Mitt Romney may have been listed in SEC filings as sole shareholder, CEO and president of Bain Capital and its affiliated funds from 1999 to 2001, but a new report suggests that the company did not consider him active in the firm at the time.
According to Fortune, confidential documents distributed by Bain in 2000 to prospective investors in a new private-equity fund did not list Romney as a part of the management committee that would handle day-to-day operations.
Romney and a Bain spokesman both denied on Thursday that the presidential candidate had any managerial role with the firm after leaving to work on the Olympics in February 1999. The Obama campaign has argued that Romney should be held accountable for Bain’s actions from 1999-2001, since he was still listed as the company’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” and a 2001 SEC filing listed his primary occupation as a “managing director.” Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter even suggested Romney may have criminally misled the SEC and pushed him to release minutes from meetings clarify his position.
“Mitt Romney either misled the American people or misrepresented himself to the SEC. Romney has said he had no authority or responsibility for managing Bain since 1999, but that has been proven false,” Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt told Fortune. “Regardless of whether he was on the management committee for this particular deal, he remained president, CEO and chairman of the board and he was legally responsible for every investment and decision made by Bain.”
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.