Columnist Charles M. Blow recounts Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s multiple reports of his retirement from Bain Capital in the New York Times. He also discusses why much of Romney’s business goes over the heads of many Americans but the possibility of him lying does not.
Here is where we must split the hair. All these things could be technically true, but that’d rest on a distinction most people wouldn’t make. There is no evidence that Romney played an “active role” in “any Bain Capital entity,” although he was active in the companies that Bain invested in. This depends on what you consider an “entity.”
As FactCheck.org puts it: “We think the term ‘Bain Capital entity’ on Romney’s disclosure forms could only refer to Bain’s various investment funds, not to companies in which it invested.”
That may be technically true, but the spirit of the truth as most people engage it doesn’t turn on technicalities.
For most Americans, filings for the Federal Election Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are foreign concepts that would have limited resonance. But being misleading is a universal concept: most have done it and most frown upon it. The insinuation by the Obama campaign that Romney was either lying then or is lying now (or is shaving the truth down to a sliver) to make a buck and win an office is a much easier and more dangerous concept for voters to wrap their minds around.
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