President Obama said Friday that Mitt Romney deserves to be held accountable for his work at Bain Capital during a leave of absence, and that issues surrounding the timing of his exit raise “legitimate questions.”
“It’s pretty clear to me that I’m responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you,” Obama said in an interview with TV station WJLA.
Obama noted that Romney, despite insisting he had no input into Bain’s operations after 1999 while on leave to run the Olympics, was listed in numerous SEC filings as the firm’s top officer.
“Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital, and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does,” Obama said.
“Ultimately Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations, but again that’s probably a question that he’s going to have to answer and I think that’s a legitimate part of the campaign,” Obama said.
Romney has recorded interviews with all three major TV networks as well as Fox News and CNN, presumably to discuss Bain, which are set to air Friday evening.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.