weekend they will not apologize for saying the financial company Bain Capital outsourced jobs under Mitt Romney’s leadership and suggesting Romney may have committed a felony with his SEC filings.
The president addressed the issue during an interview Saturday with WAVY-TV in Virginia. The station is scheduled to air the interview Sunday night, but it can be seen now on WAVY’s website.
“We won’t be apologizing,” Obama said. “Mr. Romney claims he's Mr. Fix-It for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely, legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience."
The question did not directly address Romney’s call Friday for an apology after Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter suggested that Romney in Securities and Exchange Commission filings misrepresented his position at Bain Capital, particularly when he officially left, which she said would either be a “felony” or a misrepresentation to Americans.
But Cutter was clear when asked about that remark Sunday.
“He’s not going to get an apology,” Cutter said Sunday of CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Cutter's faced off on the show with Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden, who said he was troubled by the fact “the president would direct his campaign to label someone like Romney … as a felon.”
He also said news agency fact-checkers have repeatedly found that records accurately show his candidate left Bain in 1999.
“Yet the Obama campaign and even the president himself continue to pursue these inaccurate statements,” Madden said.
Though Cutter stood by her comments on Romney, top Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod earlier in the day attempted to clarify the remarks.
“She didn’t say he’s a felon,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Romney on Friday also challenged Obama to "rein in" his campaign team and called the comment "absurd" and "beneath the dignity of the presidency."
During the TV interview, the president also tried to deflect criticism that he has attacked the Republican candidate for running a firm that made money and created jobs.
"As the head of a private equity firm, [Romney’s] job was to maximize profits and help investors,” Obama said. “There is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, that company also was investing in companies that were called by The Washington Post 'the pioneers of outsourcing.' Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn't there at the time except his filings with the SEC listing says he was the CEO, chairman and president of the company.”
During a campaign stop in Virginia, the president continued his attack on Romney and Bain, saying, “I don’t want a pioneer in outsourcing. I want some in-sourcing. I want to bring companies back.”