Retroactive Retirement

Pee Wee Herman lookalike and former Bush stooge turned Romney surrogate Ed Gillespie really cleared up the air on MTP this morning:

GREGORY: He was still financially linked to Bain. And of course, a lot his fortune is due to his time with Bain. Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?

GILLESPIE: He actually retired retroactively at that point. He ended up not going back to the firm after his time in Salt Lake City. So he was actually retired from Bain.

Now look- there is no doubt in my mind that the dimestore Gepetto at the Washington Post and the Clown Caucus at Politifact will rapidly incorporate “retroactive retirement” into their defenses of the indefensible, but try that nonsense out on someone in your neighborhood- “Sure, he was listed on the SEC documents from 1999-2001 as CEO, and sure, he was paid six figure salaries, and yeah, he signed a bunch of filings, and sure, he’s admitted to flying back and forth to attend board meetings and sat in on a bunch of them by phone, but he wasn’t really involved because in 2002 he retroactively retired in 1999.” I’m betting that 99 times out of 100, the reaction you get will be “Who are you trying to fool with that garbage?”

In other news, immediately after hearing the phrase “retroactive retirement,” Penn State University officials began drafting paperwork to retroactively retire Paterno and Sandusky in 1997 so as to avoid any civil litigation related to the Nittany Lion child rape regime.

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91 replies
  1. 1
    MattR says:

    I am willing to bet that Gillespie’s explanation makes perfect sense to 27% of the population.

    (minor edit for clarity)

  2. 2
    Culture of Truth says:

    and here I was thinking I was the only human with enough self-loathing to spend Sunday morning reading MTP transcripts.

  3. 3
    newtons.third says:

    There is a #retroactively on twitter. Very funny.

  4. 4
    Matthew Reid Krell says:

    And Justice Department officials started working on “retroactively retiring” Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in 1998.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    I wonder when Bob Diamond actually retired from Barclay’s and, furthermore, how soon afterward he retroactively signed up for the dole and is now suing the govt for past benefits? And can the divine Miz R. Brooks be far behind?

  6. 6
    Calouste says:

    So Ed Gillespie is suggesting Romney lied when he said he had been resident in Massachusetts for the three years preceding his run for governor?

    The question of course is as much when Romney actually left Bain, but what happened between 1999-2002 that Romney is so desperate to avoid being associated with.

  7. 7
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Retroactive retirement but an active paycheck. Man, those rich folks get all the luck, don’t they?

  8. 8
    Sly says:

    At least Paul Ruebens possessed enough contrition to agree to do community service after he was caught masturbating in public.

  9. 9
    PeakVT says:

    I’m betting that 99 times out of 100, the reaction you get will be “Who are you trying to fool with that garbage?Blow it outcher ass.”

    Accurified. Also, too, the winning “retroactively” pic.

  10. 10
    Comrade Mary says:

    dimestore Gepetto

    Nice!

  11. 11
    Left Coast Tom says:

    @Culture of Truth: 76 degrees and sunny outside…I really need to go to a park and enjoy the afternoon but I’m having too much fun laughing. Seems like everytime I check various websites it gets funnier.

  12. 12
    elisabeth says:

    Oh to be a fly on the wall either in Boston or Wolfeboro.

  13. 13
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @newtons.third: I was just thinking, retro-actively pro-life, retro-actively anti-gay, retro-actively anti-RomneyCare….

    ETA: And what Comrade Mary said: Dimestore Gepetto? Awesome.

  14. 14

    @Sly: Where would you like your internetz delivered?

  15. 15
    ploeg says:

    One also notes that Gillespie did not answer the fucking question:

    Even when he was on leave, does he stand by the business decisions that were made by the firm he created?

    That is to say, even if we accept at face value that Mitt isn’t completely full of shit, does Mitt have an opinion on what happened during those years?

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    George Bush was retroactively not POTUS on 9/11/01, meaning that the attacks were all Clinton’s fault.

  17. 17
    MattR says:

    Semi-related, I can’t find the article I read but Romney was quoted as responding to questions about attending management meetings between 1999-2002 with something like “I don’t recall ever being there”. Seems like that the lack of an absolute denial is fodder for more attacks. Point out that the only reason you say “I don’t recall” rather than a flat denial is if there is a chance that the denial might be proven false. If it was cut and dried that Romney was not involved he should not have to worry about something coming to light, so he should be able to give an absolute denial. The only reason to say “I don’t recall” is if the situation was in fact murky.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    There’s not enough popcorn in the world to cover this clown show/

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Ah, so this is why evangelicals never require abortions, they hold aspirins between their knees (for their headaches) retroatively!

