The Obama campaign has apparently fed more opposition research to the dutiful stenographers in the mainstream media–this time the Boston Globe, which has recycled an old charge that Mitt Romney had not actually “left” Bain Capital in 1999, and stayed on until 2002. The Globe bases its claim on supposedly newly-discovered SEC filings by Bain Capital–documents whose urgent importance Romney’s hometown newspaper had somehow failed to grasp during his previous state and national campaigns, or indeed during his term in office as Governor of Massachusetts, when an apparent “felony” would certainly have put an end to his career.
As the Globe acknowledges–buried deep within the article–Romney had taken a leave of absence from Bain in February 1999 to manage the Salt Lake City Olympics, and later to run for governor. His retirement was only formalized in a 2002 agreement that was retroactive to 1999, when Romney’s leave of absence had begun. There is no contradiction between remaining formally in charge of Bain while on leave, and nothing illegal.
For weeks, the Obama camp has been pushing the claim that Romney had not, in fact, left active management of Bain in 1999, so it could blame him for any controversies that happened after that date. But one left-leaning fact-checking organization after another documented that Romney had, in fact, taken a leave of absence–even as mainstream news outlets continued to publish false accusations based on Obama’s misleading “facts.”
The supposedly “new” information is actually an old controversy that arose during the 2002 gubernatorial race. The left has been mining Romney’s 2002 race for months, resurrecting accusations that were settled at the time by the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission. The Obama campaign knows it has been damaged by evidence that its “outsourcing” claims against Romney are false; the “new” story about Bain will no doubt be used to push back. Yet as the Globe itself reported in 2007, the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission–before which Romney explained the Bain issue in 2002–found “his testimony was credible in all respects.”
Other newspapers have already considered the Globe’s “new” SEC filings–months ago–and found them to be irrelevant to Romney’s story. Yet the Globe and Politico, among others, are trumpeting the find as a game-changer. There is more than a hint here of pitch and pressure from the Axelrod-Gibbs Obama media shop.
Another likely case of collusion with the Obama camp–apparently undone by the media’s own past reporting.
Photo credit: Tony Fischer