With Presidential candidate Mitt Romney running about even with President Obama in the polls, a new controversy developed today involving the Bain Capital company that Romney was once a board member of. In June 2002, Mitt Romney swore under oath that he was on the active board of Bain Capital, doing management work for LifeLike Co., Staples and Marriott International in a hearing to establish that Romney was legally qualified to run for governor of Massachusetts due to residency requirements. But, then on the campaign, Romney has consistently denied that he had any business management work for Bain Capital after 1999.
While Romney’s work at Bain Capital could have been a major asset while running for office, this contradiction of sworn testimony now becomes a big problem for the candidate. Bain Capital was able to take the one store Staples company and make the company into a nationwide success story by creating a successful chain of stores adding many jobs, and indeed Bain Capital often created far more jobs than they lost when they were forced to close a few steel businesses for example.
The new problem is that Romney apparently lied on the Federal Financial Disclosure form that he filed on August 12, 2011 when he claimed that he had no more business management dealings with Bain after February of 1999. This now creates the problem of whether the candidates falsehoods could now result either in fines or in criminal charges.
Romney has not yet been nominated as the Republican Party presidential candidate. however if that party would run a candidate under federal indictment, it would present a huge electability issue for the candidate.
Romney has recently done very with the business community in raising campaign funds. Last month his campaign took in $107 million dollars, or more than $30 million more than the Obama Campaign, largely because of business and corporate donors who wanted a change in Washington and a president they they feel is more responsive to their business needs. While that business experience by Romney was an asset up until now, his contradictory federal campaign filing and his sworn testimony now become a major problem for the candidate that could easily derail his chances of winning the White House.
The Romney campaign has gone into damage control mode today, trying to argue that Romney wasn’t involved in the “day to day” management of companies like LifeLike, however doesn’t clear up some serious differences between the 2011 Federal Disclosure statement and the 2002 sworn testimony in Massachusetts. The Romney Campaign tried to blame a “desperate” Obama Campaign for the story, but the Obama Campaign had nothing to do with the story that has leaked through the Huffington Post and then became breaking news for other news agencies.