Gibbs blasts Romney for overseas accounts
July 8th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
2 years ago

Gibbs blasts Romney for overseas accounts

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's campaign adviser Robert Gibbs continued to hammer Mitt Romney on Sunday over questions about the candidate's overseas financial accounts.

Gibbs, however, stopped short of saying whether Romney was in violation of any tax evasion laws, saying "nobody knows."

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"The best way to figure out if he is complying with American tax law is to have him release more of the tax returns," the former White House press secretary said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Gibbs linked Romney's reported offshore investments in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to his history as a private equity CEO, painting the candidate as out of touch and too eager to place money overseas rather than in America.

"I pick a bank because there's an ATM near my home," Gibbs told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Romney had a bank account in Switzerland."

While Obama's campaign urges the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to release more tax returns, Romney's campaign points to the two-years' worth the candidate released earlier this year.

However, Gibbs said it wasn't enough.

"This is a guy whose slogan is 'Believe in America,' and it should be 'business in Bermuda.' And that is what he is all about."

Obama's campaign has also been forcefully pushing a Washington Post report that calls Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, a "pioneer" in outsourcing jobs overseas. The campaign has made the report a focal point of its ads against Romney, and the president frequently mentions it in his stump speeches.

Romney's campaign, however, has said there is no evidence that Bain advised its companies to outsource while Romney was still in charge of the firm, which he left in 1999.

The campaign cites a detailed report by FactCheck.org, a nonpartisan group affiliated with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, that said the Obama ads carried some claims that were untrue, and other assertions that only had thin supporting evidence.

FactCheck's report acknowledged that Bain was involved in "some companies that helped other companies outsource work and that some of that work went overseas," but questioned whether those companies could be linked to Romney.

The FactCheck report concluded: "We found no evidence to support the claim that Romney - while he was still running Bain Capital - shipped American jobs overseas."

Obama's campaign, however, has repeatedly hit back by again bringing up the Washington Post story.

Pressed Sunday on why the campaign continues to use the Bain offense, despite some Democratic pushback and disputes by fact-checking groups, Gibbs said it was "important."

"The reason that we'll keep talking about this is - this is important. Are we going to create jobs here in America, are we going to bring them back from overseas, are we going to do away with tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas?" he said. "Or are we going to invest in manufacturing here in this country?"

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Harkers

    In the worst of economical times Obama has proven himself to be the worst POTUS for the job. Hell I voted for his hope and change BS. When a president fails all you have LEFT is to replace him and try someone new. If we reward failures AMERICA FAILS. We failed America in 2004 BUT DON'T DOUBLE DOWN ON STUPID AGAIN AS WE DID WITH BUSH. Obama got it partially right HOPE CAN'T COME WITHOUT CHANGE!!!

    July 8, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Jerry from Dallas

    Romney lucks basic aspect of patriotism. To reward him with presidency is to recomend similar tax evasion behavior, outsourcing American jobs and spreading lies. Presidents or senior leaders like him should lead by example. I feel betrayed by my own party!! Consequently, my family and I may close eyes and vote Demo this time. WE CAN'T TRUST ROMNEY.

    July 8, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. You Heard it worst on CNN

    If Obama wasn't so well known for telling a lie every time he opens his mouth the whole attack on Romney's Bain history might actually influence someone. Obama would have this election in the bag if he would just keep his mouth shut and let Mitt go on and ruin his own campaign. Honestly, who cares about Mitt's off shore accounts? Super pacs gave us both of these clowns in the first place. Foreign money has more say on who gets to be the president of the United States of America than the American people do.

    July 8, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney campaign off the track

    Driver for Jet Ski: Out of touch
    Overseas bank accounts with top secret code: Out of touch
    Repealing his own health care blue print: not a strong candidate
    Veto the dream act: out of touch
    Only Depending on first Friday of the month report: Incapability

    July 8, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Debra From Georgia

    How can anybody call President Obama anti-america when Mitt Romney hides his money in overseas and offshore accounts to keep from investing in america. You might not like President Obama, but you know him, and he is a great president with principles, values and a core at his heart. Mitt Romney is only concern about his rich buddies. He said it his self, "I am not concern about the very poor". There isn't a middle class anymore so we all fall in the rich or the poor.

    He might have raise a $100 million dollars. Remember he do have a lot of billionaire friends, and a $100 million dollars is a drop in the bucket for them. This man is so out of touch with regular people to it is sickening in the guts.

    July 8, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. A not-so-stupid former republican

    What is Romney trying to hide with his offshore bank accounts? Shouldn't a responsible candidate for President make all his tax returns public, not excluding earnings in foreign countries and foreign bank accounts? Romney is looking pretty slippery!

    July 8, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Marge in Texas

    If you can't run on the truth of the economy, jobs, housing, morality, etc., you are only left with lies and innuendoes. So Gibbs believes the fact that Romney has overseas accounts is "suspicious" and a strike against Romney – because Gibbs himself only does business with banks which have an ATM near his home? I am a retired female senior citizen and, if overseas banks paid better interest and/or benefits, and I had knowledge and access to them, that is where my money would be; as it is, I utilize Ally Bank because it pays better interest rates than the banks around the corner, and is almost strictly an online bank with no walk-in offices or branches anywhere around me - does this put me in the same "suspicious" financial category that the Obama admin has tried to put Romney into? Why don't these people get a life and for once in their life take responsibility for their own actions and run their campaign with nothing but the truth about their own personal record and background or what they have actually done, or can do, for our Country!

    July 8, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. EBW

    We all know that if president Obama had money in off shore accounts, the republicans would have been on that like white on rice! So why is it acceptable of Mr Romney to do the same? Talk about double standards!

    July 8, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. CRAIG

    Real Americans don't place their finances all over the world. It's very unpatriotic. OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!

    July 8, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Indy

    The Romney bus is being repainted "Believe in America,Bermuda,Cayman Islands,Switzerland,Obama Bad Boy"

    July 8, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. mikle

    Looks to me, Obama consider successful people , out of touch.Be poor and proud of it and give Obama your last $3 for "dinner". What a future?

    July 8, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. Mike in Texas

    Romney stated once he paid his amount of taxes as per the law. Yes he is right, but the laws allow him loopholes that average Americans could never use to minimize his taxes.

    July 8, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Ambrose Smith

    Show us your taxes Mr. "Patriot"!! What are you hiding???

    July 8, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. SafeJourney

    Running for President as Romney and investing and hiding his money overseas is deplorable. Mitt Romney talks a good game but as with most of his rhetoric he is lying. google, lying for the lord. Bank accounts in the Cayman islands and other overseas banks are tax shelters to AVOID PAYING AMERICAN taxes. Romney could care less about Americans or America. Oh and where is that 2011 tax return Mitt, Still sanitizing it.
    Romney is Running for President of the U.S. Wouldn’t he want his money investing in AMERICA

    July 8, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. zago

    The worst is that that rich man vows to take away health insurance from the poor while he can afford million of primia for himself and his family. So cruel!

    July 8, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Wake up people

    How anyone can trust this man Robmey is beyond me. Truth be told I don't think very many do, they just feel President Obama doesn't deserve to be POTUS. We all know if then Senator Obama had even been accused of hiding money in offshore accounts, he would have NEVER been nominated. Why the double standard and why is Robmey not being held to the same high standards? You know why if you're honest with yourselves.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 8, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Fran

    Romney: class warfare personified!

    July 8, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Bob Olson

    Putting money in an overseas bank is not illegal. Romney's taxes have been audited and found error-less. On the other hand, seven of the current president's cabinet nominees were found to owe back taxes including Timothy Geithner who now runs the IRS. US banks used to pay a decent dividend on savings and CD accounts. Now most of them pay less than 1%. Offshore banks are paying 7% on average. Now if you had some money for CDs where would you go? Obviously where the interest rates pay you more. When you talk economics try and think of "bank bailouts", B of A, losing a few billion, WAMU, etc. Now quit your grousing because Romney is a smart businessman and ask yourself how many members of Congress have foreign investments / accounts that they don't have to account for.

    July 8, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. Gurgyl

    Mitt is a cheat. Ok. Watch YouTube when mitt Romney came to town...enjoy. Obama12.

    July 8, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. mikle

    You Obama lovers don't talk anymore about change, hope ,yes we can.. Only achievement Obama did is take Osama. Jobs, debt, promises empty bla-bla-bla.

    July 8, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Indy

    Harker:
    So you want to go back to the Bush policies with Romney ?
    Republicans have done nothing whatsoever in the past 12 years to help the economy and Obama nor Jesus could have this fiixed the mess in four short years, never mind that Republicans publicly stated and proved to the world that they would take the entire country down to get back in the Whitehouse, and you want to trust the secretive millionaire to bring prosperity back to the middle class ?

    July 8, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |