Obama campaign manager not accusing Romney of a "crime"

Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said Tuesday she was not suggesting last week that Mitt Romney "committed a crime" regarding the information he put on Securities and Exchange Commission filings related to his years as the CEO of Bain Capital.

Cutter argued she was instead urging Romney to be "upfront with the American people about his involvement" with the private equity firm.

"If you look at the discussion we were having, last week it was revealed that Mitt Romney signed his name on SEC documents saying he was chairman, CEO, president and full owner of Bain Capital," Cutter said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "But he's also telling the American people that he's not responsible for anything that happened there. So we're simply pointing out that both things can't be true."

Cutter refused Sunday to back off her felony comments. And while she claimed she wasn't blaming the GOP candidate of any illegal activity, she did not completely back off her comments Tuesday morning.

"If you were signing documents to the federal government, as we all know, that you knowingly know aren't true, that is a criminal offense," she said.

The Romney campaign has maintained its candidate remained in title the chief executive officer of Bain but left his "day-to-day" activities in 1999 to help save the floundering Salt Lake City Olympics.

In a media blitz Friday night, Romney called for an apology from President Obama for his campaign's most-aggressive-to-date attacks on his business experience. Romney said the implication that he had committed a felony was "beneath the office of the presidency."

The president has thus far declined to apologize for the comments.

"I think that the issue here is simply for Mr. Romney to talk about his business background in a way that jibes with the facts and is clear," Obama said Monday.

Cutter echoed the president's call for more transparency regarding Romney's departure from Bain, his offshore accounts and the release of more tax-related documents.

"I don't have a number on Mitt Romney's tax returns, a number of years," Cutter said. "I'd like to see multiple copies of them, multiple years of them that tell the story of what he did as a businessman and how he invested his money. We have only a very small snapshot."