The Washington Post

PolitiFact halves Romney dispute

For days now, head-scratching debate has examined whether Mitt Romney has misled people about his departure from Bain Capital. On the one hand, there are documents, most recently showcased by the Boston Globe, suggesting that Romney was still a prominent figure at Bain even after 1999, when he left to manage the Salt Lake City Olympic games. On the other hand, Romney folks maintain that the guy had no involvement in the firm’s decisions over that period.

This is no technicality, either: The Obama campaign would like to hold Romney accountable for activities at Bain following his professional pursuits in Utah.

Here comes PolitiFact in the guise of referee. How does the site rate the Obama campaign’s claim that “Mitt Romney’s companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries”?

“Half True.”

What a bunch of wimps at Truth-o-Meter HQ. Can’t they pick a side? Witness this wishy-washy prose, on the question of whether Romney should be held responsible for Bain activities between 1999 and 2002:

Looking at all the evidence made public so far, we do not think Romney was actively involved in the day-to-day management of Bain after 1999. But it doesn’t mean his influence disappeared after he left.

Huh. PolitiFact cites nearly 30 sources in its research on this matter and can’t come to a stronger conclusion. You’d almost figure from the PolitiFact presentation that this Romney-Bain-departure thing was a complicated issue, one that resists definitive contours. Yet both campaigns seem so convinced of their positions. Again, a real head-scratcher.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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