Dana Milbank: Mitt Romney is an impressive man, but until now, we didn’t know just how impressive. According to his senior adviser, Ed Gillespie, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a time traveler.
Gillespie made this surprise disclosure to CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday as he attempted to explain why the candidate claimed to have stepped down as chief executive of Bain Capital in 1999 but the company’s filings show him in that position through 2002.
“He took a leave of absence,” Gillespie said, “and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”
…..A better strategy would be for Romney to get back in the time machine and eliminate the phrase “retired retroactively” from the record. While in the past, he might also pause long enough to take his dog Seamus off the car roof.
Eugene Robinson: Mitt Romney has every right to cloak his personal and professional finances in secrecy — and voters have every right to assume he has something embarrassing to hide. If this seems unfair, Romney has only himself to blame.
…. The only reason anyone cares when Romney left Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded and ran, is because Romney made a totally unreasonable claim: When Democrats pointed to outsourcing and job cuts at companies Bain owned or controlled, Romney denied any responsibility since these unfortunate developments took place after he left to run the Winter Olympics in 1999.
This was an absurd position to take. Romney has boasted of his prowess at creating jobs by pointing to successful companies in which Bain invested, such as Staples, the office-supply chain that went on to expand and hire tens of thousands of employees. But much of this growth took place after 1999. Romney was trying to take credit for post-departure successes but not for failures.
…. Going out of your way to invite this kind of speculation, as Romney is doing, seems an awfully unpromising campaign strategy.