Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie muddied the waters further while trying to clear up the question of when Mitt really left Bain Capital. "There may have been a thought at the time that it could be part-time," Gillespie told CBS' Face the Nation when asked about Romney's 1999 departure from the firm to run the Salt Lake City Olympics. "It was not part-time. The Olympics was in a shambles," he said. "He took a leave of absence and in fact he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to 1999 as a result." Political Wire labeled Gillespie's remark "the worst political talking point ever."
Gillespie went on to accuse the Obama campaign of using the Bain issue to deflect attention from the slumping economy, saying it was "sad to see" Obama staffers suggest Romney may have committed a felony by lying to the SEC, notes Business Insider. Senior Obama strategist David Axelrod, appearing on the same show after Gillespie, defended campaign questions about whether Romney shipped jobs overseas while at Bain and as governor of Massachusetts, saying they raised concerns over policies Romney might enact if elected president.