March 7th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama camp slams Clinton for secrecy

ALT TEXT

Obama's campaign manager had some sharp words for Clinton Friday (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign stepped up its effort Friday to target Hillary Clinton for delaying the release of her income tax returns, saying the New York senator has a "pattern of secrecy" and has yet to be fully vetted by the American people.

"Senator Clinton is one of the most secretive politicians in America today," Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters. "She has consistently refused to release her tax returns. They have said they are going to release them around [April] 15, but there is no reason why the prior six years of tax returns couldn't be released right now."

Obama's campaign has long criticized Clinton for not releasing her previous tax returns, though it stepped up its attacks earlier this week. In a conference call the morning after Obama lost three out of the four March 4 primary contests, Obama strategist David Axelrod said Clinton is the least-vetted candidate in the presidential field because of her refusal to disclose the documents.

Clinton's Communications Director Howard Wolfson released a statement shortly after the call repeating recent assurances that the New York senator will release last year's tax returns in April. He also said over 20 years of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s tax returns are already public.

Clinton did release a Senate disclosure form last May that revealed the couple’s joint income for the previous year was upwards of $12 million. But a tax return would present a more comprehensive account of the Clintons’ income, and include revenue sources that aren't required on Senate disclosure forms.

"Considering the huge amounts of money they have made in recent years, they've contributed their money to the campaign, some of those relationships financially have been with individuals who have come under quite a bit of scrutiny for possible ethics transgressions, its essential to know where the American people are getting there money from," Plouffe said Thursday.

"If Sen. Clinton is not being open and honest about her tax returns or her experience on the campaign trial, you have to wonder if she'll be open and honest with the American people as president," he added.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Mike Brian PA

    Obama campaign manager, please don’t make you look more stupid in front of the public media.

    We all know Senator Clinton’s tax returns for the past 20 years are public. If you can’t find it, that’s your problem. You need to hire better staff.

    As for her last year’s return, she has all rights to release it until April 15th, she can also file an extension… LOL. I can’t believe you people are sticking around with this issue.

    Please come up with something better!

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Rick

    Oh Hillary was called a monster, shame shame, she is not a monster, she is a person with no integrity nor does she have any consideration for truth and full disclosure. She also has no respect for the American people, if you read her statements its always Me Me Me, not We. She does not want to change she just wants to control and thats the sames as dictating.

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Linda

    People who even THINK she will be open and honest with the American public are delusional!

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. Edi

    And how is a tax return going to help be a better or worse President? Obama, stick with the program or no one will ever believe you. You are sounding like someone from Washington and you hardly have been there!!!

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    When is Billary going to demand Wolfson's resignation for the "Kenneth Starr" comment?

    What about her reverse NAFTAgate? Part of her alleged experience was signing NAFTA! Nice judgement!

    Peter Paul lawsuit? CNN where is the coverage of that?

    What's she hiding in those tax returns?

    Hillary, pls. put aside your ego and do what is right for the country and our party and drop out. Stop tearing our party apart you Republican tool!

    March 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Mercedes

    BY TIME OBAMA AWOKE!!!!!! Hillary MUST show us her income tax papers and her documents from the 8 years she spend in the WH. I personally want to know where those years of real experience came from. If she claims to have so much good judgment than proof it with documents. I'm 36 years old and I voted for her husband in the 90's but it won't happen now. Also, she must release Howard Wolfson from his duties. How dare him compare Obama to Ken Starr. Last of all she has to stop the bs with the McCain has more experience than Obama. He's not a democrates and that is foul.

    March 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Long-term Memory

    "Secretive" is awfully hyperbolic and inflammatory. How about she's reserved (a sign of strength after all the public scrutiny)? How about she's cool and collected (quite a feat after all the public scrutiny)? How about she's aloof (who wouldn't be after all the public scrutiny)? How about private (good for her that she can maintain her private life after all the public scrutiny)?

    And by the way, I don't think she's the one accused of keeping the media at bay or not answering their questions.

    March 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Another half truth.

    Over and over again she has stumbled in debates about the White house files and Her finances. If the people cannot see that she can be transparent than many people can be prepared for the same kind of devisive antics but from a Democratice side. My concern is if she thinks that this is an bad coming from Obama...what will the Republicans do to her. If she wants to shut up the Obama campaign, then release the documents....that includes putting efforts to release the White house files.

    March 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Jon

    Oh my god. Where has David Plouffe been for the last 7 years??? The liar in the Oval Office is the most secretive politician EVER!

    Hillary Clinton has been vetted more than anyone in history and for longer. B.O. is the one that's not been fully vetted.

    What a dolt.

    March 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Joyce

    Clinton should release her taxes ASAP if there is nothing to hide. What's all the secrecy about.

    The public need to know if she is getting money from any of the special interest groups and that will be reviled on the tax return. What about it Hillary the voters want to know.

    March 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    When is Billary going to demand Wolfson's resignation for the "Kenneth Starr" comment?

    What about her reverse NAFTAgate? Part of her alleged experience was signing NAFTA! Nice judgement!

    Peter Paul lawsuit? CNN where is the coverage of that?

    What's she hiding in those tax returns?

    Hillary, pls. put aside your ego and do what is right for the country and our party and drop out. Stop tearing our party apart you Republican tool!

    March 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Frank in Missouri

    Would you guys have a few more Clinton photos ? I think there is still one or two stories in the news ticker without your Clinton's picture on.

    March 7, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. John

    I think that there's something I want to say before people come along and start saying Obama is "just whining"-

    If Obama's whining by saying this, then Clinton is somehow not whining in the article one down from this one? I just can't understand it. It's really very important to know where these people are getting their money. Anyone who knows basic US history will agree.

    March 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Gee, the Clinton's are secretive? That IS a shock. Well, I guess it depends on what your definition of "IS" is.

    March 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. YEA!!!!!

    It's about time! Where is the "fair" news coverage? It's about time the Clinton News Network doesn't fall for her lies and deceit and starts digging up some of this "vetted" candidate's dirt. No tickie, no washie. No tax returns (which are certain to have contributions from all kinds of dirty lobbyists and politicians), no Presidency.

    SHAME ON YOU HILLARY CLINTON!

    March 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Barack Oprah

    When Clen boy get dirty, there is no way to survive.
    When New guy does just like old, there is no way to win.

    He is not only clean enough, but also not dirty enough.
    He is not only new, but also not old.
    The answers is nothing....

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Floridian

    Agreed, but please don't go super-negative, Obama campaign! If you just wait, she will put her foot in it and you will end up winning the nomination anyway because she can't catch your delegate lead.

    Please, just don't screw this up by trying to play her game with her – you can take the high road and win, but don't try to sling mud better than Hillary Clinton. That is one contest you WILL lose. She has "35 years of experience" at getting uglier than you can imagine.

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Llen

    I like how Plouffe has tied "the missing tax returns" argument with Hillary's "experience." Both emphasize problems with transparency and honesty in her campaign.

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. brettjay

    Thank You!!!

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Derrick

    Are you kidding me?! The Obama camp is whining over Clinton's tax returns? Who CARES?!!!

    I only care about my tax returns, not hers! What does knowing the Clinton's tax returns have to prove?

    The Obama camp is SURE TO LOSE if this is all they have!!!!
    We WANT SOLUTIONS, NOT CRY BABIES!!!

    Yes we will!

    Yes we will!!

    Go Hillary 08' 12'

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. pnr

    What would her tax return show?

    Obama shoud get back to his hope and head in the cloud speeches. Didn't he claim to keep to the high road. Does he want to get in the trenches with Hillary?

    She's taken a lot of hits over the years and is still STANDING. She's one tough cookie.

    HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT !!!

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Greg, NY

    Everytime I see a headline here on the ticker I'm reminded of the old Batman show.

    *POW!*

    *SLAM!*

    *WHACK!*

    *POUNCE!*

    *SOCK!*

    March 7, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. CW in Dixie

    She's rich, get over it.

    BO bought a $300.000 house....does this mean he's poor?

    PULEEASE!!!

    March 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Kramer

    Oh, you KNOW she's got secrets! She and Bill have been hiding things from us for decades now. This is why the Republicans want Hillary to win the Democratic nomination. They have a war chest of criminal behavior (impeached Pres for lying under oath to a judge), and numerous questionable relationships that are FAR worse than Rezko (who Obama gave away his donation anyway).
    The Republicans are just HOPING the Dem's hand them Hillary to run against. They know they may not be able to beat Barack Obama, for he's the True Hope of Our Nation!

    March 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Justin

    Oh for crying out loud, I am tired of hearing about the stupid tax returns. If she doesn't release them by April 15th then there will be a problem. If there is something odd or bad in the tax forms it does no good to hold out until April 15th, because she is expected to lose all the contests between now and then until Pennsylvania which is after April 15th. So if there was something bad in them then it will damage her in Pennsylvania. What is the big deal? Its not like she can change them between now and then. This is just another attack from the Obama camp just as the recent comments by Obama's advisor Power were an attack from the Clinton camp.

    March 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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