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. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    Great but you needs to bring out the Nafta dealing that her campaign had with Canada and substittuted her name with Obama to mear him and lie to people in Ohio to vote for him

    March 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. You have got to be kidding

    One of the most secretive politicians in America today? Oh please!!! 20 years of hers and Bills tax returns are already out there and she is going to release last years tax returns in April. I trust her more than I do Obama who no one really knows anything about.

    I must say – sound like Obama is going negative – what do think Media? Well I know one thing for sure, Hillary can take the punches and does extremely well under pressure and lies. She has not been PROVEN dishonest.

    March 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Hillary2008

    oh, please...we all know EVERYTHING about Hillary! Perhaps this is the way ob is trying to get the spotlight off him – you know, answering the Rezko thing. Why don't you explain it ob – explain Rezko, how you buy a house $300,000. below market value with a $500,000 plus garden for free? And Hillary don't release a thing!

    I advise ob to start concentrating on what he's going to say at the Rezko trial when called upon. ob don't waste your energy on Hillary, your gonna need for the trail. And by the way, America already woke up from the "hope" dream – we see right through ob. And it ain't looking pretty!

    March 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Hillary and the PETER PAUL SCANDAL

    Would Hillary be making such a big deal about FL and MI if she were in the lead??? Noooooo!!!! Why weren’t they in such an uproar BEFORE the primaries and broke the rules? I’ll tell you why. They (HRC campaign) NEVER thought they would be where they are at today, which is obvious based on their lack of planning past super Tuesday!!! Hillary, we don’t live in a monarchy and you are not destined for a coronation. The best solution I've heard so far is to just split the FL and MI delegates so they can be seated at the convention.

    Now, stop whining and explain yourself about the FRAUD surrounding your NY Senate campaign and PETER PAUL, release your TAX RETURNS, release your White House papers while first lady AND explain Wellesley college thesis paper you wrote when you were a Republican that Bill had SEALED! What’s in that paper you don’t want us to see?

    Again: WHAT ARE YOU HIDING???

    CNN, if you don’t want to report on this, fine… it’s just a matter of time before either the OBAMA camp or a “real” news network brings worldwide attention to these things…

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

    They said that Bill and Hillary Clinton’s tax returns (over 20 years) are already public, but what about the last six or eight years, the tax return would include revenue sources for example Dubai, Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia…etc it will be interesting to see the list of the group funding her. The public need to know about the resources now and not till April 15.

    March 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. honest

    This is the reason why we were all baffled by the state of OHIO for blindly voting for this secretive MONSTER!!!!!!!!

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

    Much as the Obama campaign has been very positive, on message, and well-run, it appears they will have to change strategy a little bit, and destroy the credibility of Hillary Clinton to move to the next stage...unfortunate but true, that's the way politics has to be played, and with an electorate that is largely lazy and not prone to thiking for itself...if people really tried to find the truth, she should be nailed on one of about 500 different things, but in a sweet gentle way so that she cannot claim to be victim...she is a an absolute disgrace for the first woman with a chance to be president....I would LOVE for a woman to run this country, just not this one... it is also disgraceful that Clinton has yet to release her tax returns as all other candidates for president have...I thought she had promised she would do so in the last election debate "very shortly"...I guess that depends on what the meaning of the phrase "very shortly" is!!

    March 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Las Mascaras de la Nada

    Panic in the chicken house! So much for HOPE, CHANGE and INSPIRATION from this sham movement. I don't exactly remember the whole bible verse by verse but I bet the first Jesus didn't solicit tax records. The tide has turned and this sounds like desperation from Plouffie and Barry O. (aka The Macarena Man).

    March 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. SC Native

    I am tired of Obama asking for The Clinton's Tax returns. What does that have to do with the presidency? NOTHING! Obama need to get off of that kick. Most wealthy people don't file taxes until April 15th. What about Rezko? Obama needs to sweep from around his porch before he tries to sweep from around Hillary's porch. Hillary life is an open book. Obama life is a closed book.

    March 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Sara, Wisconsin

    If you have nothing to hide and are running for high public office, transparency is VERY important.
    Hillary's refusal to give straight answers, disclose her records, give details on her resume makes her less than ideal campaign.
    Twisted statements, deceit, poor behavior – yes, a monster who stops at nothing.
    I commend Samantha Power for her honesty and courage.

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

    I want someone trustworthy as my President.

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. Brian

    A few slim victories on Mar. 4 (she will have netted about 8 more delegates on the day) does not bring her anywhere close to earning the nomination.

    Obama – More states won.

    Obama – More delegates won.

    Obama – More popular vote won.

