Washington Post declines Romney request to retract article on Bain Capital

A spokesperson for The Washington Post said Wednesday the newspaper would not be retracting a controversial report about Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital despite a request from the candidate’s campaign.

The announcement came after members of Romney’s staff met with senior editors in Washington on Wednesday afternoon to ask them to withdraw the article.

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“We will not be issuing a retraction," Post communications director Kris Coratti said, adding she could not discuss additional details of the meeting.

The Romney campaign has declined to comment on the matter.

The article, published earlier this month, found that under Romney's tenure, the venture capital firm he helmed invested in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs.

Before the meeting began, Coratti said editors would seriously weigh the Romney campaign's concerns.

"The editors take complaints seriously and are always willing to listen to concerns and look into them," she noted.

The June 21 story was seized upon by Democrats with President Obama frequently citing it during campaign speeches and his reelection team running ads against Romney on the issue.

Romney's campaign team, however, has argued that the report is misleading. His staff claim the examples cited in the Post story unfairly imply that foreign call centers were opened to avoid paying American workers when, in fact, the foreign call centers were built to service foreign customers, who did not speak English and were buying American products.

“This is a fundamentally flawed story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul in a statement. "Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go. As president, he will implement policies that make it easier and more attractive for companies to create jobs here at home. President Obama's attacks on profit and job creators make it less attractive to create jobs in the U.S.”

But the Obama campaign has maintained that under Romney's tenure, Bain did help fund companies that aided in shipping jobs overseas, and that even the practice of outsourcing domestically meant that wages for middle class Americans were driven down.

The president mocked the Romney team for attempting to draw a distinction during a campaign stop Tuesday in Atlanta.

"There was an article the other day in The Washington Post about how Mr. Romney's former firm — this is what gave him all this amazing success — was a 'pioneer' in offshoring jobs to China and India. And when they were asked about it, some of his advisers explained, no, there's a difference between offshoring and outsourcing," Obama said. "I'm not kidding, that's what they said. Those workers who lost their jobs, they didn't understand the difference."

A memo released Wednesday by former White House aide Bill Burton, who now heads the super-PAC supporting Obama's reelection, called the Romney campaign's response "deceptive, irrelevant and intentionally confusing" and cited numerous examples of firms that, funded by Bain during Romney's tenure, employed foreign workers for manufacturing and call center work.

And there's new evidence the attacks are gaining traction. In a poll released Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, Romney's approval has dipped 10 percentage points in swing states where the Obama campaign has released ads hammering his Bain record. In Quinnipiac polls of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Romney saw double-digit dips among independents asked who would do a better job handling the economy.

— This article was originally posted at 2:13 p.m. and updated at 4:25 p.m.

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