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. Arthur-Texas

    The Clintons have been the most scrutinized political figures in American history.
    Obama must be getting desperate to think he can find something wrong in Hillarys tax documnets.Obama has to get used to losing without calling for some investigation somewhere.At this rate Obama may lose my support for vice president under Hillary.
    Finally ,a warning for him,you will never out Clinton the Clintons...

    March 7, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. John

    I can not believe Senator Clintons tactics to attack Senator Obama about the NAFTA issue but she also did the same thing and CNN or any of the other media has not talked about that and many who decided late were influenced with this tactic by the Clintons that made Senator Obama look bad when she was doing the same thing but did not get caught so her secretiveness is no different then President Bush and VP Cheney administration..

    March 7, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. After further review,Texas

    She should dump Carville if anyone.He will scorch the earth she walks on and lose for sure.I dont like her,shes an emoticon and a Scorpio to boot.

    March 7, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. David, Silver Spring, MD

    I hope the Obama campaign finds a way to be dismissive of Clinton attacks rather than use the same tactics against her. I would rather they fight fire with water than fight fire with fire.

    For instance, Clinton attacks Obama saying that he's disingenuous about getting out of Iraq. Obama should say, "That's just silly. No reasonable person would commit to a plan of action no matter what the situation. Of course I'll talk with our military leaders to ensure we have the best strategy for withdrawal. As Commander in Chief I'm not going to act rashly and expose our soldiers to harm unnecessarily. To do so would be as unwise as Hillary Clinton's vote to start this war.

    March 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Jay, NY

    The ignorance of Obama supporters never ceases to amaze me. As far as Paul vs. Clinton if you guys would bother to read instead of following the Pied Piper into LaLa Land you would know that Hillary Clinton was dismissed as a codefendent in that case in January of 2008. Not to mention the fact that this is not a federal indictment, this is a civil case meaning there is no jail time involved. There is no federal indictment because there was not enough evidence for that to happen. For all of you who have been distracted by speeches, go out there and learn the facts that have been evolving over the last few months while you were distracted....you will find you missed a lot!

    March 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Patrick

    Hillary is going to do anything and say anything she can to win. She doesn't seem to care what Americans think. The constant attacks on Obama really need to stop if she wants to look like anything other than a MONSTER.

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

    What Clinton talked about are real issues: Iraq, NAFTA...... April 15th is more than one month away. I do not see any problem for not releasing her tax returns now. Talk real issues, please.

    March 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Tiffany

    How is asking for her tax returns negative?

    If she is lending her campaign money she should disclose where that money came from.

    March 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Abm Habibullah

    Hillary is destroying DNC using negative campaign. She will never get my vote, thats for sure. She is such a disgraceful person who will not hesitate to use her own mysery to win. Although she is not a monster, but is not exactly a decent person. I will in no condition voe for her. PERIOD.

    March 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Jon

    Why is asking her not to be secretive "negative"?

    Why would you rather insult Obama than request tax returns from Hillary? Are you afraid of the truth?

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Chad

    She has until April 15th. Who cares!! I'm an obama support, but all this whining over these non issues is making me take a 2nd look at McCain

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

    So, if there isn't anything to hide.....why on earth don't they just release them? IF there is nothing to hide–releasing them would definitively show that there REALLY IS NOTHING TO HIDE!

    The democrats are spending valuable time and dollars doing the republican's job for them...trying to ruin democrats!! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, McCain is sitting back, waiting to see whether there's even anything left for him to do when the dust settles! And, it's entirely possible the democrats will have totally eliminated themselves from the race by the negativity and bickering.

    Mr. and Mrs. Clinton need to do the right thing for the democratic party and release the records immediately. If we can see them after April then there should be no reason why we can't see them immediately. If they won't release them, one has to wonder what they are hiding.

    As my dear sweet grandmother said, "if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." Mr. and Mrs. Clinton–all you have to do is release the records and you can prove that you have nothing to hide! On the other hand, if you don't release them .....

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Ilene, Livonia MI

    She said in the last debate she was waiting on the White House. When they (the White House) released a statement the very next day saying she hadn't even asked them yet it's time for a new lie.
    I don't understand why she still has supporters. Of course, I don't understand why Brittney Spears has fans. I guess it takes all kinds.