  20. 20
    andy says:

    “He actually retired retroactively”

    Are they running against common sense and the English language too?

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @elisabeth: How do you think Romney does anger away from the cameras? Clenched jaw, trembling eyed, vein-bulging and silent repressed rage? Or Ned Flanders-mormon-bowdlerized bellowing? “My Godfrey, Fernstrom, you cannot imagine how ticked off I am! Have you blasted dunderheads no idea how to run a cockadoodie campaign! Jeepers!”

  22. 22
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Left Coast Tom: Don’t worry, you’ll be able to do it retroactively!

  23. 23
    Kane says:

    The same people who are offering up Retroactive Retirement as a defense and who shrug off filing false information on SEC documents as a mere technicality, are the very same people who want to dismantle all oversight and who argue that the private sector can police itself.

  24. 24
    Comrade Mary says:

    Oh, wow. If you haven’t already read this piece from Forbes, GO! It’s absolutely brutal.

    35 Questions Mitt Romney Must Answer About Bain Capital Before The Issue Can Go Away
    __
    21. You seem to be suggesting that once you stepped down from full-time, 7 day a week, 18 hour a day management, that you were no longer “involved.” You claim you had “no role whatsoever in the management.” Assume for the moment that everyone, even in the Obama campaign concedes that after Feb 1999 you were no longer the 100% full-time, hands-on manager of Bain. Isn’t it fair to suggest that an individual could still have a role in managing a company through the occasional phone call, meeting and email, even if they didn’t involve monumental decisions, such as hiring and firing?
    __
    22. When you demanded an apology from the Obama Campaign you seem to suggest that they have stated that you deserve blame for outsourcing done at Bain from 1999 to 2001 because they stated that you were the full-time active manger of Bain during that time. Can you cite a single ad, press release or statement from the Obama Campaign where they specify that you were the full-time manager of Bain from 1999 to 2001?
    __
    23. Every time a reporter asks you “why were you listed by Bain in sec documents as the CEO in 2000-2002″ You respond that everyone knows you were no longer the active manger after Feb. 1999 and that you owned stock in Bain but did not manage anything. That may well be, but that doesn’t answer the question as to why Bain listed you as ceo, president and managing director. Why won’t you answer a simple question that involves basic facts that are undisputed?

  25. 25
    MattR says:

    @scav: Interesting. I thought an abortion was just taking birth control retrocactively.

  26. 26
    Nethead Jay says:

    @newtons.third: Damn, beat me to it ;D

  27. 27
    Todd says:

    The dude is a less self aware Jay Gatsby.

  28. 28
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @ploeg:

    does Mitt have an opinion on what happened during those years?

    He presumably does, but it’s locked away in a sealed Cayman Islands bank account along with all the money he made from Bain bidness in the early 2000s. For Pete’s sake.

  29. 29
    Phylllis says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Or Ned Flanders-mormon-bowdlerized bellowing? “My Godfrey, Fernstrom, you cannot imagine how ticked off I am! Have you blasted dunderheads no idea how to run a cockadoodie campaign! Jeepers!”

    Ok, that’s damn funny. Snorted frozen margarita up my nose, I did.

  30. 30
    SFAW says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    and here I was thinking I was the only human with enough self-loathing to spend Sunday morning reading MTP transcripts.

    Don’t think of it as self-loathing; think of it as “performing a vital service to humanity (well, those with an IQ above Tunch’s weight), so that they don’t suffer”

    Actually, that sucks too, I guess. But I still really appreciate your ongoing sacrifice.

  31. 31
    kindness says:

    The Clown Car that is the Romney campaign just keeps pooping out more clowns.

  32. 32
    maya says:

    @MattR:

    The only reason to say “I don’t recall” is if the situation was in fact murky.

    I believe that was the standard tried and true Condi/Cheney/ Bush D-ᵯᵯᵯᵯᵯᵯᵯ with the 9/11 Commission.

  33. 33
    Thymezone says:

    Dimestore Gepetto surely wins the day. Good job.

    2012 surely goes down as the last year that anyone ever paid any attention to media “fact checkers.”

  34. 34
    RSA says:

    Romney should also say that he retroactively founded Bain Capital 15,000 years ago, which means he’s never earned more than minimum wage.

