It looks to me like the Romney campaign doesn’t know how to respond to the story about their candidate’s “shadow years” as faux-CEO of Bain Capital. His spokesman came out and just flatly denied that the story was true without offering any explanation for how that could possibly be the case. He was listed as the CEO with the SEC. That fact is not in dispute. He testified before the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission that he was merely on a leave of absence. Now David Axelrod is tweeting that Romney filed false statements with the SEC, which is something Romney’s lawyers must be taking a look at.
It’s never easy to admit you’ve been telling gigantic lies, but it’s better than committing financial fraud. But even if Romney is essentially telling the truth about not having anything to do with Bain’s day-to-day operations, he doesn’t want to have to explain why he received a $100,000 salary for doing nothing. This is particularly true because last night he accused the entire NAACP membership of just wanting free handouts from the government. How about no-work jobs? I thought only the mafia created those. Is that really what Romney wants to argue? That he got paid to do nothing? Wasn’t he trying to act like a big man at the time by ostentatiously refusing payment for his work on the Olympics? That’s easy to do when when Bain is paying you $100,000/yr. Of course, his salary was just pocket change compared to his financial interest in the company itself.
So, the Romney campaign is going to have to come out and say that this is all normal. It’s totally unremarkable for a man to be paid a six-figure salary for doing no work and to make representations to the government and to investors that they are the CEO of a company that they no longer work for. They can do this for years and it only looks weird because SEC compliance forms are complicated.
They’ve had weeks to prepare for this story, and they have nothing.