Mitt Romney greets BAE Systems employee Ashley Bournival in Nashua, N.H., Monday, Nov. 21, 2011.
Mitt Romney greets BAE Systems employee Ashley Bournival in Nashua, N.H., Monday, Nov. 21, 2011. Winslow Townson/AP
As Mitt Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor was drawing to an end in 2006, some of his top aides were buying their government-issued computers and hard drives, which was apparently unusual in that state.
Their actions, first reported by the Boston Globe last week, brought criticisms that they should have left the hard drives behind and intact. Besides the Romney officials purchase of their hard drives, emails on a Romney administration server, deleted.
As Fred Thys of NPR member station WBUR reported on All Things Considered Romney over the weekend sought to put the actions by his aides in the best possible light. From Fred's radio report:
ROMNEY: "What I can tell you is that under Massachusetts law, there is no provision asking either the governor's office or the legislature to provide any information for the archives. We voluntarily decided to do something which is not required by law."
FRED: "State law actually does require that governors turn over paper documents to the archives. Romney says his administration turned over 700 boxes of documents.
"State law also requires that electronic documents be printed and turned over before they're deleted. According to 2 sources, aides to Romney told state officials they had printed their emails before deleting them. But questions remain about whether hard copies of all emails were turned over. Romney says he did nothing different from any of his predecessors."
ROMNEY: "I don't believe there's ever been an administration that says: 'Let's give you our computer files and emails.' I don't think any Republican administration, well, any prior governor has done something of that nature, and why is that? Well, I guess different reasons for different people. They may have personal information on there, medical records. They may have resumes for people who have applied for jobs."
FRED: "But before Romney, no governor's aides ever asked to buy back their hard drives. In response to the revelations, the Romney campaign has filed a public records request for communications between the staff of Romney's Democratic successor — Deval Patrick — and President Obama's re-election campaign."
In other words, Romney's campaign tried to change the storyline by raising suspicions that the Globe was used by Patrick, a strong Obama ally, as a tool to damage the Republican frontrunner.