March 6th, 2008
06:25 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama camp: What's Clinton hiding?

 The Obama campaign is taking aim at Clinton over her tax returns.

The Obama campaign is taking aim at Clinton over her tax returns.

(CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign took fresh aim at Hillary Clinton Wednesday for refusing to release her tax returns, asking in a memo circulated to reporters, "What does Clinton have to hide?"

"In the face of her unwillingness to release her tax returns, Hillary Clinton has made the false case in this campaign that she is more electable because she has been fully vetted," the memo stated. "When it comes to her personal finances, Senator Clinton’s refusal to release her taxes returns denies the media and the American people the opportunity to even begin that process."

David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's chief strategist, also said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday that Clinton has a history of non-disclosure and is the least-vetted candidate in the presidential race.

Clinton had said she will only release her tax returns if she captures the Democratic nomination, though her communications director, Howard Wolfson, issued a statement Wednesday indicating she would do so around April 15.

"Over 20 years of the Clintons' tax returns are in the public domain," he said. "Their tax returns since they left the White House will be made available on or around April 15. This information will be in addition to 15 years of uninterrupted public financial disclosure reports."

"Instead of making false attacks, we urge Senator Obama to release all relevant financial and other information related to indicted political fixer Tony Rezko," Wolfson also said.

Obama, who released his 2006 tax returns last April, stepped up his pressure on Clinton to release her documents early last month after it was revealed the New York senator loaned her campaign $5 million.

"I think the American people deserve to know where you get your income from," he said. "I've disclosed my income tax returns. I think we set the bar in terms of transparency and disclosure that has been a consistent theme of my campaign and my career in politics.”

The New York senator did file a Senate disclosure form last May that revealed the Clinton's income for the previous year was upwards of $12 million. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, a tax return would present a more comprehensive account of the Clinton's income, and include revenue sources that aren't required on Senate disclosure forms.

"Though her campaign has tried to kick the issue down the road, Democratic voters deserve to know, right now, why it is she is hiding the information in her tax returns from last year," the Obama memo stated. "The Clinton campaign has said that they have released copious amounts of financial information but there are many questions about their private dealings that could be answered in their tax returns but not in the information that is currently available.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (668 Responses)
  1. Tim

    Faced with many legitimate questions about Senator Obama's long-time relationship with indicted political fixer Tony Rezko, the Obama campaign has chosen to lash out at Senator Clinton.

    Here are the facts:

    Over 20 years of the Clintons' tax returns are in the public domain.

    Their tax returns since they left the White House will be made available on or around April 15.

    This information will be in addition to 15 years of uninterrupted public financial disclosure reports.

    Instead of making false attacks, we urge Senator Obama to release all relevant financial and other information related to indicted political fixer Tony Rezko.

    March 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. cate kennedy

    LET IT GO!!!



    the hot air balloon captained by Barry S. is floating away.....ha! ha! ha!

    March 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. Blair

    Someone said they wanted to see Obama's earmarks but who cares? Hillary Clinton is one of the senate's top 10 earmark recipients, securing more than $340 million worth of home-state projects.

    They both would be fodder for McCain.

    March 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. NY

    For those who love to bring the Paul connection to Clinton here is a note – "An audit by the Federal Elections Commission found that neither Senator Clinton nor her Senate campaign had accepted any illegal funds in connection with the Hollywood fundraiser."

    He donated to her campaign because he was trying to attrack Bill Clinton for Stan Lee Media. Since all the lawsuits against Hillary Clinton were thrown out, he decided to release 13 minute video about her that repackages a series of seven-year-old false claims about Senator Clinton that have already been rejected by the California state courts, the Justice Department, the Federal Election Commission, and the Senate Ethics Committee.

    You should also know that Mr. Paul has a history of criminal activity, and that when Hillary Clinton, having only been around him briefly for fundraising in 2000 found that out, she cut all ties to him and returned the money he donated to her campaign.

    Unlike Senator Obama and his Resko relationship, Senator Clinton didn't know this individual and when she found out about him, she cut all ties with him.

    Obama on the other hand, remained friends with Resko for 20 years.

    March 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  5. LB

    Financial Disclosure Reports
    House and Senate members must file annual financial disclosure reports with the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, respectively, that describe the sources, types and amounts of income they earn. The reports are due May 15 and typically are made available to the public in early June. will be posting annual reports as it obtains and scans them.

    Each disclosure report is available in PDF format.

    2006 reports
    2005 reports

    March 5, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |

    What happened to "I won't go negative" and "I'm taking the high road"?!?

    How about his Rezko connection?

    How about his advisor talking to Canada, and lying about it??

    Hillary has the MO now – oBLAHma can't handle it.



    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Jay

    The Clintons already have 15 years of tax records in the public domain.

    Where are Obama's 15 years of tax records?

    Instead of making personal attacks, Obama needs to release details on his financial dealings with Rezko and his schedule regarding Rezko and Rezko's fundraising for Obama.

