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Justin Ruben

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Two-Faced Mitt

Posted: 10/01/2012 3:48 pm

In recent weeks it's become apparent that Mitt Romney is a man of two faces.

There's the face that Romney tries to wear on the campaign trail, when he portrays himself as someone who would provide all Americans with opportunity. That's the face Romney wore during a recent interview when he assured Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, "My campaign is about the 100%."

But more Americans are catching onto the reality: that's not Mitt Romney's true face. Thanks to the now-notorious leaked fundraiser video and other evidence that's emerged during the campaign, voters are seeing what the real Mitt Romney is actually about: He's not running to be President of the United States, he's running to be President of the 1%. Romney would raid the poor and middle class to transfer more wealth to the wealthiest few -- and that would be a disaster for our economy.

Behind closed doors, in the company of his ultra-rich buddies at a campaign fundraiser, Romney told the truth about how he sees much of the country. The GOP nominee made it very clear that he doesn't think it's his job to care about 47% of Americans. He callously wrote off seniors, students, soldiers, and other Americans who don't pay income taxes as irresponsible "victims" dependent on the government. That's the real Mitt Romney -- the Mitt Romney his campaign is so eager to keep out of view. And the fundraising video is only one example.

His financial disclosure forms are another. In 2011, Romney declared to the public in his federal candidate filings that he stopped playing any role in the operations of Bain Capital after 1999. This is important, because it was after 1999 that Bain was most aggressively involved in outsourcing jobs. It's no surprise that Romney wants us to think he left Bain before that happened, but once again he's not leveling with voters. The truth is that Romney remained the sole shareholder and CEO of Bain Capital well past the date he claims he left. And his failure to report the truth to voters on his financial disclosure form could be a crime -- a violation of the federal False Statements Act -- as MoveOn argued in a 7-page legal analysis we submitted to the Department of Justice last week.

It's another episode that reveals there are two faces of Romney -- the one he wants to show the public, and the real Mitt, who was outsourcing jobs, raiding companies, and laying off workers as CEO of Bain Capital, just so he could line the pockets of his already-rich investors.

There's more. Romney says he's paid an "appropriate" tax rate of 14%, but we know he has hidden millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account and that he invested in shell corporations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But after months of calls for transparency, Romney still refuses to reveal the truth and show the public more than just two years of his tax returns. Romney's father released 12 years of returns when he ran for president. Why won't Romney do the same and come clean? Maybe it's because Romney's tax returns show even more clearly that he is the candidate who would raid the poor and middle class to transfer wealth to the 1%.

Romney's repeated refusal to level with voters and say in public what he says behind closed doors should serve as a huge warning sign to voters. His refusal to disclose the truth about his record at Bain Capital and how he was able to pay a lower tax rate than the median middle class family mean he simply cannot be trusted to lead our country.

We need a president who's clear about where he stands. But in Mitt Romney, we have a candidate with two faces.

 
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