tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current July 13, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
philip kaufman asks "is war the ultimate aphrodisiac?" find out on "the gavin newsom show." only on current tv. >> i'm jennifer granholm. tonight, in the war room, mitt romney tries to set the record straight about bain capital and his tax returns and he failed. >> but i had no role whatsoever in the management of bain capital after february of 1999. in february of 1999, i left bain capital and left all management authority and responsibility for the firm. i had no role whatsoever in the management of bain capital after february of 1999. >> no role whatsoever.
that's mitt romney repeatedly trying to get out from between a rock and a hard place. poor mitt. friday the 13th took on a new meaning for him. he took this unprecedented step today of actually doing five -- you heard me -- five network interviews. romney's been under pressure to explain the length and depth of his involvement at bain capital and affiliates, but we have documented evidence to require romney to do a whole lot more wiggling to get out of this tight spot. remember, the key question is whether mitt romney was active at bain capital after 1999. you heard him repeatedly say no evidence whatsoever! why is this so important? it's important because the obama campaign has launched very effective attacks on bain's role in outsourcing american jobs, which is a killer charge. and if romney was involved with bain capital after 1999, then he's responsible as the ceo
president, sole shareholder for the job-killing decisions that were made at bain, and this is why he is so afraid. look at this poll. registered voters give obama a 6-point ellen over mitt romney now, 48-42 when it comes to confidence in handling the economy. last month the same poll had mitt romney 8 points ahead. so in one month you've seen a 14-point swing and mitt romney is terrified. so back to bain. was romney active there after 1999? there have been a lot of back and forths, and i want to be as fair as possible. so let me show you the detail from the documents that we discovered yesterday. this is a document that was filed and signed by mitt romney in may of 2003 when he was a brand-new governor with the massachusetts state ethics
commission and lists all of his affiliations, which is why a multiple page document with all his affiliations in 2002, after 1999. so there are no conflicts of interest as governor. in fact, that's the purpose of this document. almost every state does something like this. so look here at this document. i'm going to go into the first couple of pages of exhibits which lists all his affiliations. mitt romney, in his own words listed his involvement in 46 companies. there is 15 pages of documents. he lists his involvement in 46 companies. many of those companies are bain related. now, remember, the question is was he actively involved in bain after 1999 or not? this document distinguishes between what he was actively involved in and what he was passively involved in post-1999. i want you to look at these two
pages. to me, it's very interesting. so these are the first two pages of the exhibit which lists all of these companies. i'm only going to show you these couple of pages because it would take too much time otherwise. but it starts and it's got a footnote that explains some of the designations. on this footnote, it says this designation, meaning a little number one indicates that while governor romney was listed as a general partner of this entity it's referring to and therefore in theory, had management authority. in fact, he played no active role in the management of this entity. so wherever there is a little number 1 on this document, that is an entity that he had no active role in. the it doesn't have a number 1 obviously, he had an active role. so the question is how many of these did he have an active role in? for example this bcip associates, that means the bain capital investment partners, that's what bcip means. it has a little number 1 here
and also further clarifying he was passive. same thing here, general partner passive, bcip associates number 2. bcip associates number 3. again, general partner he's passive. he did get a lot of money from them but he was passive. but on the fig page of this, he -- first page of this, he also lists bain capital. notice there is not a little 1 there. there is nothing here that says he was passive. in fact, it says the position he held was executive and that his gross new mexico from his -- his gross income from his involvement was over $100,000. he only had to list up to $100,000, so he didn't have to say what he actually made. he did the same at bain capital llc, he was an executive again. this is covered up, but it's also another $100,000. the bottom line is mitt romney was active, according to this filing in 11 bain-related
companies where he was the 100% owner in 2002, and then he was passively involved in a bunch of others. he makes the distinction. he also made lots of money from all these companies but we don't know how much because he won't release his tax return. so here to discuss these documents and the political fire storm surrounding all of this is aaron blake of "the washington post" and adam serwer of "mother jones," they come to us tonight from washington. both of their publications have been all over this story. thank you both for being insideshowinsidethe war room. >> thank you for having us. >> your paper fact checker section has been pretty adamant. but despite your story, they believe mitt romney has done nothing wrong. do you know whether they are giving the issue a second look now? i know they haven't talked about this document i'm looking at. do you know whether they're looking harder at it? >> well, this is something
that's going to continue to be deliberated on over the course of the next few days here. anytime you're talking about a business, particularly an investment company like bain capital, there is all kinds of documentation. we've seen that documents continue to come out. i think on some level here, though, we're discussing what the definition of the word "is" is. the fact is that the obama campaign wants to attack mitt romney on what happened at bain between 1999 and 2002, and now they've got documents that say he was still the head of bain between those years. so whether he had an active role or not is a really interesting discussion and i think it's a very valid one. but the fact is they can still run the ads that say well, mitt romney was still head of bain capital during the time the bankruptcies and outsourcing was taking place between 1999 and 2002. >> yeah, i mean, obviously being the ceo the president the sole shareholder the executive, all of those suggest that he is still head of bain
capital and gives the obama team a chance to do something with it. and adam, so in addition to the documents that were filed in massachusetts, we learned today that romney gave sworn testimony in a 2002 2002 hearing saying there were "a number of social trips and business trips" that he says "brought me back to massachusetts. board meetings, thanksgiving and so forth. those trips happened after 1999." you've looked at the documents. do you think he played a greater roll at bain after 1999 than he claims? >> i think it's true he absolutely did play a bigger role. in his disclosure documents in 2011, he said he played absolutely no role. we know he sat on the board of at least bain-owned company technically after his leave of absence or whatever he's calling it. so we know he did play more of a
role than he claims to have played. more importantly, it sort of defies common sense to say i'm the owner of this billion-dollar company, but i don't care how it's run and i'm not going to give any input whatsoever. >> yeah, aaron romney did five interviews today to try to tamp down this story. let's take another listen to one of them. >> it's chicago-style politics at its worst and the president promised something better than this when he ran last time and he ought to disavow it and rein in these people that are out of control. >> so he's attacking the obama war room. what does this tell you about the romney war room? >> it tells you the attacks the obama campaign have been running leaves romney concerned. the fact romney stacked five interviews all together today strikes me as them wanting to
take control of the message. at the same time, they have been getting criticized by some conservatives for not fighting back hard enough. so i think the combination of those two things forced the hand of the romney campaign to be more forceful and start using more personal terms when talking about the obama campaign tactics. >> adam, if we just look at this bain argument for the sake of argument let's just say mitt romney did have nothing to do with bain capital after 1999. so would that clear him of all outsourcing charges? >> well, no, it wouldn't. because as "mother jones" reported earlier this week, bain invested in a chinese company involved in outsourcing prior to when mitt romney says he left bain, sh so he's not -- even if, somehow, mitt romney proves he had zero involvement with bain as he says, there are still other things that happened prior to 1999 involved with outsourcing he can't just wave
away. >> the reporting "mother jones" has done on this is tremendous. in fact, we covered that story last night. i think it's one way or the other, there is still responsibility there on the part of mitt romney. adam, the romney campaign, of course, keeps maintaining as we discussed that mitt had no operational control at bain. he was listed as president ceo chairman of the board owner all of that. if a guy in charge of a company takes no responsibility for its actions, what do you think the american people are to make of that? >> i think this is what is perilous is, over the past four years, we've seen an economic crisis in which precious few financial elites have paid any price whatsoever and what mitt romney is saying, i owned the company, i made a fortune off that company and i was the ceo of the company but i'm not responsible for anything bad it miff done. and i think that might really rub people the wrong way. >> i think it's going to rear its head again. aaron, final question, where do
you think the story goes from here in do you guys have any further stuff up your sleeve? >> well, if i could tell you what was going to happen with this, i would be getting a nice campaign consultant fee right now, i think. but there is going to be more documentation on this. we've got a very active journalistic enterprise going on in washington, d.c., not just at "the washington post," but at all kinds of publications including "mother jones." there are going to be more documents. there is going to be more debate and i think there could be something more definitive that comes out about this and maybe at that point, we can kind of put this to rest and say he was or wasn't, in fact, in charge of bain capital and actively doing things at that time. like i said, whether or not that happens, that doesn't change the fact obama's campaign is going to ascribe the things that happened at bain during that period to mitt romney's leadership and that's something his campaign will have to deal with.
>> it is something he'll have to deal with. it's not going away. i appreciate you coming into the "the war room" friday night. next, what's the public reaction to mitt romney? former republican congressman j.d. hayworth actually made the pilgrimage to the heart of progressive country and will enter the "the war room" after the break. later, a compelling collection of stories as you're likely to hear. we'll sit down with the producer of >>(narrator) the sheriff of wall >>the leadership of high finance just doesn't get it. >>(narrator) the former governor of new york, eliot spitzer is on current tv. >>somebody somewhere can listen, record, track, gather this data. >>arrangements were made. >>(narrator) independent unflinching. >>there is a wild west quality to it that permits them to do whatever they wish. >>(narrator) and above all politically direct.
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it's easier to beat republicans when they consistently have to defend the indefensible. >>love that fightin' spirit. >>all of this is as corrupt as could be. you show me a banker, i'll throw every nasty label at him in a second because i just think that that sector has done so much harm to our economy. >> show me the money! show me the money! >> show us the money mitt! mitt romney has only released one year of tax returns which you will remember showed that he paid a rate of less than 15% in
taxes. president obama vice president joe biden, on the other hand, have released 12 years of taxes just like mitt romney's father did when he ran for president and yet today, mitt romney, again, said there is no way he's going to do that. take a listen. >> we'll put out the next year of tax returns as soon as the accountants have that ready and that's what we're going to put out. i know there will always be calls for more. people always want more, and we're putting out what's required plus more that is not required. and those are the two years that people are going to have and that's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances. >> well, some washington bigwigs are telling him to do more. so political junkies can you guess who made these comments? first, his personal finances, the way he does things, his record are fair game. true. second i think he should release his financial records.
probably right. and, finally this last politician was asked by cnn whether he would release his tax returns, and he said, i would. you know who said all of those things? all republicans. representative pete pete sessions of texas republican, representative walter jones of north carolina. former mississippi governor haley barbour. listen mitt, to the members of your own party and shows us the money! so here to discuss his taxes -- not your taxes but mitt romney's taxes is former arizona republican congressman j.d. hayworth. j.d., glad to have you inside the "the war room." >> here we are! let's do battle. >> come on! no, i don't want to show you up. >> whoa! whoa! >> those are fightin' words. i know. democrats, though, are suggesting mitt romney should release his tax returns because the implication is that he's
hiding something. do you think he's hiding something? >> not democrats. we saw a trio of my republican colleagues. sure i've got my son john micha here tonight. i'd like to think like father, like son. george romney released the records in '68. you know the obama media culture would say, there is something wrong with mitt, he actually made money that's inherently evil. but i see this as a prelude to the large campaign. and i'm glad you're seated, i actually agree with something president obama said today. >> hallhallelujah! >> he said, you will see all types of negative ads. you bet the majority coming from the obama campaign, and before you can sling mud you've got to kick up the dust. so we're getting the effort to dick kick up the dust. it would be better for mitt if he went ahead and released the returns and then understand
there is the inherent narrative that somehow how dare he work in the private sector and be successful. >> you guys, you republicans all make some big deal like democrats hate people who work in the public sector, but show us where you got your money because he is suggesting -- >> he is successful and if success is not a sin -- >> success is great! we all want to be successful! >> we agree then. >> but it's about how you got your money and how you were successful. did you get your success by laying people off and outsourcing -- >> or did you get money from books from ghost writers and all sorts of things on the left. >> let's look at the political side. obviously, you know, he released all his at that returns to john
mccain when he was being vetted and john mccain picked sarah palin. so what does that tell us? >> well, let's be totally candid about what was going on in 2008. you remember the press conference when mitt came out to endorse john? he was biting back the bile. he did what a good soldier did and showed up to help mccain against me in 2010, but that's history. [ laughter ] >> getting personal. >> no, we're not getting personal, but, look, there is a record where his dad released the returns. i think he would be wise to follow his dad's example. it takes it away. and then you could always come back to, oh, of course, my goodness! the narrative is always going to be shock and surprise because look the dominant media culture is cheering for the reelection of obama. we know that happens as republicans. we'll just move along and point out the record unemployment, the horrible economy and say let's make a change. >> but don't you think that not releasing them -- i mean, for
republicans, too -- ends up making this issue a political liability, i mean, for mitt romney but it's got a depressing effect on the rest of the ticket on the republican side, don't you think? >> what we've said is this, and i agree with my colleagues -- >> you're not going to give me a fight on this. >> i'm not giving you a fight because when you look at george romney in '68 it's too compelling to say like father, like son. >> it is. in fact, at a debate, one of the debates, i think in january mitt romney said that he wasn't going to release them all even though his father did. take a listen to this. >> i remember this. >> he released them for one year not one year but 12. he said one year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show. when you release yours will you follow your father's example? >> maybe. you know, i don't know how many years i'll release. i'll take a look at what our documents are. [ booing ]
>> and i'll release multiple years. i don't know how many years. but i'll be happy to do that. >> people on both sides don't like secrecy. >> that was not fatal to him in the primary fight but it was a big problem in that debate. i pointed it out for purposes of full disclosure as a partisan back then for newt gingrich. but, listen, for his own candidacy, it's better to just go ahead and be resolute and say, you know what? here it is and i'm happy to defend but more important let's turn the page and take a look at where the american people are. look, we have been around the block a few times in politics. you can't run on your record -- and president obama does not have a record worth running on -- the fact is you've got to concentrate on your opponent and first kick up the dust that, of course is followed by the mud. >> well, to me, the reason why he is not releasing it is because he does not want people
to know that he got a salary from bain capital at a time when bain capital was outsourcing jobs, that he doesn't want people to know his involvement because those ads are having the impact. you are in a state you're living in arizona now, that state has seen a huge amount of economic trouble people who've lost their jobs. to them, this is very real. when a company comes in and downsizes and sends your job away, mitt romney has a lot of explaining to do on that issue. >> well, i think it is important to make the distinction and let me give you an example. heirs to the campbell soup fortune, they don't go in and micromanage the recipe for chicken noodle soup. they obviously have a huge financial stake in the success of campbell soup, but they're not running the company. now, i appreciate you trying to go through the documents -- >> are you saying he's an heir to bain capital? >> no, there is a difference between being a chief executive officer and a chief operating
officer and -- >> whoa, whoa -- >> -- just as people, when they leave companies, they are, in fact, absentee owners and you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. >> to me that issue of his leadership and willingness to stand up for a company that he's the president ceo sole shareholder speaks volumes about his leadership, but we'll have to talk about this after the break. j.d. is going to stick around. more to cover after the break. we'll look at how the obama campaign is tar laying the attacks on romney's records and i feel in will be the gift that keeps on giving. you are watching "the war room" and we'll be right back.
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>>overwhelming majority of the county says: "tax the rich don't go to war." i just wanted to clarify. >> if that's his main calling card if his basic premise is that i'm mr. fix it on the economy because i made a lot of money -- >> that's not what he's saying. >> to some degree, what he says is he understands the economy in the private sector. >> and they built business and bought businesses and invested, exactly. >> so that's his premise, i think it's entirely appropriate to look at that record. >> that's president obama making a whole lot of sense to cbs news' charlie rose who asked if mitt romney's tenure at bain capital deserves further scrutiny. it's a question a lot of folks
are asking and one we'll put to tonight's political roundtable. former arizona congressman j.d. hayworth is with me and strategist paul henderson is here, you can find his take on politics and arena session. j.d., is it fair game to question his record at bain? >> oh, sure, it's fair game. it'sle also fair game to take a look at the sorry economic record of barack obama. 8.2% unemployment. record problems. >> paul, fair game? >> it's absolutely fair. you live by bain, you die by bain. as he keeps putting it out there and ride the coattails of his success, you have to take the good with the bad and expose yourself to the liability and the job loss and revenue generator from bain. i don't think it will end soon. >> the key part, job loss, americans losing their jobs, you're going to discover that
mr. obama needs to lose the job he mas now to get back to work. >> okay, whatever. >> what is this? >> i'm just playing with you. >> all right. >> and i'm grateful you're here because we want to have all sides represented. there is a question this week about condi rice being potentially vice presidential nominee. i'd say it was probably thrown out yesterday as a distraction from the bain disaster that's happening. do you think it's legit? >> yeah. as i understand it, when they had all the guys -- the money guys get together and i think in colorado she gave a great speech, i would expect she would show up on any short list based on her impressive resume and as secretary of state certainly she performed very capably. i'm going to quote a democrat, sam rayburn when jack kennedy was putting together his administration, sam said, they're smart and all but i would be more comfortable if one or two would run for sheriff.
and by that, the rigors of a national campaign, it's one thing to be incredibly capable but when you actually run for public office, there is an intangible there that, for a national campaign, a lot of people need. >> it would be tough to fix somebody who hasn't been in office before, even certainly high profile. i think the tougher issue for her is probably her record on choice, don't you think paul? >> i agree. i mean, i think she would bring a lot to the table in terms of being a smart african-american woman, but, i mean, she comes along without a voting record to attack. she comes along without any campaign promises that she hasn't kept. but she also comes and brings along her pro-life choices. you know, that's -- >> her pro-choice. >> right that's a lot right now, while he's trying to shore up his conservative base. what's that say about what his ticket will look like? >> well, what does it say? what do you think it says? >> i think it splits it. i think he's really concerned
about trying to maybe sure conservatives are solidly behind him and bringing in a candidate who doesn't necessarily share all those same values. >> what about bobby jindal? have a little diversity on the ticket. >> it's still a mixed bag in terms of what his base is going to follow and whether or not they're going to feel like he's abandoning them or turning his back to him by trying to spread out the things he has been talking about in the past. >> j.d. is looking a little bored. like pawlenty. >> yeah, i understand. >> why are you rolling your eyes at me? >> because look, tim i'm going to be candid, would not be a very strong choice. >> who's your choice? >> the best choice, let's do the electoral math, john kasich of ohio washington experience, sharing the budget when i was there. here's what you get with kasich, born in pennsylvania, went to
ohio state. you have two key electoral states in play. but, of course, the real diversity card, the guy wouldn't be at the top of my list but is capable is senator rubio. if he checks out -- look, everybody is going through the vetting process and will determine. i still think there is a long way to go and were i advising team romney, i would say hold that nomination till tampa make news at the convention. >> i think they're all a big if. condoleezza rice is a big if as well. >> she came out and said no today. >> of course she did. >> strong resolute policies of a guy like joe biden -- >> joe biden was a rock star this week! come on! you put joe biden up against mitt romney. >> he ranks up there with alexander throttlebottom! [ laughter ] john adams the depression era
musical, the vice president was alexander throttlebottom who wandered in and out on stage -- you know your musical theater. >> you're causing me to sweat here! >> good! that's why i'm supposed to be here! >> i wasn't sure if it was inappropriate or not! the big issue the past two days has been chinese-made, u.s. olympic uniforms. what gives? why did the u.s. olympic committee do this? it's so embarrassing. is it too late to reverse and should they? >> yeah, they should. here's a bipartisan issue. have a bonfire get rid of them and get new uniforms. this is nuts! what surprised me is mitt not pivoting and going after that. >> because he's in the throttle dws bottom! >> i feel like the horse has already left the stable at this point. the uniforms are already out
there. the basketball team is already playing in it. >> give it to an american company, you guys. thank you so much. j.d. hayworth and paul henderson, appreciate you guys coming inside "the war room" playing around on a friday night. npr, the kitchen sisters from npr enter the war room to take us inside the hidden world of girls. right after the break, harry truman's mantra that the buck stops here is the most famous in political history and start you morning with a daily dose of politics from a fresh perspective. >>i'm a slutty bob hope. the troops love me. >>only on current tv.
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because today we're witnessing another lesson unfold, which is an example of a different kind. according to the documents we examined, as we mentioned, mitt romney was a 100% owner sole shareholder, ceo and president of 11 bain-related companies in 2002 and received ample salaries from those companies. among the 46 companies he was involved in, he distinguished those he was passive in and those he was actively involved in. so what does active involvement mean for a company head when you're 100% in charge? in practice, being actively involved doesn't mean you're handling every task every minute. i doubt mitt romney was ever in the trenches of doing the work of the companies or making the widgets or firing the widgetmakers whose jobs were out sourced, but this focusing on the semantics of "active involvement" while important and potentially damaging misses a
larger point. the simple fact remains through 2002, they were his company. as any leader knows when you run an organization, you may not know every detail about what's going on in it, but because you're a leader, you better be darn well ready to take responsibility of what the organization does and if it has a problem you fix it. being an executive you get the credit take the blame. you can verbally deny the uncomfortable facts and do it repeatedly, but your words and your signature are in black and white, sir, mitt romney. the man who wants to be the most powerful man in the world isn't willing to own up to actions of companies he owned that's telling. that's not leadership. that is weakness and he will not release the most basic piece of evidence that would clear in up, his tax returns. i actually used to sit in the governor's office in lansing michigan, in a building called the romney building. it was named after mitt's dad
george. george romney was respected and beloved in michigan. he was a civil rights advocate. he was a moderate who reached across the aisle and championed and gave back to the community and good government transparency. such a shame mitt did not learn about leadership from his dad. george romney took responsibility when things went wrong inside of state government and his son's denials and secrecy are more evidence that mitt romney is unworthy of the role of president of the united states. seems we're all about secrets today. we'll put mitt's aside for the moment. you've heard them on the radio and now see them in "the war room. kitchen sisters are here to uncover the hidden world of girls. it's go time! >>every weeknight cenk uygur calls out the mainstream media. >>the guys in the middle-class the guys at the lower-end got screwed again!
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