Report: Mitt Romney stayed at Bain longer than he's claimed

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP National Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center July 11, 2012 in Houston, Texas.

Jeremy Hobson: Now to the presidential race here in this country. The Boston Globe is reporting this morning that government documents show GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney remained CEO and chairman of the private equity firm Bain Capital for three years after he has said he left Bain.

Chris Rowland is Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe. He co-wrote the story and he's with us now. Good morning.

Chris Rowland: Good morning.

Hobson: Well what exactly did you find as you looked through these documents?

Rowland: Well we started looking over the SEC documents from the period 1999, forward -- after Mitt Romney says he left Bain Capital. And it turns out there's a number of filings in there that list him as president, CEO, sole owner, chief executive, and chairman of Bain Capital.

Hobson: And what's Bain saying about this? Or what is Mitt Romney's campaign saying about this?

Rowland: They haven't gone on the record yet, exactly, with any kind of significant defense. I mean, they've pointed us to their records that they've filed and his financial disclosure report, which say that after 1999, he had absolutely nothing to do with Bain Capital -- its leadership or its operations. So it's a significant contradiction.

You know, on background conversation, they're suggesting this was some kind of legal technicality, that you know, because SEC and corporate documents are complicated; there were some sort of legacy legal requirements that they were listing him. But in fact, we've talked to some experts who say SEC documents really do matter: they're very material, investors rely on them for cold, hard facts to make decisions. And so, it's a significant contradiction that's going to have to be resolved as we go forward.

Hobson: And why should this matter to voters around the country, whether Romney left Bain in 1999 or 2002?

Rowland: So, Mitt Romney's significant, frontline defense on many attacks based on Bain's business practices has been that: Hey, I wasn't there; I left the company in 1999. He's said it repeatedly, and it's been a very key component of his political defense around Bain Capital activities. So I think what we're going to have now is a new flurry of scrutiny surrounding what exactly he was doing at Bain, and how these filings came to be.

Hobson: Chris Rowland of the Boston Globe, thank you so much.

Rowland: Thank you for having me.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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