By Justin Sink
Mitt Romney will give interviews to the three broadcast networks, along with CNN and Fox, on Friday afternoon, as his campaign scrambles to parry questions over his tenure at Bain Capital.
Romney's campaign has struggled to put to rest questions about when that tenure ended, culminating into a snowball effect and detracting from the presumptive GOP nominee's main message, on the economy.
Romney also will likely get questions about his running mate as speculation rises on who his vice presidential nominee will be. Friday's buzz centered on former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice but Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty are said to be among the favorites.
But it's Romney's tenure at Bain Capital that has dominated the news cycle this past week.
New SEC filings reported by the Boston Globe earlier in the week revealed that Romney continued to serve as the company's president and CEO for three years after he left to run the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. While the Romney campaign maintains he was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, the Obama campaign has argued that he should be responsible for the firm's actions — including aiding in the offshoring of American jobs — during that period.
“Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his 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,” said Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter on Thursday. “And if that's the case, if he was lying to the American people, that's a real character and trust issue that the American people need to take seriously.”
On Friday, the Romney campaign said the Obama campaign was "unraveling."
“The Obama campaign has issued these reckless and wild accusations that Mitt Romney is a criminal and a felon. That just simply doesn’t pass the laugh test," the Romney campaign's communications director, Gail Gitcho, told Fox News. "And frankly it just shows us signs of a desperate and unraveling campaign for them to continue along these lines when there have been independent fact-checkers from all over the country who are saying they are running a dishonest attack.”
The interviews will be Romney's first with network newscasts since a June appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation," which was the Republican hopeful's first appearance on a non-Fox News Sunday show this election cycle. Since effectively clinching the nomination, he had only conducted one other network news interview, a sit-down with ABC's Diane Sawyer.
— This story was updated at 2:51 p.m.