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. Teleprompter No Spin Zone

    The Democrats controlled the House and the Senate for the last 2 years of the Bush Presidency – that is, since 2006. The Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House for Obama's first two years -- during this time of Dem majority control and total super majority control, Obama did nothing to help the economy or create jobs....he is clueless. That is why Biden and Obama are attacking straw men like Mitt's taxes, which everyone knows are totally correct and accurate and honest (not like the tqax cheat Secretary of the Treasury under Obama). So Biden and Obama can keep flailing away -all the wY OUT THE DOOR

    PS One has to laugh to see Obama criticize Romney's work at Bain (and distorting it) while Obama's #1 fund raiser today is the head of Bain - what a loser and a hypocrit

    July 10, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. realitybites

    Blind Trust. A perfect example of what Romney expects the Ameircan People to have in him. Mr. Vice President, please read this and use it. Mitt's words tend to hurt him as much as yours do you. He's giving you ammo.

    July 10, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Mitt Romey, do you want me to tell you a secret? I can tell you how you can defuse this issue! What you need to do Mitt is to hold a press conference and tell the American people that you're goanna release all your tax returns. Then the next day, tell them you aint goanna release it, then the next day tell them you're goanna release it, then the next day teel them you aint goanna r...well, got it flip-flopper? You out of touch elitist!

    July 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Ridiculous

    For all of you that question why Romney does not know where his assets are, you do realize what a blind trust is and why it is being used right? Given many of your comments, I am guessing you idiots have no clue. There is a VERY good reason why he not only does not control his investments, but also why he does not know how they are invested.

    Romney created a blind trust when he became governor of Massachusetts because he did not want there to be any conflicts of interests between managing his investments and working as governor. When you work in politics everything you do potentially affects your investments. Controlling your investments or even knowing what they are invested in could influence your decision making – or be construed as influencing it. It is best that you do not risk this conflict of interest. As an example, how do all of you individuals feel about al gore pushing environmental protections while holding millions of investments in green energy?

    July 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Aces Full

    Romney should agree to release his tax returns when Obama releases his college transcripts – that will shut the left up because they know Obama lied about that.

    July 10, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Daniel

    If he claims to be a job creator, then let's see where his money went to create jobs. It's a valid request. The truth is the 99% of this country are the true job creators. If we do not buy products or services, it doesen't matter what the tax rate for the corporate world is, no one will expand without demand. To increase demand, pay has to increase, it's that simple.

    July 10, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. mj

    Biden is a millionaire. He is probably the most obnoxious speaker besides Obama. He is just upset about the funding for his annual Cowboy Poetry Reading Festival. Let Biden pay the bill.

    July 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. realitybites

    jenny

    Barack Obama has gotten his way from the very beginning of his presidency, he got that huge stimulus bill, then after claiming that 600 billion would be saved til 2013, Obama claimed that 600 billion disappeared. When congress demanded he open the accounting books, he refused. Obama's been creating conditions that starve small businesses of their abiltiy to survive, so they pay more in taxes and can't hire or even maintain current workforce. Obama shut down responsible oil companies in the Gulf after the BP explosion, and still denies US oil companies who had no role in the explosion the ability to resume operations, but Obama let BP, whose shoddy, substandard practices resume drilling in the Gulf, and the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras drills in the Gulf courtesy of Obama, Obama also gave Petrobras (who George Soros is a major investor in) 26 billion in US taxpayer dollars, to subsidize it's deepwater drilling. Obama is bleeding the wealth out of the US, and taking kickbacks from foreign elites he's letting destroy and take over US economy. Obama's biggest bundler is the biggest outsourcer in the US.

    The house republicans introduced more than 76 jobs bills since Obama took office and Obama and his democrats in the house prior to the 2010 election, shot them down, and since 2010, the democrat controlled senate has shut them down. Obama promises to veto any that happen to make it to his desk.

    MICHELLE IS THAT YOU? Get back to Minnesota and help your closet case husband "straighten" people out. Honestly, if I were gay and trying to deny it I would certainly think I could find something less creepy. JEEZE!

    July 10, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. DBSaint

    Being missed in this is the fact that Mitt had fully control of his money until the day before he ran for Gov of MA. Then they all amazingly went into a blind trust. I don't care if he has money, but the fact he won't release the records makes me wonder why? What is he hiding?

    July 10, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. realitybites

    That's funny REDICLOUS. Kind of reminds me of how Sarah Pailin ran or didn't run for President.

    July 10, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Wake up people

    @Jose. I agree they should investigate but they won't. If it were President Obama on the other hand, they would dig and dig, even if they had to go to Africa. The press has been given their orders.

    1. Do not dispute anything the GOP or Mittens says.
    2. Do dispute any and everything President Obama says and disrespect him at every turn. Even though most things being said were said by rethugs during the primaries....

    They will never press Mittens for anything that they have pressed President Obama for. They clung to that birth certificate BS for years, yet we the people, are supposed to get over wanting Mittens to do the same??