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. william

    Why will she not release the particulars surrounding her 5 Million Dollar campaign loan .? Is she above the law or the voters?

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Chris

    Oh my...poor Barack, he is so scared of losing. What a pathetic pot shot.

    Obama you are a political activist, not presidential material.

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. So many questions!

    How can anyone trust her? How can you believe a single word she says? Where did all that Clinton wealth come from? Who does she owe money to? Who will she let decide her policies for the next 4 years if she is elected?

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. John MacDonald

    I was happy that Clinton came on CNN today and explained what she meant by 'experience.' I would love it if Obama would explain what he meant by 'change.' Since his entire campaign is about 'change,' it would be nice if he could give some specifics. I understand that it is easy to talk in generalities, because that way it is easy for people to be inspired by you. If you talk in such a way that people can attribute to you any ideas they like, then you can be quite inspiring. It is alos hard for opponents to attack you and it is hard for people to lose faith in you otherwise because anything you say can be construed to conform to what you want it to conform to. Clinton put her neck on the line today. It would e great if Obama had the courage to do the same. I just hope Obama actually means something by 'change,' and is not just trying to win votes on a completely vacuous platform.

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Bev

    We already know the Clintons will sell us out for a buck; when the tax returns are revealed we'll see how much she got for our interests. Isn't anyone else curious how much she's made and how she made it? I wonder how much a presidential pardon is worth in the Hillary Clinton presidency... Or how much the Lincoln bedroom will rent for in 2009?

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Pho

    Obama was challenging Clinton on experience, Iraq judgement and Tax issues before Tuesday(03/04) and he is still doing that. Obama needs to do some Reality check as he was overconfidently saying "Clintons will fail and opposite happened". He need to change his strategy.

    On experience, Iraq judgement and Tax issues:
    1. If I accept Obama's argument about Clinton on experience, then What does Obama have to offer? Speeches for Hope.

    When will "Church of Obama" understand that they will need to do more?

    With this old petty politics, Obama do not offer anything different from old Washington Politics.

    Obama should take this as a challenge for his judgement and make wise decision instead of chasing something that may not results in anything.

    2. Common Sense tells Hillary would not have entered the presidential race if there was anything to hide in her Tax records as Clintons are quite aware of implications and the boundaries of the Presidency. So, start thinking of "Plan B" in advance to react after the Clintons disclose their tax records or you will start noodling inside that records again and loose focus.

    3. Consider that Voters are ready to see beyond Iraq war.

    – two cents for Obama

    March 5, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Lois in CA

    Look under the bed. Find the hidden agenda. Look in the closet and smell the dirty laundry. Look between your ears, Obama. Is it scary there?

    March 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    As much as I hate to see Obama go negative, I think he has no other recourse considering the attacks the Clinton campaign launched this past week. I think they subjectively played the race card, amongst a host of other rhetorical and slanderous tactics, but it worked as it has for the Clinton's ever since they went public.
    If the next month or so is going to come down to who can go most negative, I'd submit that Clinton will win hands down.
    It's a sad thing actually, that Obama, who stands for peace and prosperity, security for ALL Americans is going to have to body slam Clinton in order to get his fair share.
    I don't complain about the media much, but this past week of drivel reported by CNN and other major news networks in order to bash Obama is despicable. It's obvious the media laid in wait and launched their negative attack against Obama just as it would remain fresh in the voters minds. This act by the media ought to be condemned by all candidates in all parties.

    March 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Mary

    Let's get real!

    Hillary is running on her 'experience' and her 'solution' making abilities.

    As for experience – Why is she unable to find a solution for releasing White House papers from the time she was First Lady? She, on one hand, can she claim her time in the White House qualifies her, and on the other hand refuse to let the public have access to documentation. Is this her hope – if it is out of site, people won't know???!!!

    As for solutions – it is clear that she refuses to find a solution to the continual problem of sharing her tax returns with the American public. In the last debate, she indicated soon and yet, she is hesitating. What is she afraid of? If she has nothing to hide, she should come clean.

    As for experience – She argues that her time in the White House qualifies her. Isn't that kind of like claiming that if are married to and live with a surgeon and even work in the office – you, in turn – are qualified to do surgery. SCARY!!!!!

    Lastly, where can I get a copy of all the lobbyist money she has taken for her campaign? I would like to know who will actually be running the Clinton White House with all this expereince and background and transparency!

    March 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Michael

    Let's see. Why hasn't she released her tax returns and Bill' mercantile connection to Dubai. Could it be because she is a venal woman?

    March 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Felecia

    Are you serious? Obama is the only person who can lead this country in the right direction. Hillary is selfish and is trying to steal this the same way Pres. Bush did last time. I actually respected her before this campaign, but after I have seen her sneaky/nasty tactics, there is no way that I can vote for her. She should be uniting the Democratic Party; instead she's a selfish, self centered, ego-maniac. She's only wants to win. She's not concerned with the people of this country or party.

    March 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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