Updated: 6:28 p.m. ET
The Washington Post is standing by its reporting on Bain Capital’s outsourcing under Mitt Romney, and will not retract a recent story despite complaints from the Romney campaign.
“We are very confident in our reporting,” Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti told TPM, adding that meetings with people concerned about coverage are common.
Romney campaign officials on Wednesday met with top editors at the Post to request the paper retract the story. According to Politico’s Dylan Byers, who broke the news of the meeting, Romney staffers intended to argue that the article’s charges were incomplete or inaccurate. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul declined to give any details of the meeting. “The meeting was off the record, so I don’t have anything to share on it,” she told TPM.
The Obama campaign picked up the Post’s report as evidence that the campaign’s point about Romney has been made. David Axelrod told reporters last week that “[p]eople really have a fundamental choice in this election. The question is, do they want an outsourcer-in-chief in the Oval Office or do they want a president who’s going to fight for American jobs and American manufacturing and the American middle class.”
The Romney campaign insists that the Post doesn’t make the distinction between “outsourcing” and “off-shoring” — the latter being when American firms are replaced by workers in off-shore locations. The Post reported that, according to SEC filings, Bain Capital under Romney owned companies that were “pioneers” in shipping jobs oversees.
Bill Burton, the head of the super PAC backing President Obama’s reelection campaign, said it’s uncommon for campaign officials to seek a retraction almost a week after publication. He said the Romney campaign’s efforts were too little, too late.
“Their response came a week after the story ran, provided no factual basis for their complaints and failed miserably because they had repeatedly denied requests for comment on the front end,” Burton told TPM in an email. “So basically, their response was neither rapid nor an actual response.”
The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com