  35. 35
    scav says:

    @MattR: Some get hung up on the “artificial” contraception and insist on natural forms of BC. If they’re really really hung up on the issue, they don’t even hold aspirin between their knees, it’s willow branches. And I think we’ve figured out the whole Resurrection thing too: jesus just booked a dinner in a different restaurant retroactively.

  36. 36
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Mittens retroactively resigned from Bain Capital the way that Newtie retroactively was never married to his first two wives.

  37. 37
    ploeg says:

    @kindness: I think that Mitt Romney just invented the perpetual clown-pooping machine. If only there were a way to harness the energy….

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    Wow. I’d say that retroactive retirement is right up there with etch-a-sketch. Forget self-deportation… these guys are self- immolating.

  39. 39
    hueyplong says:

    Let’s hope our media scriveners do not allow the use of polysyllabic words to divert their attention from the fact that the defense now involves fking TIME TRAVEL.

    “Yeah, I was on the hook, as president and CEO, but at a time after 2002 I went back in time to 1999 and undid it.

    “But I only made that time travel trip after I had used the actual Bain experience to support my MA residency in my run for Governor.

    “And, needless to say, while undoing the corporate responsibility in my subsequent time travel back to 1999 to retire, I didn’t give back the millions I made in 1999-2002 under that truthful SEC filing that notes I earned/received a token salary of ‘over $100,000,’ and my other corporate perks.

    “For Pete’s sake, I need millions to buy the GOP nomination for president. I can’t be giving back money.”

    And if you proles are skeptical, note that the Washington Post’s fact checker agrees with me and in fact calls skepticism of my story ‘a lie.'”

  40. 40
    elisabeth says:

    I@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I expect any moment for Ann to be trotted out to gain the sympathy factor.

    And I bet Mitt wishes he drank.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Comrade Mary: The middle point is what needs to be rubbed in Kessler’s fool face. He’s been fact-checking a claim that no one has made, to wit, that Romney personally made the decision to shutter plants and outsource jobs. It is true, no matter how they want to parse it, that Mitt Romney’s company did those things when Mitt Romney was officially designated the boss in several different ways. Romney’s defense can be something like, “OK, Bain did those things, but it wasn’t me” — which is still highly snark-worthy — but it absolutely cannot be “it’s not true, I call Pinocchio on that.”

  42. 42
  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @elisabeth: Did you know she owns a horse and pays someone else to ride it as a treatment for her MS? Such a brave soul, that Ann Romney.

  44. 44
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattR:
    Also, too, the “don’t recall” claim justifies Obama’s request for Bain’s board minutes. We don’t have to trust Mitt’s memory; we can check a factual record. Maybe we should look at all Mitt’s email records from the time just to be sure he wasn’t involved.

  45. 45
    hueyplong says:

    “Romney should also say that he retroactively founded Bain Capital 15,000 years ago, which means he’s never earned more than minimum wage.”

    I’m afraid that won’t work with the GOP base, which considers the world to be only 5,000 years old. So you’re putting liberal, science-y words into Willard’s mouth. That won’t do.

  46. 46
    satanicpanic says:

    Mitt and his surrogates seem to think that by saying enough stupid things, no one stupid thing will stick.

  47. 47
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @ploeg:

    They allow that in the Catholic Church.

    Exactly my point. Newtie is now, in the eyes of the holy mother church, married for the first time. (And to complete the analogy, his previous marriages were on a part-time basis.)

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    The NYTimes has an article the caucus about North Carolina young repubs trying to increase turnout. I left a message that probably won’t be printed but

    If they do it “retroactively” like the candidate they support, they might win the 2008 election.

  49. 49
    different-church-lady says:

    Can we retroactively make Gore president from 2001-2009?

  50. 50
    HRA says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    It’s also brilliant and what should have been asked by all the interviewers on Friday. I am passing this on. Thanks for the info.

  51. 51
    ohsuzanna says:

    Theme music for the current Romney Campaign:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGekq3Jt5Go

    Thank you Judy Collins.

  52. 52
    Rome Again says:

    @Calouste:

    This is what Mitt Romney is so desperate to avoid being associated with.

  53. 53
    Citizen_X says:

    For Pete’s sake, what do you expect from someone whose religion mormonizes people retroactively?

  54. 54
    marianne says:

    ha! and GOP expects Obama to ‘apologize’ for attacks on this horse-palookey!

