WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel's unsolicited advice to Mitt Romney: "stop whining" about attacks over his tenure at Bain Capital and defend himself.
Emanuel commented Sunday on ABC's "This Week" about the controversy surrounding when presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney left his post as CEO of Bain Capital.
Obama top strategist David Axelrod on CNN's "State of the Union" and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on NBC's "Meet the Press" also raised questions about Romney and Bain--part of an ongoing coordinated attack as the Obama team sees Bain as a key Romney vulnerability.
Durbin said Romney is running away from his time at Bain "like a scalded cat."
In the past days, several news outlets published stories about federal documents Romney signed as chief of Bain, raising questions if he really left the management of his Boston company after he went to Utah in February, 1999 to bail out the Salt Lake City Olympics.
This matters in the 2012 political race between Romney and President Barack Obama because Romney is making his tenure at Bain--not his governorship of Massachusetts--as his main credential for the White House. Democrats have been using Bain against Romney--blaming him for Bain related companies employment of people outside the U.S.--for jobs Democrats argue could have stayed here.
The Romney campaign, on the defensive, said the outsourcing at issue came after Romney left to run the Olympics in 1999. Romney's team strongly disagrees with stories suggesting he did make a clean break. The Boston Globe found Security and Exchanges Commission documents that stated that Romney was the CEO at Bain until 2002.
The latest controversy over when Romney and Bain heated up in the past several days.
Stephanie Cutter, a deputy Obama campaign manager, said in a conference call last week, Romney was either "misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony" or he was "misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."
Said Emanuel to Romney's backers, "give it up about Stephanie. Don't worry about that. What are you going to do when the Chinese leader says something to you or Putin says something to you? Going to whine it away You cannot do that.
"And as Mitt Romney said once to his own Republican colleagues, stop whining. I give him his own advice. Stop whining. Defend -- if you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card to the White House, then defend what happened to Bain Capital and what happened to those jobs that went overseas, those jobs that were actually cut and eliminated, the companies that went into bankruptcy."
Axelrod said on CNN, "If their story is that he was the chairman, president, chief executive and sole shareholder of the company, and took no interest in any of the decisions they made, then they can make that case."