March 7th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
6 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. SD

    Ask CNN who doesn't want the public to know how Ohio voters were flimflammed on NAFTA-GATE, the truth has come out who lied, hmmmm
    please show us the TAX RETURN Hillary i want to know if you benefited from Bush tax cuts

    March 7, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Jessica

    Why isn't the media covering HILLARY's dealing with CANADA AND NAFTA??

    Why isn't the media covering HILLARY's dealing with CANADA AND NAFTA??

    Why isn't the media covering HILLARY's dealing with CANADA AND NAFTA?

    When is the media going to be accountable?
    Who is the media accountable to?

    March 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Gonzalo

    This is what the Obama campaign calls fighting back?! Way to attack her on the issues. This is equivalent to Hilary's plagiarism attacks. Basically a non-issue. Obama and Hillary are both rich do I really care how rich; no. The Obama campaign needs to do better if they plan to win the nomination.

    March 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Americans expectation of the Clintons being open and honest is dillusional, never have been and never will be, they lie their way out of everything. Bill even traded in his law license to avoid impeachment.

    March 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. aimee

    Secrecy, he is talking about secrecy!! What about his lies and deception about the property dealings. Come on folks!! He's a fast talker and he has many hidden secrets. Go to his church website. What is that about. If we had an all white church we would be called racist. Read all about his church.... If this is the biggest skeleton he can find on Clinton... big deal!! Hillary will help your country in the long-run not Obama.

    March 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Dan Hussein Smith, TX

    The truth is, this campaign is already over. We are now just seeing how Obama deals with the media.

    Seems like he's doing quite well.

    Clinton is all drama and no substance.

    March 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. andrew jones

    Game on...Let's take this fight to the Clintons!

    "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," I doubt!

    The Billary Clintons are not honest Americans and I doubt if it's a wise decision to give them a second shot in the white house!

    VOTE OBAMA!!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. spirit of america

    Looks like Obama is getting pretty desperate and clutching for straws. Disclosure works both ways. How about full disclosure of all of Obama's dealings with and donations/benefits from that corporate crook from Chicago on trial now?

    March 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. JAC465

    Why can't people see through her? She is saying and doing anything to get the Clintons back in office. It's more of an ambition rather than fixing what is broken.

    March 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Obama 08

    Now you got it Obama. Keep it up. Next, go after her 35 years of experience claim (maybe a TV spot). We will see the wicked witch shrivel up like she did in the wizard of oz.

    March 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Lioness

    Plouffe and Axelrod tell it like it is. Clinton has NOT been fully vetted. In fact, that was the problem with the Clinton years. Both Bill and Hillary refused to disclose, were secretive, and many times lied.

    Hillary is certainly the most qualified candidate in this respect: secrecy. She is better suited as head of the CIA than as a president accountable to voters. Monster in desguise.

    March 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Mike A

    yet again here is another example of how Obama is a phony. I thought he was the politics of hope and change but you can see hes like the rest of them. How many people actually think that in reality we will be out of Iraq but next year? it's virtually impossible and both Clinton and Obama know this

    March 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Gina

    Why would anyone vote for this meglamaniac? Look it up supporters.

    March 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. jeffrey

    why is it every time the obama camp/ cnn has a bad day they ask for her tax records.....its not sticking guys.....find something else.....shes said by april 15th as she has every year scince shes been in the public eye...they will be public....not before ....and the voters seem to be ok with that...she did win 3 out of 4states after you threw this at her in the debate....and honestly......acording to "THE RULES ".....its not require untill she gets the nomination.....

    March 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. JD in AZ

    Is the the new kind of politics we can look forward to? Don't they have better things to do, like maybe convincing more people he's the better choice so he gets enough votes to actually win the nomination?

    The kind of politics I'd like to see is for the candidates to tell me why I should vote for them. I'm tired of hearing why I shouldn't vote for the other ones.

    I'm looking for change, but Obama hasn't convinced me yet that he can deliver it.

    March 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Wei

    Obama can't find an important issue to attack, how lame....
    Don't forget clinton has planned to run for president for years, it's impossible for her to be so careless.

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. HH

    Hillary should be done after losing 12 IN A ROW she should of been gone, as if it was Obama you know he would of been chased out. The media keeps giving her a second chance. GIVE IT UP HILLARY YOU ARE JUST HELPING JONN INSANE. Why dont you just join him INSANE/BILLARY 08. Sounds like an excellent ticket.

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. TJ from Detroit

    Is this the best the Obama camp can do, release her taxes. They should know by now the Clintons know how to hide things if they need to.

    How about attacking her on the issues.

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Justin

    Obama and his campaign people are HYPOCRITES!

    Changing the tone of Washington is what they cry. They want to bring people together. Yet, the Obama campaign manager is questioning Senator Clinton's character and another staffer called her a "monster".

    I know it's been a tough week for them, but that is no way to run a campaign run on changing the tone of Washington. People are learning more and more about how he is not too different from the people with more experience.

    The Obama campaign needs to talk about the issues, his experience, and how those 2 relate to each other rather than questioning someone's integrity. This DIVERSION from the issues is akin to that of the REPUBLICANS and the BUSH ADMINISTRATION.

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. clarity

    Oh, this old gem. Cue the spooky music!

    So every time Clinton calls Obama on messing up, he's going to say 'what about your tax returns'? LOL!

    She's not hiding anything... she's not even obliged to disclose the info until later on in the year.

    He's having so much trouble finding things about her, that he has to try and get the voters to use their imagination!

    Believe and have faith in me, but imagine things about her!

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Gina

    Obama '08

    Get it straight.

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Terry

    since they are created GLOBAL ECONOMY suddenly clintons becoming multi millioners, how can be???

    we need LIE DETECTOR for her

    March 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. D

    I was abt to do that...good Obama did it..

    As a McCain supporter- I am loving it

    March 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. James

    Why won't Hillary release her tax returns? It is a simple process that evokes necessary transparency. Already, a stock deal of Bill Clinton's seems not to be on the up and up. Bill Clinton received 200,000 shares of a worthless stock that an unnamed buyer later paid $700,000 for. The company of the stock Bill Clinton owned appears to be a shell company for the Chinese Government.

    Please CNN, start to vet Ms. Clinton and hold her accountable to the public for not being up and up with the American people.

    March 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Joe Alonzo

    Wow, how about that second-to-last paragraph. "its essential"? "getting there money from"? These quotes came from a conference call, so it was up to the reporter to get the grammar right. Failure.

    March 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13