Obama campaign attempting to walk back claims that Romney is either a liar or a felon

The ‘He said, She said,’ over whether GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was actively involved in private equity firm Bain Capital longer than he claims dominated Sunday’s national news coverage, with high profile allies of both President Barack Obama and Romney going on television to explain why the other side was lying.

The latest spat over Romney’s time at Bain Capital began after a The Boston Globe released an article affirming that Romney was listed as the sole owner and CEO of Bain Capital through 2002, contradicting his claims that he was not involved with Bain Capital after 1999.

However, reliable fact-checkers have said that Romney’s claims are accurate. Sources with knowledge of the situation at Bain – including Democrats – have said on the record for years that Romney was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company after he left in 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics.

The Globe article led Obama 2012 deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter to say that Romney was either lying to the American people over how long he was employed at Bain or he had committed a felony by lying to the SEC.

Friday night, Mitt Romney made rare television appearances across every major network to call on the President to apologize for his campaign’s egregious behavior.

“That’s ridiculous and disturbing coming from their campaign and beneath the dignity of the president and his campaign,” Romney told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl.

“Is this the level that the Obama campaign is willing to stoop to?” Romney asked CNN’s Jim Acosta.

In an interview with CBS’ Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation Sunday morning Cutter tried to walk back her statement that Romney was a liar or a criminal, claiming that what she really said was that he needed to take responsibility for the outsourcing of jobs that occurred at Bain while Romney was still technically CEO.

“He’s not going to get an apology,” Cutter angrily told Schieffer. “Just a few months ago in the primary Mitt Romney said to his opponents  – who were crushing him at the time – ‘stop whining,’ and that’s a good message for the Romney campaign.”

Former White House Chief of Staff and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also came to Cutter’s defense. On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopolous Emanuel told the host that Cutter merely “cited the law.”

“Give it up about Stephanie, don’t worry about that. What are you going to do when the Chinese leader says something about you, or Putin says something,” said Emanuel, who is known for his blunt, and often terse, discourse. “I give him his own advice. Stop whining.”

But Romney spokesman Kevin Madden pointed out the fact that the Obama campaign is suggesting Romney is a criminal should be of concern to the American people.

“I think it is very troubling that the President would direct this campaign to label someone like Governor Romney – who is a very good and honorable man – as a felon,” Madden told Schieffer on Face the Nation.

Another Romney adviser, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, criticized the Obama 2012 campaign for trying to make Romney’s departure from Bain to manage the Olympics into something “sinister,” rather than acknowledging he was doing his patriotic duty.

“We now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land even if it means demeaning the highest office in the land,” Gillespie told CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union.

Gillespie explained that when Romney left Bain “the Olympics was in a shambles” and that the United States almost lost its host country status that year until Romney arrived and turned the Winter Games around.

“It was not a part-time job. It was a 16-hour a day job. Anyone who was involved will tell you that’s the case,” Gillespie said, pointing that common sense would show Romney couldn’t have possibly continued to manage the day to day aspects of Bain will running the Olympics.

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