"Retroactively" is a word that might haunt Mitt Romney for some time.

The Republican nominee has been railing against President Obama's campaign ads, calling Obama's assertion that Romney lied about his time at Bain Capital "false and deceptive and dishonest."

The ads, however, are based on the Boston Globe's findings that Romney owned 100 percent of the company through 2002, despite his claim that he left in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympics. Romney insists that despite the SEC filings, he was not playing any management role in Bain Capital after 1999.

Today Romney's senior adviser Ed Gillespie went on CNN's State of the Union to try to clear things up. Instead, he likely made everything worse for the Romney campaign. As he explained to host Candy Crowley—

There may have been a thought at the time that [Romney's leave of absence from Bain Capital] could be part-time. It was not part-time. The Olympics was in a shambles. The International Olympic Committee was going to pull the Olympics from the United States of America, which would have been a huge embarrassment. He took a leave of absence and in fact, ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February 1999 as a result.

Wait, what? The concept of "retroactive retirement" is confusing, to say the least. Some are calling it, "the worst talking point ever."

But there's no ignoring Bain Capital either: the Obama campaign's attacks have increased in past days, now that government documents show that Romney was listed as owner of the company during its time of bankruptcies and outsourcing jobs.

On NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Dick Durbin had harsh words for the way Romney is trying to distance himself from Bain Capital.

Why is Mitt Romney running away from his company, Bain Capital, like a scalded cat? Because there's abundant evidence that under Bain Capital they were exporting American jobs to low-wage countries and he doesn't want to be associated with it.

He may not want to be associated with outsourcing, but Romney probably doesn't want to be associated with the confounding phrase "retired retroactively" either.

[Image via AP]