Video: Romney Advisor Ed Gillespie Claims Mitt Romney 'Retroactively' Retired in 1999

| by Michael Allen

President Obama told WAVY-TV on Sunday that he would not apologize, when asked if he would honor Mitt Romney's request for an apology about his campaign's comments about Romney's controversial time at Bain Capital.

The Obama campaign suggested that Romney either lied to voters or broke the law when he said he retired from Bain in 1999, even though Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents listed him as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” until 2002.

Appearing on CNN on Sunday (video below), Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser for Mitt Romney, defended his candidate: "He’s not a felon. That’s what this campaign on the Obama side was reduced to."

CNN host Candy Crowley asked Gillespie how he could explain a 1999 news release from Bain that announced Romney had taken “a part-time leave of absence” from the company, but did not say that he had retired.

Gillespie answered: “He took a leave of absence from his company to go save the Olympics. There may have been thought at the time that it could be part time. It was not part time. The Olympics was in a shambles. There was corruption.”

“He took a leave of absence and in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.”

Until a series of last-minute interviews on Friday of last week, Romney had stood by the claim that he “retired” from Bain in 1999.