Face in the News: Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden, Rep. Paul Ryan, and more

This Sunday on Face the Nation, the Obama campaign's Stephanie Cutter faced off against the Romney campaign's Kevin Madden in a heated discussion over recent attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure with Bain Capital.

Romney's role at the private equity firm was challenged after reports of Securities and Exchange Commission filings and financial disclosure documents suggested his responsibilities may have extended beyond 1999 even though he left the company to take charge of the ailing Salt Lake City Olympics.

The documents suggest Romney remained the chief executive of Bain Capital from 1999 to 2002, the same time period in which critics claim his company supported layoffs and outsourcing. 

"If you're signing an SEC document with your own signature that you're the president, CEO, chairman of the board and 100 percent owner of a company, in what world are you living in that you're not in charge?" Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, said.

Cutter sparked the conversation on Romney's time with the private equity firm when she said in a conference call on Thursday that he is either "misrepresenting his own position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments." She stood by her remarks on the show.

"No one is suggesting Mitt Romney isn't following the law, that's not what this discussion is about," she said. "This discussion is about transparency and showing the American people what your perspective is and what judgments you're going to make as president."

Kevin Madden, Romney campaign senior adviser, said it was "troubling" that the Obama campaign would label an "honorable" man as a felon. 

"You have one candidate who is talking about the economy, what he wants to do to move the country forward...and that candidate is Governor Romney," Madden said. "And then you have President Obama, who at this time of very tough economic struggles, is telling the American public that the one thing that they need to be worried about...are what's in Governor Romney's financial disclosures."

(Watch Cutter and Madden debate about the Bain attacks.)

Cutter also advised the Romney campaign to "stop whining."

"It's interesting, just a few months ago in the Republican primary, Mitt Romney said to his opponents, who he was crushing at the time, 'stop whining'. And I think that's a good message for the Romney campaign," Cutter said. "Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, why don't you just put the facts out there and let people decide, rather than trying to hide them."

As a matter of transparency, Cutter said that Romney should release more than one year of tax returns, to which Madden responded that he has released "above and beyond" what is required by law.


Rep. Paul Ryan also commented on Romney's recent attacks on his role at Bain Capital.

"People are not worried about the details as to when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to save the Olympics or the details about of his assets which are managed by a blind trust, for Pete's sake," Ryan said. "They're worried about their jobs and their families' future."

(Watch Ryan talk more about President Obama and the veepstakes.)

Ryan, a potential Romney running mate, said that President Obama has not lived up to the potential of his 2008 campaign slogan, "This is not the candidate of hope and change, this is a candidate who is hoping to change the subject."

 (Read more on Ryan's remarks in The Kansas City Star, Reuters, The Washington Post, and UPI)

And take a look at the politics panel where the panelists debate whether Obama campaign's recent Bain attacks indicate a rise in vicious politics.

Don't miss the economy roundtable where Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said that the Obama and Romney campaigns should not anticipate major changes with the economy by November. 

"The economy on Election Day will feel pretty much like it does today," Zandi said. He predicted that the November unemployment rate would remain around 8 percent. Robert Reich, former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, said to take caution about predictions. "Economic forecasters exist to make astrologers look good," Reich said.

In case you missed it last week, check out the latest Google Hangout with Norah O 'Donnell on the importance of women voters in the 2012 presidential election.

Watch the full episode of Face the Nation
  • Lauren Hoenemeyer

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