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. Justin

    These statements about Hillary sound about right to me.

    March 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. MARIA 2325

    GO HILLARY !!!!. WE TRUST THE CLINTON FOR THEIR HONESTY AND HELPING PEOPLE IN INDONESIA SUNAME

    March 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. Doug in Orlando, Fla

    what a joke obama, every1 has til april 15 to file. or do you live in another world. besides i worry more about people connected to people like toney rezko and rv farekan, who have been racist and crooked. then also there is ayers and connections with terrorists that admittedly bom bed nyc police buildings. come on people wake up. obama speaks with a forked tongue....look at naftagate and now iraggate...wow. i won't sink to his supporters level and ask for him to drop out .....i believe every vote should be heard so i will just say this. jimmy carter said he would change the world and it took years to recover from his change. i am not taking another chance like that....i have 4 kids and there future depends on this vote...it will be for some1 i know will do the job. for my kids sake!!!!

    Hillary 08 12!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  4. CHICANO ART, ARIZONA

    You can feel the hatred Obama supporters have for Hillary. Look, I have not completed my tax returns and they are simple by comparison. If this is the biggest issue Obama can raise, I think his campaign is in trouble.

    Instead of attacking Clinton, why doesn't he explain why he is qualified for the job of president? Why doesn't he explain why he does not think America deserves universal healthcare? Why should we think he can handle crisis?Why does't he have concrete plans? Why does he tell the American people on thing and tell foreigners other things?

    Little Osama is getting silly!
    GO HILLARY

    March 7, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Gina

    Just in case there is any confusion the meglamaniac I'm reffering to is Senator Clinton.

    Obama '08
    Yes We Can
    & We Will....

    March 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Ann

    Clinton is a fraud and a liar. The media got suckered with the NAFTA lie because it was Clinton that went to the Canadians.

    March 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Ron, TX

    Clinton's secrecy is a perfect example of what's wrong with Washington and what needs to change.

    Obama '08!

    March 7, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Darth Vadik, CA

    Secrecy, malice, evilness, gluttony, and the rest of the seven sins.

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

    HOW ABOUT SAYING SOMETHING POSITIVE ABOUT YOURSELF!

    INSTEAD OF NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT SENATOR CLINTON?

    OR IS THERE NOTHING LEFT?

    GO HILLARY WE ARE BEHIND YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Anthony

    I don't care about 20 years of tax returns. I care about the last 6 years when they became rich. Notice how the Clinton Campaign never gives a reason they will not release the previous 6 years of returns. They simply brush over that and say they'll release this years tax returns at the latest possible moment. I don't trust it. There's something shady going on here...

    March 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. yns

    And...how open and honest is Oblahblahblahma being? Isn't he now resorting to the "same old politics" by obcessing on this? And who has to release tax records to get a job?

    March 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Leah, PA

    I wanna hear more about Tony Rezko!

    March 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Eli, SF Bay Area

    I'll say this much, I've been a registered Democract for 35 years and voted for Hil's husband twice I've also held my nose and voted for past impotent Dems....Kerry, Dukakis, etc.

    But given the conduct of Mrs & Mr Clinton during this campaign, I will NEVER....NEVER...vote for Mrs. Clinton. She is absolutely disgraceful!

    If you agree with me, post your comments!

    March 7, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. TomCat

    Yea, let america see your tax returns. I bet 35 mill during feb was from personal friends who are afraid of change in america. I wonder if Billary paid Canada to leak information. Billary did sign the treaty during the 90's. Follow the dots my people.

    March 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. dave

    Is this all Obama's got? Worried about the Clintons' tax returns? He should worry about his Rezko connections because we've just scratch the surface on that issue.

    March 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Diana

    I find it the highest form of a double standard that the media is allowing the Clinton campaign to get away with comparing Obama to Ken Starr, and there's little to no response in the negative. Yet, Obama is being slammed. I'm one of those who won't vote for Hillary no matter what. She's the definition of old, sleazy politics!

    March 7, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Chris DD

    Can someone explain why I should care about her tax return? I dont have to show anyone mine...

    I havent had to bring it to a job interview.

    I dont quite understand.

    March 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. norm

    it makes you wonder why. For the Clintons it is a lose, lose situation. If they release them, there will be a thousand questions, some very valid, and if they do not release them she will have a huge target painted on her chest. Ready, take aim, fire...

    March 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Basquale

    I don't trust this woman! Just look to her reactions when she gets confronted with the tax return questions and you will see she's hiding something.

    March 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Tony Z- MD

    When is Hillary going to realize what you do in the dark comes to light. Stop talking and release the information. Set the example of what Americans should do.

    This is the United States of America and not the Divided States of America.

    March 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Adam Orlando Florida

    Obama's campaign has turned into the very thing it has been attacking everyone else for!! Negative nancy over there needs to go lay down- Mrs. Clinton has over 20 yrs of public record, and has been the first lady of our nation. The very implimentation would suggest that Obama doesnt trust Mrs. Clinton, which is the exact opposite of the Mr. Nice guy he tries to potray to the Media, the People, and on the debates. Im not fooled..

    Hillary Clinton 2008!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. CarrieW

    For a campaign about change, I keep hearing the same old stuff from Obama. She's said she'd release her taxes in April (mine aren't done either) and if she doesn't then you have something to your case of secrecy. Has Obama released his tax return for the past 20 years? The last I knew, he released his 2006 return and that's it.

    Pick a new topic, this one is stale!

    March 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Cathy

    Obama, Old style politics that you say you are against. Shame on you. I guess your word does not mean anything, does it?

    March 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Jeff

    He wants to be the Commander in Chief of the United State of America? Is he a grown man or a little girl? "Show us your tax returns" – believe she said she will do that April 15th. And you are going to show us all your Rezko correspondence when?

    March 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Jules

    Here is the difference. Clinton supporters will cry that they are being negatively attacled. The truth is, she claims to have all this experience by proximity to Bill, but offers no proof whatsoever and claims that's being vetted? Also, she is more than welcome to delay, delay, delay to April 15 for this year's returns, but what about last year's? The year before? 20 years of open tax documents means nothing if the past 5 years contain something worth hiding from the public. If there's nothing to hide, release them. It's that simple. She made having been vetted her argument. Obama is not going negative-he is challenging her to support that argument with actual proof, not-as she would say "just words".

    March 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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