    Wake up people. The black man in office is only half black, give him a chance, unless you're wealthy. The GOP does not care about you unless you are rich and white. If you're poor, you may as well be my color.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 10, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Karm99

    Please, stop defending Romney's "Blind Trust"

    Romney's personal lawyer, R Bradford Malt is the Trustee!

    It is ludicrous for anyone to say he does not control or even know what is in the trust.

    July 10, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Martin

    Gov Romney pays 16 percent to Charity?

    No, he pays 6% to Charity, 10% is required to be paid to the Mormon Church to be a member. It's hardly charitable when its a requirement of membership.

    I BET Romney has released his full financial records to the Mormon Church.

    July 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA has a FAILURE PROBLEM

    What are Obama plans for the next 4 years if he is re-elected? Will he want a second stimulus package? This time will he want to borrow and spend $4 TRILLION to try and create jobs with non-existent "shovel ready" projects? Most of which goes directly into government/union pockets.

    Will he continue to blame Bush and everything else under the sun when the economy tanks and there are no jobs? Will he continue his relentless attack on business and his endless class warfare rhetoric until there are people in the streets attacking one another?

    Yeah.... sounds like a road I'll avoid. So should you America!

    July 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. Martin

    What makes me laugh is that Romney sees no issue giving 10% of his money to the church (a TAX to be a member) but won't pay the required taxes to the Government.

    July 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Lando

    I will vote for Romney for President of International Monetary Hideaway Association...For POTUS naaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

    July 10, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. guesswho22

    telepromter: The POTUS has had his jobs bill in the House for over two years! Republican obstructionism is to blame for fewer jobs being created. In 2010, the GOP used the chant "jobs, jobs, jobs" to take the House. They have done absolutely nothing to create jobs, just obstructed the POTUS and Democrats. Many are saying that their ploy is to make Obama a one term president, at the expense of jobs. Bernanke says if Congress doesn't act soon, we are headed for a HUGE DEPRESSION. If they do take the White House and Senate, its too late and they will receive all the blame for creating a DEPRESSION. Republicans are more ons

    July 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA has a FAILURE PROBLEM

    Martin - but won't pay the required taxes to the Government.
    ================================================
    What PROOF do you have that he has not paid his taxes? Answer: NONE. Therefore what you have written is a blatant lie. BTW, do you still beat your wife? Enjoy some of your own medicine.

    July 10, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. jj

    I'm not likely to believe that Mitt doesn't know where his money is being invested. And if it were true, is that a sound financial strategy? After all...he does brag about his financial where withall.

    July 10, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. Martin

    @realitybites That's a pretty ironic nickname, seeing as most of your points have little basis in reality.

    July 10, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Ridiculous

    "Being missed in this is the fact that Mitt had fully control of his money until the day before he ran for Gov of MA. Then they all amazingly went into a blind trust. I don't care if he has money, but the fact he won't release the records makes me wonder why? What is he hiding?"

    Did you read my post? He is not hiding anything. He has a blind trust so there will not be conflicts of interest between his career in politics and managing his investments.

    Romney created a blind trust when he became governor of Massachusetts because he did not want there to be any conflicts of interests between managing his investments and working as governor. When you work in politics everything you do potentially affects your investments. Controlling your investments or even knowing what they are invested in could influence your decision making – or be construed as influencing it. It is best that you do not risk this conflict of interest. As an example, how do all of you individuals feel about al gore pushing environmental protections while holding millions of investments in green energy – and making substantial sums of money as a result of these investments?

    July 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. CitizenAJ

    As soon as someone says they do not know where millions of their dollars are, you KNOW something is up. This America, is the man who wants to REPRESENT YOU as leader of this country. "Honesty, is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue".

    July 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Larry L

    All we know now is Romney is hiding something very damaging to his chances of getting elected.

    July 10, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    JP

    Here are a few options:
    Option 1 – Put you $100 in US bank and get 1% interest – $1 a year, and IRS gets 15 cents
    Option 2 – Put your money elsewhere in banks paying much higher interest/dividends (say 9- 10%) – $10 a year, and IRS gets $1.5
    Which is better? That is called wise investment, and there is nothing unpatriotic about it. In fact it is more patriotic, generating more revenue for the Government for the free loaders to enjoy.

    Option 1 – Invest your very large pile of cash in US businesses to create jobs at home. Taxes paid on earnings are used for our roads, military, and to take care of our seniors.
    Option 2 – Send you money over seas to tax havens to create jobs in other countries. Tax revenues plummet. This creates huge deficits because we still want roads, a first rate military, and people still get old.

    Get it?

    July 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Laura, Boston:
    Big F'in Deal with Romney's "charitable" contributions.
    He can afford to be generous with other people's money. Or have you conveniently forgotten how he increased his already bulging wealth at the expense of flag-waving, Founding-Fathers quoting, take our country bag, tea drinkers like yourself?
    Rob from the poor and give to the rich that's your Mittens for you, a modern day robbing hood.
    Obama 2012. Because Mitt isn't fit to lick Obama's shoes.

    July 10, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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