Mitt Romney's campaign aides said on Thursday that they kept the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's visit to a bankrupt company secret because they worried the White House would conspire with local officials to block the event.
CNN's Jim Acosta explained that the trip was "steeped in secrecy and mystery" until reporters were told at the last minute that Romney would be boarding the campaign bus and traveling with them to Solyndra, a San Francisco solar energy company that went bankrupt after receiving over $500 million in government loans.
According to ABC News, Romney's aides were asked if they were being "paranoid" by suggesting that the "Obama administration" would prevent the candidate from visiting the company.
"He is the president," one adviser reportedly replied. "I mean, they could work with town officials to deny us access."
"We knew, if word got out, that Solyndra would do everything in their power, and the Obama administration would do everything in their power, to stop us from having this news conference," the aide insisted.
During the press conference, reporters also asked Romney why the event had been kept a secret.
“I think there are people who don’t want to see this event occur, don’t want to have questions asked about this particular investment," the former Massachusetts governor replied.
DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told Talking Points Memo that the campaign's conspiracy theory was "bizarre."
"I don’t want to use the term ‘weird,’ but I dont know where he would get that idea from," he said.
Another Democratic aide called Romney "delusional."
Republicans have been trying to tie President Barack Obama to the company since it failed in August 2011, but the White House has pointed out that the loan program actually began under President George W. Bush.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)