Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'
July 10th, 2012
12:59 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'

(CNN) - Amplifying the Obama campaign's push for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents, Vice President Joe Biden made some of his most biting remarks yet in a speech Tuesday attacking the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on several fronts.

"He wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his," Biden said.

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At a Las Vegas speech for the National Council of La Raza convention, a large Latino civil rights group, Biden carried the torch in the campaign's recent blitz against Romney over reports of his offshore investments.

He lobbed back at Romney the GOP candidate's charge that Obama is "out of touch."

"This is the man who says President Obama is out of touch?" Biden said. "This coming from the man who until recently had a Swiss bank account, and millions of dollars invested in the Grand Cayman Islands beyond scrutiny, and the president, Obama, is out of touch?"

Team Obama and national Democrats have seized on recent reports delving into Romney's finances, including one in the magazine "Vanity Fair," which called Romney a "remarkable financial acrobat" with accounts and investments in several places considered tax havens for Americans – Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

While the campaign hasn't directly charged Romney with tax evasion, they suggest the millionaire may be hiding important details about his finances by not disclosing multiple years of returns.

Biden also quoted from a recent Washington Post report on Romney's former financial firm, Bain Capital, and the GOP contender's suggestion to a Nevada newspaper that the housing market right itself by hitting "rock bottom."

"That may be a sound business judgement if you're running Bain Capital, but it's not a sound judgement for the United States government," Biden charged.

In January, Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011. Federal campaign law does not require candidates to release tax returns, but it does require candidates to file annual financial disclosure paperwork, which Romney has done.

The re-election team often points to Romney's father, the late George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

"He said, and I quote, 'One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show'," Biden said, referring to George Romney's stated reason for putting out a dozen years of documents.

Biden continued: "His son has released only one year of his tax returns. Making a lie of the old adage: Like father, like son."

Romney responded Monday to the recent barrage of attacks, saying his foreign investments have been held in a blind trust and managed by a trustee. The candidate emphasized he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed.

"I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said in an interview with Radio Iowa.

Romney further reiterated he was in no violation of tax law.

"That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there," the candidate said, arguing the president was trying to "divert attention" from his own record.

A surrogate for Romney, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, came to the candidate's defense on Tuesday, saying it was time for Democrats to let go of the issue.

"He's released everything that he's required to release including paying more than sixteen percent of his income to charitable giving," the Republican congressman said on CNN's "Starting Point." "Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it."

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: Joe Biden • Nevada
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. CS Madison

    Of course the Mittbot won't show us his papers! Obama isn't enforcing immigration rules anymore. Everyone should know that Mitt is an anchor baby! Born in Mejico. But without any kind of enforcement he'll never be deported.

    July 10, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. pkbkr

    You go, Joe! Obama/Biden 2012

    July 10, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  3. pkbkr

    Kaitlyn, you need to "chill out!" Stop watching Faux News, listening to the hate of Rush! Obama is the most authentic President in my memory of 68 years!

    July 10, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Padraig

    Biden is a pompous individual and is willing to say anything to divert from the real issues which are -
    – economy
    – jobs
    – defecit
    – crime
    – budget
    – national and international policies

    July 10, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. pkbkr

    Check the records.....Biden is one of the LEAST wealthy in govt. today! Rode the train to work every day when he was in the Congress.....took care of his sons daily, after his wife killed in car accident on Christmas Eve.....they man is a good man.....he tells it like it is!

    July 10, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Len Smith

    If you think that Mitt Romney doesn't know about his investments, than you are living in a dream world.

    July 10, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. 1zb1

    Romney dodged the truth about being a bully in prep school; was a draft dodger during Vietnam; a tax dodger in business; a press dodger now, and a fact dodger always. Put it all together and what you get is a liar and a coward.

    July 10, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. andrew

    The candidate emphasized he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed.

    "I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said in an interview with Radio Iowa.

    Romney further reiterated he was in no violation of tax law.

    "That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there," the candidate said, arguing the president was trying to "divert attention" from his own record.

    1. If you had 100's of millions of dollars wouldn't you want to know where it is and protect it from being mismanaged... I don't buy that statement.

    2. If he doesn't know where his money is being placed how does he know that all the tax laws are being complied with?

    July 10, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. zago

    It is very insulting for a guy who wants to be the president of a country not to have the decency to invest his money in that country: So unpatriotic, un-American.

    July 10, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    So let me see if I get this. Romney has no knowledge whatsoever on any of his holdings and money matters? Do you really think we're that stupid, I mean other than the trailer park crowd that buys into it?! Really?!?!?!?!?!?!

    July 10, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    To Steve-Illinois: If he has no knowledge of his holdings because he doesn't see them, how would he know he was compliant? Or, in your party's case, is it due to the "Because I said so defense?"

    July 10, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. John

    Romney the businessman does not know where his money is. You are going to trust this guy with the finances of the U.S. If he cannot get his finances under control how in the world is he going to manage the U.S. of America.

    July 10, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. Homer

    Where are the educational records, Joe????? We have every right to know if we have the first Affirmative Action President. We already know we've got the Democratic version of Dan Quayle for VP.

    July 10, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. Jack

    You wanna bet 10000 dollars on that....

    July 10, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  15. Frankie

    I want to know whether a candidate is truly investing in the United States rather than finding tax shelters. Romney is one of many very very rich that contribute to the United States losing 80 billion a year in revenue due to off shore accounts.

    July 10, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  16. RS, CA

    Hey, Biden - tell YOUR peep (Obama) to show HIS college papers (simple enough to do, eh?)

    July 10, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. ge

    wonder how much tax payer money is in his off-shore accounts

    July 10, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Massachusetts Resident

    Mittens for President??!! What is this? The freaking Twilight Zone??
    Seriously people, if you're not "doing fine" making millions every year just by wearing a fancy suit while you mercilessly rob from the middleclass then you're a fool to vote for this elitist cult leader who truly believes he will one day be a "god"..!
    While Obama has left much to be desired by many, thanks largely in part to a republican dominated and mind-bogglingly obstructive Congress, Mittens is definitely NOT the answer..!! The ONLY reason this man wants to be President is to glorify himself and his "church".
    End the madness America, stop voting for hypocritical lying thieving theocratic nutjobs (Republicans).

    July 10, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. gg

    if you think dick cheney and haliburton walk out with truck loads of tax payer money ,wait till romney and friends get done wit you–america will never recover

    July 10, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. bcm

    Seems to me that he should be using all that money to create jobs rather than hiding it offshore. Of course, the only jobs he's ever created are offshore so I guess that makes sense. Right???

    July 10, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. AmericanDan

    Romney: the guy who will place the American economy in a "blind trust" and then deny he has any knowledge of what has happened to it. Vote Romney!

    July 10, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. JOE

    Does anyone even listen to biden or obama? Why would we, they're clowns

    July 10, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. Brian

    Romney is a joke. If he's the best the republican's can offer, then President Obama doesn't have to worry about renting an U-hauls until 2016. V.P. Joe Biden is a Scorpio, we don't bite our tongues.

    July 10, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. craig

    The money related to the ownership of a company off-shore could be obscured by the "blind trust." On the other hand, the fact that Mitt owns the company makes it seem pretty unlikely. He'd have to sign some paperwork to create the company. Did he forget about that? Is this like that bullying incident...where he simply doesn't remember that? I'm suspicious. Sounds a lot like a duck. Walks like a duck too.

    July 10, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. hopeismyname

    He said he doesn't control his foreign investments and "I don't even know where they are". Is that the sign of a good business leader? I would say that I know where all of my money is but then there isn't that much to keep track of for me!

    July 10, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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