  55. 55
    Zach says:

    Another contrast with Mitt’s dad, who unilaterally cut back his salary when he started moonlighting in politics (over protests of folks at AMC).

  56. 56
    Citizen_X says:

    @different-church-lady: You beat me to it.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Walker says:

    Factcheck.org, not Politifact. This is important because Politifact already sh*t the bed with the Medicare fiasco, while Factcheck.org still has a patina of respectability being associated with UPenn.

  59. 59
    JPL says:

    The blog boss’s twitter is mentioned a lot. He hit it out of the park.

  60. 60
    Kane says:

    Remember the long Beltway debates over whether it was “out of bounds” to bring up the issue of Bain? It seems like a lifetime ago as the Romney-Bain connection has now consumed the campaign and caused irrevocable damage to the Romney candidacy. I don’t see how Romney can Houdini himself out of this.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    JPL says:

    @Maude: I guess retroactive retirement makes sense to people who baptize the dead. ‪#retroactively‬

    Several of the twitter folks are mentioning it. I have never joined or signed up for twitter but you don’t have to, in order to read the tweets.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @Kane: in the GOP primaries they came down on Newt like a ton of bricks for going after Bain.

    Unfortunately for Mittens, the people who pay Newt and can control him are not in control of the Obama team.

  64. 64
    ChrisNYC says:

    “Retroactive retirement” is so lovely. Etch-a-sketch all over again.

    David Gregory’s intro this morning was a chuckle chuckle about how this election was supposed to be a referendum on Obama and it’s not turning out that way and ho ho our crazy politics. Someone should put Halperin on a suicide watch.

  65. 65
    Calouste says:

    @Rome Again:

    Ah, I thought that it was because he made a personal investment in SteriCycle in November 1999, signed by himself, as detailed here

  66. 66
    Kane says:

    @catclub: I think Gingrich and Perry did far more damage to Romney than some realize. Early on, Romney and his campaign were laying the ground work of portraying any criticism of his work at Bain as an attack upon the free market itself. For the most part, much of the media was going along with it.

    But what the media and the Romney campaign didn’t expect was that Gingrich and Perry would attack him with populist arguments. All it took to send Romney’s campaign spinning is for someone to actually delve into his record and say that the plutocrat has no clothes. It’s one thing for those on the left to make populist arguments against Romney, but it was another thing to have those arguments made from someone on the right.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    Romney is going to have trouble with Obama’s new slogan on Forward. Not everything is retroactively.

  68. 68
    Rome Again says:

    @Calouste:

    Yes, I’d heard about this about a week ago. I see they are connecting the dots on that too.

    Mitt Romney is such a sleazy character that he’s got SEVERAL reasons why he can’t release his taxes, but the man thinks that shouldn’t preclude him from being president.

    Mitt Romney is a SNAKE!

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @Citizen_X:

    For Pete’s sake, what do you expect from someone whose religion mormonizes people retroactively?

    It’s not just his religion. Mitt baptized his father-in-law posthumously against his express wishes. If he’s willing to impose Mormonism on his father-in-law against his wishes, what makes you think he’ll have any respect for anybody else’s religious beliefs?

  70. 70
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    I can’t see Kessler as a Gepetto; he’s neither that powerful nor that important. Cheney was a Gepetto. Kessler is more of a Uriah Heep.

  71. 71
    Bex says:

    @elisabeth: I see what you did there.

  72. 72
    gogol's wife says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    My favorite is “True or false: It is a felony to lie on an SEC document.”

  73. 73
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I gotta ask: Has no one ever sued the Mormon church over this after-death baptism? Especially when the deceased has made their wishes known?

  74. 74
    dmsilev says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: I don’t recall off-hand if it ever reached the level of lawsuits, but the Mormon church was forced to promise to stop retroactively baptizing Holocaust victims after groups of Holocaust survivors started raising a stink.

  75. 75
    El Cid says:

    I retroactively did not drink that night I drove over that old lady on the sidewalk, whatever the documents from those ancient years ago say.

  76. 76
    aretino says:

    How do you retire retroactively? I bet $10,000 there’s a secret Etch-a-Sketch you have to shake.

  77. 77
    Mino says:

    @newtons.third: FSM is too kind today, Mr. Gillespie.