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Yankee Dog

    Billary will do whatever it takes to get back in power. Wake up America. She does not care about us. She and Bill are the biggest actors on the political stage. They will say anything, do anything, and destroy anyone to get in power.

    Obama will have to go much more negative to match the Clinton's negative churning machine if he is to pull this off. What a shame for all us Democrats and a shame for the country. She will tear it all down if she can't have her way!

    Wake up America.

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Kona

    To: Michigan uncommitted voter:

    "President Clinton and his political mobsters promised the Presidency to her for staying with him through all of his misdeeds."

    Amen.

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. I LOVE AMERICA

    I cannot understand that lady.

    We need explanation from the Clintons about their involvement in fraudulent doing with PETER PAUL. I have watched the DVD (Hillary UNCENSORED) I can't believe what I have seen. We need explanation; we need to know any individual who's looking forward to being our next president. We can no longer accept liars or people without moral values to be pour president, it is unacceptable!

    Please inform us now because we can't afford losing another election to the republicans in November.

    Thank you!!
    Hello all democrats
    We need you to pay attention to that matter. Why are the republicans fighting for us now?

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    I sincerly hope that the democratic party is able to unite in november, and I wish clinton did not bring it to this!

    STOP THE HATE, VOTE OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Colie Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    If she's got nothing to hide, why not disclose her tax return and illustrate all the morally ethical investments and transactions she has engaged in?

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. JAMES R, WYOMING

    I guess the only thing Obama can pound on Sen. Clinton is her
    tax which she doesn't have to do it. Meanwhile, Obama's camp
    calling her "MONSTER", Obama's involvement with indicted REZKO,
    PLAGRIARISM, his Flip-flopping on IRAQ and NAFTA, his questionable PATRIOTISM and all other things puts him as the worst
    Democratic candidate ever ran for President. My God, I am scared what this man will do when he answers that 3 a.m. phone call! We might as well keep BUSH in office! Elect Hillary and we don't have to worry about any of these things!

    March 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Jessica

    This will never get posted.. but here goes..

    Why hasn't the media covered the fact that CLINTON MADE TO CALL TO CANADA ABOUT NAFTA? It is all over Canadian news.

    Why isn't that front page news in the USA. This is IRRESPONSIBLE journalism.

    I have come to expect gutter politics from Clinton, but i am so so so disappointed in the media on this one.

    You are doing an injustice to the American people.

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Chris from Ohio

    Why is she waiting until the April 15 which is the deadline for 2007 taxes. The questions are about 2006 taxes. It makes you wonder what she is hiding. If money is coming from a certain "source", that "source" may want something in return.

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. I LOVE AMERICA

    We need explanation from the Clintons about their involvement in fraudulent doing with PETER PAUL. I have watched the DVD (Hillary UNCENSORED) I can't believe what I have seen. We need explanation; we need to know any individual who's looking forward to being our next president. We can no longer accept liars or people without moral values to be our president, it is unacceptable!

    Please inform us now because we can't afford losing another election to the republicans in November.

    Thank you!!
    Hello all democrats
    We need you to pay attention to that matter. Why are the republicans fighting for us now?

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. George in OH

    Well, that's the new politics and high road Obama is promising, I see what he means.

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. BNS

    Obama is falling for an old trick. Clinton can keep this story going for a week or two, let Obama become screamy for her tax return, release it and, when nothing is wrong, Obama not only looks like a fool, but has wasted 2 weeks focused on something insignificant - something that matters not at all.

    Why would anyone think that the Clintons have anything in their tax returns that would be of any harm to them? They have been planning this campaign for ages. Anything untoward has long been purged - or never made it into any tax return - and everything will be fine.

    Obama is falling for it, which will show just how much he is not ready for the big time.

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. Matt NC

    What about Tony Rezsco? Wait until all of the details come out about that one. Obama is trying to open a can of worms and will get bitten himself by what actually jumps out of it in the long run. He deserves it. He not the answer. Get Real Obama.

    One young black man's opinion.

    March 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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