Senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie is happy to clear all this Bain stuff up, right here and now:

Gillespie on Sunday sought to clarify the matter, saying that Romney initially thought he would be leaving Bain on a temporary basis, but the challenges of the Olympics led him to “retire retroactively.

"There may have been a thought at the time that it could be part time, but it was not part time," Gillespie said.

"He took a leave of absence and in fact he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to 1999 as a result," he added. "He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City and help a country he loves more, and somehow Chicago… is trying to make it something sinister."

See? It all makes sense now. Or, no. Wait. In fact, Gillespie just made it twenty million times worse by inserting a wishy-washy nonsense phrase into the conversation that can be easily mocked. "#retroactively" is now trending on Twitter:

Fun-loving Romney-bashing aside, Gillespie's statements don't clear anything up. What about Romney's claims, under oath, that he traveled to Massachusetts to do Bain business during that three-year gap? Did those trips retroactively not happen? Did those SEC filings cease to exist? Did all Bain's layoffs from that time somehow get recalled? I bet the folks whose jobs got outsourced would be excited to hear they're retroactively getting paid for those years.