(Newsroom America) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is demanding an apology from President Barack Obama's campaign after one of his top advisers suggested Romney may be guilty of a felony related to his time at Bain Capital.
Obama campaign adviser and longtime Democratic political operative Stephanie Cutter made the charge following a Boston Globe story published Thursday which that Romney may have remained at the head of Bain in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission years after he said he stepped down in 1999 to head up the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She said Romney was either misrepresenting his position at Bain to the Securities and Exchange Commission, "which is a felony," or misrepresenting to the American people.
The claim led Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades to issue a blistering response.
"President Obama's campaign hit a new low today when one of its senior advisers made a reckless and unsubstantiated charge to reporters about Mitt Romney that was so over the top that it calls into question the integrity of their entire campaign," said Rhodes, in a statement.
"President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds. Campaigns are supposed to be hard fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works," he said.
Earlier in the day the Romney campaign had released an ad questioning Obama's honesty. The television ad, called, "No Evidence," asked the American people if they could "trust him to lead" if he "doesn't tell the truth."
The release which accompanied the ad in an email to reporters also cited Obama's "lies and exaggerations."
The ad hits the Obama campaign over its charges that Romney, while at Bain, was responsible for outsourcing U.S. jobs. The ad's narrator intones, "There was no evidence that Mitt Romney shipped jobs overseas."
Still, the Globe said Romney's name appeared in a Bain Capital filing with the SEC in February 2001, listing him as the company's "sole shareholder, sole director, chief executive officer and president." It said Romney's "principal occupation" was as Bain's managing director.
Bain has since said Romney did not manage the company after he left to manage the Olympics.
The time frame is important to Romney's campaign because it includes a period in which the company oversaw investments that either created jobs overseas or saw some firms declare bankruptcy.
If he continued to run Bain after 1999, Cutter said, then Romney has not been clear with the American people.
"If that's the case, if he was lying to the American people, then that's a real character and trust issue," she said.
Late Thursday Romney's campaign issued a statement saying from Bain that said Romney "left Bain Capital in February 1999 to run the Olympics and has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure. Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney's departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period."
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