Why Romney’s exit from Bain matters

It was a mighty and passionate clash between the Obama and Romney campaigns this week. The issue: When, exactly, Mitt Romney left Bain. Was it February 1999 (as Romney and Bain says) or later?

"What?" you might say. "What does it matter?"

Well the transparent answer is that the Obama campaign wants to blame Romney for Bain’s outsourcing of jobs. But that took place after February 1999.

But the deeper answer comes from CNN’s John King. He says there was one Bain investment in particular that Team Obama wants to pin on Romney: "Stericycle, a medical waste company that, among other things, disposed of aborted fetuses."

According to King, Obama wanted to make Stericycle a last-week campaign bombshell.

The problem, of course, is did Romney leave Bain when he said he did, or not?

P.S. — The Boston Globe first published documents that show Romney’s name on Bain documents occurred as late as 2001, 24 months after Romney says he left Bain. The Obama campaign calls it proof. Romney calls it a business technicality.

P.P.S. — I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the Obama campaign had more than a little to do with the Boston Globe reporting of those documents. Can’t prove it. Just a gut instinct from a lot of years in the news business.

P.P.P.S. — In the end, Romney is going to be able to show that he did leave when he said he did and the residual documents are just that, residual. The Obama Administration is the least-equipped administration in modern history for dealing with the economy. What they don’t understand how business works would fill the White House. The idea that they don’t understand how SEC filings work in this case rings true to me. And does to John King as well.

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