Mitt Romney wants you to know that both of these things are true: 1. He was the “controlling person” in a number of Bain Capital investments between 1999 and 2002, when he left to work on the Salt Lake City Olympics. 2. He had no actual personal control over those investments during that time.
This is not a particularly comfortable position for a presidential candidate to be in, though it is also not exactly an unusual one for Romney, who has, among other things, taken credit for both Obama’s bailout of Detroit and for opposing Obama’s bailout of Detroit.
Statement number one comes in several contemporaneous SEC filings, which the Obama campaign has been sending around to reporters. Statement number two comes from Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, and was certified on a federal financial disclosure in late 1999, when Romney said he left active management of Bain Capital to work on the Olympics. That means that Romney’s position is he was both the “controlling person” and had no active management responsibilities.
On top of this complex argument, which even a Romney campaign aide admits does not “square with common sense,” the Obama campaign has tried to set off the campaign equivalent of an bunker buster. In a conference call this morning, Obama campaign senior adviser Stephanie Cutter put it this way: