Conservative columnist George Will on Sunday said a series of attacks and questions about Mitt Romney’s association with Bain Capital, his tax returns and offshore investments were adding up to trouble for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“Mitt Romney’s losing at this point in a big way,” Will told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “If something’s going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why — given that Mr. Romney knew the day that [Sen. John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again — that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest.”
“He’s done nothing illegal, nothing unseemly, nothing improper, but lots that impolitic — and he’s now in the politics business,” Will added.
The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that Romney was listed as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” of Bain even after he repeatedly claimed he had retired in 1999.
President Barack Obama’s campaign spent the better part of Thursday and Friday using that report to connect Romney to American jobs that Bain allegedly helped send overseas. They also hammered him for not releasing more than two years of tax returns and having offshore investments and tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland.
By late Friday afternoon, Romney had scheduled last-minute interviews with five different television networks to defend himself, but the damage had already been done.
On Sunday, Obama surrogates like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the GOP candidate’s “whining” about the Obama campaign called into question how he would handle more serious issues like Russia and China if elected president. And Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told NBC that Romney was running from his record at Bain “like a scalded cat.”
Meanwhile, Romney supporters like adviser Ed Gillespie were on the defensive, trying to explain away the discrepancies in the former Massachusetts governor’s record by claiming he had “retired retroactively” after taking a part-time leave of absence from Bain in 1999.
“He’s not a felon,” Gillespie insisted to CNN’s Candy Crowley. “And so it’s sad to see — we now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land, even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast July 15, 2012.