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The elusive truth about Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital

Mitt Romney's time running Bain Capital has become the focus of charge and counter-charge, raising questions about campaign dishonesty and the candidates' own character as well as calls for apologies.

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Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney spoke in Houston on Tuesday.

Evan Vucci/AP

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His time at Bain Capital seems to have become Mitt Romney’s “what did he know and when did he know it” moment.

To most voters, Mr. Romney’s years as a successful capitalist who became very wealthy is already an established plus or minus. When, exactly, he left the firm he began and ran makes little difference to them.

But in the hard-fisted world of presidential politics, it’s become the focus of charge and counter-charge – raising questions about campaign dishonesty and the candidates’ own character as well as calls for apologies.

Friday, Romney blitzed through five TV interviews to charge that questions raised by the Obama campaign were "ridiculous … beneath the dignity of the presidency and of his campaign."

Still, the questions kept coming about when Romney left Bain Capital, a firm that helped create some jobs while axing others and sending some overseas.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee says he had nothing to do with running Bain after 1999, when he left Boston for Salt Lake City to rescue the scandal-plagued US Olympic organization. Others point to evidence that Romney had a hand in running Bain for the next few years – a politically crucial difference because that was the period when the firm was involved in some domestic job losses.

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