Mitt Romney testified to Massachusetts officials in 2002 that he maintained business ties during his Olympics work, undermining his argument that he had no connection to Bain Capital or related companies after 1999. Notably, his campaign has refused to deny whether he ever held meetings with Bain during his time in Salt Lake City.
Romney, who at the time was trying to convince the state Ballot Law Commission that he should be allowed to run for office in Massachusetts despite living in Utah the previous three years, did not directly address his work with Bain Capital. But, in testimony obtained by the Huffington Post, Romney said that he returned home for “a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.”
Romney noted that he remained an active member of the board at Staples, where Bain was an early investor and a company Romney frequently cites on the trail, and LifeLike, a toy company where Bain was heavily invested at the time.
A spokesman for the Romney campaign declined to answer questions from Politico regarding whether Romney attended any meetings in person or phone with Bain during his Olympic leave, saying only that he had no “active role.”
Democrats claim Romney should be held responsible for deals Bain conducted from 1999-2001 in which companies either went bankrupt or profited from outsourcing. Romney was listed in numerous SEC filings as sole stockholder, CEO and chairman of the board of Bain Capital and related firms during that period and his “principal occupation” was listed as a “managing director,” but Romney has insisted he had no day-to-day role during the period.
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.