NBC's Guthrie Worries: Is Romney Campaign 'Calling the President a Liar?'

In an interview with Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie fretted over Republicans dismantling false Obama campaign attacks that Romney outsourced jobs as head of Bain Capital: "I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today....are you calling the President a liar?"

Gillespie didn't shy away from the charge: "What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie...independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign."

Guthrie acknowledged: "It is true that some of these outsourcing allegations have been disputed by fact-checkers..." Actually, the allegations have been proven false by fact-checkers, not simply "disputed."

Trying to deflect the falsehood of the Obama attacks, Guthrie attempted to undermine Romney's record as a job-creator at Bain: "...the outsourcing happened after Romney left day-to-day control of Bain Capital....if that's going to be the line of demarcation, should Romney not take credit for jobs created by Bain after that point in 1999 when he gave up day-to-day control?"

Gillespie explained:

...it is true that jobs were created at places like Staples, Sports Authority, and others, that have resulted in thousands of Americans today being in a job. And the fact is, those companies are successful because of the investments that Bain made in them. But to say that, you know, moving jobs overseas, when it didn't happen while Governor Romney was the CEO of Bain, patently false and Americans have the right to know that.

Gillespie also made sure to point out President Obama's factual record of outsourcing: "...under President Obama we've seen outsourcing from our stimulus dollars, millions of dollars going to create jobs in Finland, in Denmark, in China. So, when you're looking at real facts, the facts are President Obama is the outsourcer-in-chief..."

Guthrie bristled at that charge as she wrapped up the segment: "Well, to be continued for sure. I know that's an allegation the Obama campaign likewise disputes, but we'll continue it another day."


Here is a portion of the July 12 interview:

7:16AM ET

(...)

GUTHRIE: Ed, I want to get to a new ad that your campaign is putting out today, that responds to President Obama's campaign's allegations that Bain Capital – which Romney of course headed up for many, many years – outsourced jobs. Here's a portion of the ad from the Romney campaign today.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [ROMNEY AD NARRATOR]: When a president doesn't tell the truth, how can we trust him to lead? The Obama outsourcing attacks, "misleading, unfair and untrue." There was "no evidence" that Mitt Romney shipped jobs overseas.

GUTHRIE: Ed, before we get into the specifics of the charge, let's just ask you point-blank, is – are you calling the President a liar?

GILLESPIE: What we're saying, Savannah, is that this ad that has been running saying that Governor Romney as CEO of Bain Capital moved American jobs overseas is a lie. If you look at – that's based on numerous independent fact-checking – independent fact-checking organizations. Just three yesterday came out and said there's no evidence to support the charges in this campaign. There's another ad running in northern Virginia by the Obama campaign which completely misrepresents Governor Romney's views on the issue of life.

We have an obligation as a campaign to make sure that when voters vote, they vote based on true information, that they have accurate information on which to base their vote, and right now these – the Obama campaign ads have been shown to be demonstrably false and that's a – you know, those – that's another way of saying a lie, obviously.

GUTHRIE: It is true that some of these outsourcing allegations have been disputed by fact-checkers, saying that these – the outsourcing happened after Romney left day-to-day control of Bain Capital. I guess my question to you is, if that's going to be the line of demarcation, should Romney not take credit for jobs created by Bain after that point in 1999 when he gave up day-to-day control?

GILLESPIE: Well, look, Savannah, the – as you noted, and that is the – you know, one of the central reasons why the ad is false, is that he didn't have control and didn't, you know, shut down jobs. In fact, all of the companies cited in that Washington Post article that while Governor Romney was CEO of Bain added jobs in the United States, created jobs. And it is true that jobs were created at places like Staples, Sports Authority, and others, that have resulted in thousands of Americans today being in a job. And the fact is, those companies are successful because of the investments that Bain made in them. But to say that, you know, moving jobs overseas, when it didn't happen while Governor Romney was the CEO of Bain, patently false and Americans have the right to know that.

By the way, it is true, as we know, that under President Obama we've seen outsourcing from our stimulus dollars, millions of dollars going to create jobs in Finland, in Denmark, in China. So, when you're looking at real facts, the facts are President Obama is the outsourcer-in-chief and Governor Romney, while he was at Bain, did not move jobs overseas.

GUTHRIE: Well, to be continued for sure. I know that's an allegation the Obama campaign likewise disputes, but we'll continue it another day. Ed Gillespie, thank you.

MATT LAUER: And by the way, speaking-

GILLESPIE: Thank you, Savannah.

LAUER: Pardon me, Ed. Speaking of politics, Savannah tomorrow on Today, you will sit down with former President Bill Clinton to talk about the presidential race, the state of the economy, and his upcoming trip to Africa.

GUTHRIE: Lots to talk about.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC