Day of October Surprises, Part 1: Romney Gave Testimony in Divorce Case

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Wednesday is Double October Surprise Day, with two famous publicity seekers promising juicy revelations related -- Gloria Allred and Donald Trump. We now have a hint of what Allred might reveal. Allred is in Massachusetts for a family court hearing to get Staples founder Tom Stemberg's divorce records unsealed, Time's Mark Halperin reports, and Romney testified in the case to help price Staples stock. Gossip site TMZ reports that "multiple sources" say that in the divorce proceedings, Mitt Romney testified the company was worth little, saying it was "overvalued" and a "dream." Update: Stemberg's ex-wife, Maureen Sullivan Stemberg told the court on Wednesday she does not object to the request to unseal the records, Bloomberg reports.

TMZ is pitching the woman-wrong angle of the story -- that "Romney allegedly lied to help his friend and screw the friend's wife over." (Romney's lawyer, Robert Jones, told Time that the candidate "has no objection to letting the public see that testimony.") But the more interesting part of the story, as least for how it relates to the presidential campaign, is whether Romney really did say Staples was worth little, and that, as TMZ reports he testified, "I didn't place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company's future." Staples is Romney's biggest success story from his Bain Capital days -- Stemberg worked to get Romney elected, speaking at the Republican National Convention. Romney's pitch to Americans is that he's an expert in turning around troubled companies, that he knows how to spot value and helped grow companies that created jobs. So it's interesting, if it's true, that Romney didn't have faith in Staples at some point.

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As for Part II of October Surprise Day, Donald Trump has been promising all week to reveal something huge about President Obama on Twitter and Facebook at noon on Wednesday. His aide denied it has anything to do with Obama's cocaine use in his younger years. But Trump aides did not deny reports that it could be related to the Obamas' marriage. Ed Klein, author of The Amateur, has alleged Michelle Obama had divorce papers drawn up in 2000, when the Obamas went through a tough spot in their marriage after Obama's first and unsuccessful run for office.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.