    Obama – More honest, dignified, accountable, capable of bringing real hope and change to America, ready to lead one day one, and right on our domestic and foreign policy.

    Hillary Clinton is driven only by her greed and personal ambition. Don't believe her lies and spin.

    OBAMA '08!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. concern citizen

    I don't understand how Obama is being negative for speaking the truth. However, when Hilliary goes negative and tells untruth her supporters and the media congratulate her for being tuff on Obama. Why can't she be held to the same standards as all of the other candidates? Begin questioning her so called experience and interactions with people who have been engage in fradualent activities and not just take her word for her. Her word and her actions are very different. You right Hilliary, actions do speak louder than words.

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. GF

    Looks like Obama is conjuring up stuff to take away from the big headline today... his advisor calling Clinton a "monster"..
    Shame on you, Obama! Shame on you!

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Benjamin

    Spelling, CNN? Is it that hard? How about mechanics? "its essential to know where the American people are getting there money from." There are so many things wrong with that sentence.

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. Eric

    More negative attacks from the Obama campaign. Seems like he IS the Washington politician he said he wasn't. Shame on you! Drop out now Obama before you ruin it for the Democrats and take your big ego with you!

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. norvef

    Haley: Obama is not going negative he is just questioning the truth that the Clintons are hiding

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Jacque Bauer

    The only thing worse than a Monster is a Secret Monster! It's really bad news when you don't know what Clintzilla is doing and when it may decide to sneak up on you ... and then WHAM! you're Fosterized!

    March 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. LadyLeo

    I don't think Obama is going negative, voters deserves to know. I agree she must have something to hide.

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. SC Voter

    It sounds like Obama is running scared, and rather than discuss important issues where he can't shine, he would rather use distraction with insignificant trivia for talking points. Why else would he go off-topic, if it's not to his advantage.

    I recall Hillary saying that these items are in the works, and will be released when they are ready.

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. joe

    HOW ABOUT REZKO? ANSWER THE SIX QUESTIONS THAT

    CHICAGO SUN TIMES HAS ASKED OBAMA IN THE PAPER AND HE

    STILL REFUSE TO ANSWER...THE PAPER EVEN PROVIDED

    THEIR PHONE NUMBER ON THE HEADLINE

    STILL NO ANSWER

    HILLARY 08

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. Clinton for President!

    The Obama camp is desperate, no doubt. Is this the only tactic they can come up with? Pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Obama had a bad week because of his mistakes and the mistakes of his economic adviser (Goolsbee) and two of his foreign affairs advisers (Rice and Power). Gollsbee, Rice, Power et al gave Obama a week filled with wonderfully negative ratings.

    Obama's supportors love to wave the sign of change but they bring with it a constant rush of hate and negativity towards Clinton and her supporters.

    Clinton is on top and has Obama crazy trying to find his mojo. Problem is that he has lost it.

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Angela

    Do you people honestly, honestly think that if there was something there so incriminating that she would be running for office? That if there was something there so outrageous that would sink her campaign that she would even bother?

    All you conspiracy theorists need to take your medication. Won't you feel a bit stupid when there turns out to be nothing? Probably not – you will find something else to gripe about......

    Nice try Obama – guess you are going negative too. Which is ok in politics – but don't stand up and say negative is bad.

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. kroses

    Those tax returns may not be "required" on Senate disclosure forms, I do not know, but they certainly should be required for full disclosure to the American people for the presidency! That is a different standard than the senate, and Clinton has been far too secretive in her financial dealings, as has been her husband! She has critized Senator Obama about everything, including the "kitchen sink!" Obama has been restrained in his criticism of Clinton, but this is fair game! What is she trying to hide, anyway?

    March 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. MCNEIL

    GET A GRIP OBAMA CAMP.........SHOULDN'T YOU BE WORRYING ABOUT THE ISSUES OF YOUR COUNTRY AND NOT SOMEONES TAXES.............. YOUR COUNTRY IS IN TURMOIL AND YOU WORRY ABOUT TAXES..........PEOPLE ARE LOSING JOBS AND YOU WORRY ABOUT TAXES............ PEOPLE ARE LOSING THERE HOMES AND YOU WORRY ABOUT TAXES......YOU HAVE A WAR IN IRAQ AND YOU WORRY ABOUT TAXES......I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT I WON'T.... FORGET ABOUT TAXES AND COME DOWN TO EARTH AND WORRY ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR COUNTRYAND TO THE PEOPLE IN YOUR COUNTRY.........I AM PROUD TO BE A CANADIAN AND HOPE SOME DAY THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES GET TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS WE HAVE IN CANADA.........

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