Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to assure voters this week that electing him to the highest office of the land would be nothing more than a legal technicality. Mr. Romney maintained that he would have nothing to do with the management of the country and "would retire retroactively to February of 1999 after winning the race."
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to assure voters this week that electing him to the highest office of the land would be nothing more than a legal technicality.
Mr. Romney maintained that he would have nothing to do with the management of the country and "would retire retroactively to February of 1999 after winning the race."
Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said that Mr. Romney, once he is elected, will immediately take a leave of absence from his job as president to head a family project to turn around the cash-strapped Rafalca, a prized horse the Romney’s co-own whose wasteful management of her own feeding and care forced them to declare a loss of $77,000 on their 2010 tax returns.
Mr. Gillespie said that Mr. Romney has no intention of managing the nation, noting that Mr. Romney’s Rafalca turnaround effort, along tiding up some of his and the horse’s offshore accounts, will be a “16-hour-a-day job” in itself.
Mr. Gillespie said that a management team will run the White House during Mr. Romney’s leave of absence.
“During that time, I expect we will hardly be able to even get Mitt to come back to negotiate the terms of his seven-figure oval office departure, because he will be working so hard on the horse,” he said.
While conceding that Mr. Romney would “legally” remain the country’s chief executive, Mr. Gillespie said he did not expect that his boss will be taking part in any presidential meetings.
The Romney campaign also described claims from President Obama’s campaign that Mr. Romney planned to be actively involved with running the country should he win in November as a “completely reckless and unfounded allegation.”
"We now know that this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land," Mr. Gillespie said on CNN's “State of the Union,” “even if it means demeaning the noble station of entities and Securities Exchange Commission filings.”
Mr. Romney has demanded an apology for what he called “absurd” allegations by the president that Mr. Romney's would have anything to do with running the country should he win the presidency.
Matt Rhoades, the campaign manager for Mr. Romney, issued a blistering statement, stating that Mr. Romney, has a long and proven record since 1999 of having absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firms he runs or with any of their portfolios companies.
“Why would that change just because he won the presidency?” he wondered.
Mr. Rhoades, however, did add that “due to the sudden nature” of a presidential election, and the sorry condition of economy under Mr. Obama’s stewardship, it is possible that even after Mr. Romney takes his leave of absence as commander in chief, he will remain the nation’s sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership is being documented and transferred to the group of partners who will take over management of U.S. the in 2013.
Mr. Romney, according to his campaign, has said for years that once he won the presidency, he would no longer be actively involved in the nation’s operations. (Though as president, he said he will continue to claim credit for anything praiseworthy in the coming years.)
Mr. Romney's insistence that he will have no decision-making role after 2012 drew vocal support from many leading Republicans, who have long harbored doubts about his commitment to the conservative cause but have no reservations about his devotion to remaining an absentee CEO for years at a time.
House Speaker John Boehner said Mr. Romney’s “knack for being the owner of entities” should be a real plus for stimulating the country’s struggling business sector.
“Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons ... some people that are going to vote for him. But that’s not what this election is about,” Mr. Boehner said. “What we need — what the country needs — is less government. And I happen to think that having less of a president is a good start.”
Philip Maddocks is a political satire columnist for GateHouse News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.