Transcript: Romney Responds to Bain Attacks In ABC Interview

Mitt Romney stood by his statement that he left Bain Capital in 1999.

ByABC News
July 13, 2012, 5:51 PM

July 13, 2012 -- JONATHAN KARL: Governor Romney, you have been hammered by the president and by the president's campaign over your time at Bain. In fact, one of his top advisers actually said you might have committed a felony when it comes to the SEC filings about when exactly you turned over the management. I'd like to give you a chance to respond.

ROMNEY: Well, of course, that's ridiculous and disturbing to come from their campaign and beneath the dignity of the president and his campaign. The president needs to take control of these people. The kinds of attacks that they've been making have now been checked time and time again by independent fact checkers.

They've been found to be false and misleading, simply wrong. But they keep on doing everything that they can to deflect attention from the fact that the American people want someone who can help create jobs in this country and get people working again. we've had 41 straight months above 8%. they don't want to talk about that. they don't want to talk about the president's record on the deficit. instead

They want to see if they can't divert to some kind of outrageous charge. It's Chicago-style politics at its worst and the president promised something better than this when he ran the last time. And he ought to disavow it and reign in these people who are running out of control.

KARL: Should the president apologize for what his advisers said about you?

ROMNEY: Well, he's got ads out there that say at the end of the ad that 'I'm Barack Obama and I approve these messages' and he sure as heck ought to say that he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team. It's ah, it's very disappointing on his part. It's beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States to go out and say the kinds of things that are being said and even Democrats are saying that.

Look, the American people want to know who can get this country working again and can see rising incomes again and finally get our budget on a pathway to become balanced and they are tired of this kind of old style politics and I don't think it's going to work.

KARL: Okay but let me ask you, because a lot of this comes down to exactly when you had responsibility for what regarding Bain. After 1999, you are still listed on SEC document as being quote, "the chairman of the board, the chief executive officer and the president." Don't ultimately you bear responsibility for what happened at the company during that time?

ROMNEY: I left the company in February of 1999, but retained ownership until we were able to negotiate a departure and retirement program from the company. I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.

And by the way, the people at the firm said that. Even Democrats in the firm, one of whom ran for U.S. Senate as a Democrat says exactly the same thing and this has been litigated time and time again, independent fact checkers have said the same thing. There's absolutely no evidence that I had any role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999. It's a great firm. I'm very proud that they've done well. My goodness, I was there for what, 14 years? And then went on to run the Olympics.

And anyone who questions that can look at the fact I spent the next three years full time running the Olympic games and had no involvement with Bain Capital.

KARL: So you bear no responsibility for what happened to that company even though those SEC forms list you as chairman and the chief executive officer and the president of the company?

ROMNEY: The ownership shares of the company were ownership shares which I retained, but when I left Bain Capital in February of 1999, I went out to run the Olympics and said good-bye to my colleagues. They took over the business. They organized new funds for instance and pointed out that who managers were. They don't list me as a manager.