  78. 78

    […] 5: John Cole nails the impact of this (if it does become widely publicized) on people who are not members of the Fox […]

  79. 79
    Tonal Crow says:

    OK Mitt, I’m officially asking the Massachusetts legislature to retroactively retire you from the governorship, which you appear to have gained under false pretenses of residency. Also too, did you vote for yourself? Are non-residents of Massachusetts allowed to vote? If not, what’s the penalty?

    Mitt lied, truthtelling died.

  80. 80

    @gogol’s wife:

    “True or false: It is a felony to lie on an SEC document.”

    Is it? I’d like to know the answer, myself. There’s a meme going around this afternoon that falsifying an SEC filing is a civil offense, and therefore not technically a felony.

    Not being a lawyer, I have no clue if that is true or not.

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    Stolen from elsewhere, “Attention Ed Gillespie: ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Groundhog Day’ are not documentaries.”

  82. 82
    Tonal Crow says:

    Sweet! By retroactively resigning, he admitted that he lied to the SEC by claiming to be Chairman, CEO, President, etc., for at least two years following his resignation.

    Good job, Mitt. Here’s your indictment.

  83. 83
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: I’ve not examined the caselaw, but I’m pretty sure that lying on SEC filings is covered by at least the general federal false claims statute, 18 USC 1001, violation of which is a felony. There are also colorable arguments for securities fraud and wire/mail fraud.

  84. 84
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Tonal Crow: Ya. I just found some cases implicitly holding that lying to the SEC about a material fact does violate 18 USC 1001. I haven’t checked whether these cases are still good law, but I very much suspect that they are.

    [As usual, this is half-assed blogging, not legal advice. Consult your favorite land-shark lawyer for legal advice.]

  85. 85

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that Mitt could or should face charges. I think the key is “he said he was head high-muckety-muck during those years, when it would be unlawful for him to lie about that. Therefore, he should be taken at his word.”

    And therefore, he should not be excused from the actions of the company, since head high-muckety-mucks are ultimately responsible.

    What’s troubling is that he’s trying to have it both ways. When running for Senator, he was coming back all the time to look after his MA based interests. But now that he’s running for President, oh, he had *nothing to do with it, at all*.

    You don’t get to have it both ways. One of the stories really is true; the other one is not.

    There probably isn’t any criminality (though if he were a lawyer, he should probably face a hearing before the bar because there was some clear deception on one of his sworn statements), but for heaven’s sake, let’s stop with the “he had nothing to do with big, massive outsourcing!” He did. Or, if he wants to insist he didn’t, then he lied when asked about his eligibility to run as MA Senator. By Republican standards, he’s one illicit hummer from impeachment, so I don’t think he gets to walk away from this.

  86. 86
    Tonal Crow says:

    @LongHairedWeirdo:

    I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that Mitt could or should face charges.

    Why the hell not?

    Is there one law for Romney and another for a poor schlub who signs a pile of mortgage docs without reading them that misrepresent his salary because some real estate agent though it’d help the deal do through? Hundreds of people have gone to prison for exactly that. And Mitt shouldn’t? Again: why the hell not?

  87. 87

    @Tonal Crow:
    J Bradford DeLong (and others) seem to be playing contrarian on twitter. Something about how the original “1933 Act” made it a civil offense, so it can’t be a felony.

    Seems oddly… narrow, to this layman.

  88. 88
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    @Tonal Crow:
    J Bradford DeLong (and others) seem to be playing contrarian on twitter. Something about how the original “1933 Act” made it a civil offense, so it can’t be a felony.
    __
    Seems oddly… narrow, to this layman.

    Your intuition is good, because they’re bullshitting.

    Whether or not something was a crime under the 1933 Securities Act has zero bearing on whether it’s since become a crime in an amendment to that Act. Or in some other statute — such as 18 USC 1001, the wire fraud statute, the mail fraud statute, or whatever.

  89. 89
    Trinity says:

    True Story: This morning when the alarm went off my husband hit the snooze button and mumbled, “I’ll get up retroactively”.

  90. 90
    russell says:

    I like the retroactive retirement thing.

    My plan is to prospectively retire. I’m going to call my boss and tell him I’m retiring at age 65, except I’m doing it today, while I’m still just 55.

    No problem, right? Just send the SS and 401K checks to my home address. And thanks for all the fish!

  91. 91
    The Sailor says:

    Is Mitt’s IRS form different than mine?

    I sign “under penalty of perjury”, perjury is a felony. Fuck Brad Jackass DeLong.

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