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. huxley

    My first job, I was hired by my high school to serve lunches to the other students for 2 hours a day. As pay, I earned my own lunch. No money, just lunch.

    Romney's first job, he was named CEO of a hundred-million dollar investment company funded by his father's political cronies.

    Romney is defintely in touch with the voters...

    July 10, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  2. Charlie from the North

    Give em hell Joe. On second thought you are just saying the truth. But it sounds like hell to them. Keep it up!

    July 10, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  3. ester philips

    Romney's charity contributions are to his church! With today's technology he should show his tax returns in a flash!

    July 10, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. Scott

    I guess you have to talk about something when you can not talk about the issues that are really important.

    July 10, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  5. Matt

    charity, ha he's tithing to the Mormon church. all his charitable donations go to Mormon charities. mormons take care of there own at cost of all others. if they need something from you there as nice as can be,but if there in a position of power your nothing to them, you can't get promoted get hired unless your Mormon. and they do have thugs to protect there church. if your the minority Christian or any faith but mormonism around them you will lose. that's why we moved from Provo

    July 10, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  6. josh gonzalez

    You can give a blind trust rules – Mitt Romney

    July 10, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  7. Gambi

    Joe, you are so good, looking forward to you setting the GOP & Romney straight on many issues.
    Barack, Joe's got your back.

    July 10, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. Cheese me up

    "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."

    More than an Illegal shows when he gets a job, How much does an Illegal pay in taxes, He buy's beer,

    July 10, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  9. ExPAVIC

    OLD, OLD EXCUSE

    The American Taliban Republican Plutocrats sure like to play the same name games. RoMoney claims his money is in a "BLIND TRUST" and in 2011 the "BLIND TRUST" earned $42.5 million in income, or was it interest. Who knows since Mitt like to flip flop around a lot.

    Sounds like Dick Cheney who had his money in a "BLIND TRUST" and that ":BLIND TRUST " was making $8 million a year from Halliburton while he was Bush's VP.

    Funny how these people like to pull all kinds of questionable tricks and then they want use to vote them into office. Too bad there are so many idiot know-nothings who vote for these crooks.

    Don't look to the American Taliban Republicans for honesty and straight shooting. They are nothing but rich tricksters and they take advantage of us.

    July 10, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  10. Name Sebastian

    I guess the good old US of A is not good enough for Romney's money.

    July 10, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  11. maquignon

    Moving forward is a liberal code phrase for moving to socialism and then communism. I say lets move backward!!!

    July 10, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  12. michael

    The Congressman from Utah is funny. He says the Dems should let go of the issue, and yet he and his friends in the House have voted 30 times to repeal the Health Care Law. Hey Congreesman let go of the issue. Once again, don't do as I do, do as I say

    July 10, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Romney makes GW Bush look good when it comes to transperincy .

    Romney / Cheney
    One more time for "The Gipper" 2012

    July 10, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  14. Rose

    These political guys remind me of adults talkiing on the Charlie Brown shows.

    July 11, 2012 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  15. Phil Thomas

    The same people that think we can have a president who was not born in this country, the greatest country in the world. The crazy birthers think its okay for him not to show his tax returns to the public, oh wait....I get it, he's not the first black president

    July 11, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Two Of AKind -

    Romney employs Accountants to manage his finances. He says he pays tax I believe him. He's shown some papers, I'm sure he'll show the rest. But I don't blame him for not responding to Obama and Bidens' bully-boy tactics.

    Romney has worked for free in his life; he has also given more to charity than Obama would ever THINK of.
    As Governor of Mass. Romney turned a $3 Billion deficit into a $2 Billion SURPLUS. That proves he's NOT just out for himself like the "Money-grabbing-Ego-on-legs" who masquerades as presidenT.

    Old Biden and Obama are mud slinging because they're wetting their pants knowing that Romney is a real force to be reckoned with. They're gonna be loooooosers in November. Period!

    July 11, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  17. joseph

    romney is an evil man, he does not care about anyone but himself.

    July 11, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. waikikijohn

    we love u Mr. Vice President. Its time to get the truth out on Mitt, if it can be found

    July 11, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  19. Charity my butt

    Giving 10 percent to a cult that promises that in return you will get be god of your own universe is not charity.

    July 11, 2012 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  20. Chris B

    Romney is a THIEF and a LIAR.

    July 11, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  21. OBAMAROCKS

    Go ahead and speak the Hard Core TRUTH, Mr. Vice President!! ~RomNO is a Compulsive, Deceitful, Hypocritical LIAR!!!We the American People deserves a better president that what the GOP reluctantly wants to throw upon us! They do not even like him theirselves, but because they HATE Prez Obama! ...Shameful! ~But, this Independent voter is not gullible! ....OBAMA ALL THE WAY!!!!! :)

    July 11, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  22. adinfinitum7

    Romney's major charitable donations were all to the Mormon church as required by their rule for "tithing". He had no choice.

    July 11, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  23. Guest

    @American:

    He's only being asked because unlike all his predecessors, he refuses to show them. College transcripts are a fairly standard disclosure for Presidents and Presidential candidates.

    Also I chuckled at the guy who's name suggests that the current administration was something other than 4 more years of G.W. Bush's policies. He took most of what President Bush did and expanded it to the extreme. Targeted assassination of US citizens without due process of law anyone?

    Don't take this as any sort of defense of Romney either. Both of these parties left American people in the dust a looooong time ago. It's time to push a 3rd party that will support substantive electoral reform and move this country away from the two party system permanently.

    No more closed primaries.
    No more party-controlled Congressional redistricting.
    Term limits for all seats in the House and Senate.
    Mandatory public financing of campaigns.

    Do these things and our government will begin to function again. Stop picking between John Jackson and Jack Johnson.

    July 11, 2012 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  24. California Latina

    IAs an independent, I don't care what Romney does with his personal finances. As long as it's legal – It's non of our business. So by disclosing his finances is that going to bring jobs to America; is it going to improve our economy – NO! What we should care about are his policies and his experience and what he plans to do with OUR tax $$$. We should care about the trillions and trillions of waste $$$ under this administration and what the President is doing with our money!! It's about the the middle class and we are not stupid!

    July 11, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  25. Pete

    Biden asking for Romney's tax papers, wow that's a joke. Biden couldn't release his because it all been tax payer funds that supports his very livelihood for years. Romney has made money in the business world, Biden at the tax payers trough. Biden couldn't make a payroll for a week where as Romney has made payroll he has created jobs, and don't give me the jobs all went over seas bs, like Obama the two of them have no concept of work ethics and giving of their own to help others, they just want to give mine and take some sort of morbid credit for it

    July 11, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
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