New day, another Obama attack on Romney transparency
July 10th, 2012
07:00 AM ET
2 years ago

New day, another Obama attack on Romney transparency

(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election team is keeping up their attacks on Republican challenger Mitt Romney over what they describe as his lack of transparency.

A new web video released by the Obama campaign Tuesday claims that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is "defying calls to release more than one year's worth of tax returns."

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The video starts with a clip from CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" from Monday in which Blitzer asked former Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour if he were in Romney's shoes, would he release more than two years of tax documents, something Democrats have repeatedly called on Romney to do.

"I would," responded Barbour, the former two-term governor of Mississippi, who weighed but decided against a run for the 2012 GOP nomination.

Barbour continued to say "but should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly," but that was not included in the Obama campaign video.

Democrats have criticized Romney for not releasing more than his 2010 returns and an estimate of his liability for tax year 2011, which he made public in late January. Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates to ever seek the presidency, has drawn particular scrutiny, interest and criticism over his finances. And the pressure is yet greater because his father released a dozen years' returns when seeking the presidency in the 1960s.

Obama on Monday weighed in on the issue, calling for greater transparency from his Republican challenger.

"What's important is, if you are running for president, is that the American people know who you are and what you've done and that you're an open book," Obama said in an interview with CNN affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire. "And that's been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney's father."

Federal campaign law does not require candidates to release tax returns, but it does require candidates to file annual financial disclosure paperwork.

Obama's campaign recently seized on a report 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.

The Obama campaign video also includes a clip of Romney from a CNN Republican presidential primary debate in South Carolina in January, when his GOP opponents called on him to release his tax returns. Romney is asked by the moderator of the debate, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, if he'll follow his father's example in releasing tax returns from multiple years. Romney's response: "Maybe."

The Romney campaign calls this new wave of attacks by Team Obama an "unfounded character assault" and says they are "unseemly and disgusting."

And in an interview Monday with Radio Iowa, Romney said "I understand the president's going to try to do anything he can to divert attention from the fact that his jobs record is weak and he has no plan to make things better."

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


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Mitt Romney
soundoff (181 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Why don't you show 10 years of taxes??? All know Bain-Capital evaded taxes, shipped jobs to china, India, hired cheap labor from Mexico, India etc, shipped manufacturing to Canada and Mexico, Gujarat etc, nonsense. Yes, on obama12.

    July 10, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Henry Akeni

    I think the right thing to do is for Romney to follow precedence by disclosing fully all his tax returns prior to 2010. A man wanting to occupy the highest position in the world must be transparent and also seen to be transparent.

    July 10, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  3. petena

    Romney's slogan "Believe in America – Invest overseas".

    July 10, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  4. Get a job Hippies

    He should be able to keep it a secret as long as obama kept his birth certificate a secret. i would say that is fair.

    July 10, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  5. julius raynor

    Romney money in off shore accounts! I Smell a rat!

    July 10, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  6. LOL @ BO

    Thanks for the laughs today BO. Your administration has been the most transparent EVAAAA

    July 10, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. Amberisw Lenherrq

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I'm very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely out there.

    July 10, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  8. American

    Romney needs to quit cowering and release a few tax returns as EVERY recent presidential candidate has done before him.

    What is so secretive that Swiss Mitt is hiding in his offshore accounts instead of America?

    July 10, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  9. Arfisher

    One would think a man who has all his records hidden would not use this line of attack.

    July 10, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  10. Ray E. (Georgia)

    If Romney is worth Millions, it was because he worked for it. AND it means lots and lots of people had jobs in the companies and were sucessful. I don't know why that is considered bad. The huge numbers of people could care less what Romney is worth if they don't have a job. If Politicians hadn't forced banks to make "Liar" Loans the housing mess would have never happened. Attacking Romney won't fix the economic mess.

    July 10, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  11. Joseph B

    Romney is a lying scam artist with no positive ideas for the country. All he has done is attack attack attack and complain about Obama's policies – he has not offered any substantive policies of his own. Why won't Romney offer policies? Why won't he show his tax returns? What does he have to hide?

    July 10, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  12. putusabackontop

    President Obama calling for more transparency from Governor Romney is hilarious. He has led the least transparent term in the last 100 years even after campaigning on it.

    July 10, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney is a kaleidoscope on the issue of tax returns. When first asked by Andrea Mitchel(was it?) last fall in NH, he said that he would decide after the election ("assuming that I am the nominee and win the election") whether or not to release any returns. In other words, "No."

    Remember how his campaign fumbled and bumbled their way through the issue, turning the kaleidoscope into a new position that Romney would release one year, and that's it. Then they turend it some more and announced that they would release his current return on tax day 2012.

    Then they turned it some more when they told us that Romney filed an extension, and they would release a final return in 6 months. (Brilliant move. Release returns a couple of weeks before Election Day. Not.) Now they are trying to back pedal and turn the kaleidoscope some more and not release anything.

    Kaleidocoping is worse than flip-flopiing. Romney is hididng something. He's been running for President for how many years? Hasn't his campaign prepared a solution to this inevitable question? It appears the solution was arrogance. "We won't release anything."

    How a candidate runs a campaign is a good measure of that candidate would run their elected office. Romney's a failure.

    July 10, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. Ed1

    Like Mr. Obama you have no secrets from the public. Why don't you have all of your school records unsealed and why did you and your wife have to turn in your law license.

    Hide behind the laws you took an oath to uphold.

    So far I haven't seen any laws that Mitt has broken.

    July 10, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  15. yolanda

    And this is going to create jobs? Let's hear from both candidates how they are going to turn the economy around, and reduce the deficit meaningfully. Stop the finger pointing and start serious debate......that goes for both Obama and Romney.

    July 10, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  16. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    The apple certainly fell far from the tree Willard. Why can't you follow in your father's footsteps? What are you hiding?

    July 10, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. mommytwice

    The Romney campaign calls this new wave of attacks by Team Obama an "unfounded character assault" and says they are "unseemly and disgusting.". Really? The GOP better be pretty careful tossing around language like that and accusing anyone of unfounded character assault. They have, including Mittens himself, sat back and smiled as Trump went after a sitting president, duly elected, accusing him of not even being American. Now because someone wants to see Romney's tax returns, something that EVERY candidate releases, it's character assault and disgusting? What a bunch of hypocrits. This is why I will never vote for Romeny.

    July 10, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  18. wgf

    Obviously it does amount to more than "diddly", or they would be released by now. That Romney prefers to be hit on this repeatedly suggests that there are some things in the returns that will not look good in the light of day.

    July 10, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Remember how the right pushed the birther movement and harrassed the President for three years, calling for the President to show his birth certificate? And by the way, that top GOP "statesman" Donald Trump who is a stern supporter of Mitt Romney, is the one who kept the attacks on the President, calling for the President to show his birth certificate! I remember Trump saying that he deserved credit for "forcing" the President to finally show his birth certificate but during the Republican primaries, Trump was at it once again, pressuring Mr.Perry and Ms. Bachmann to bring up the President's birth certificate once more! Too bad Trump forgot to show the American people his videotape of the President's mother giving birth to him in Kenya! After all, his videotape of the President's live birth might finally put the birther movement to rest once and for all. Hey Mitt, the ball is in your court now!

    July 10, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. MesaMax

    Did Obama object to John Kerry's wealth in 2004 when he was running for president?

    July 10, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. tv22

    These Dems keep at it, pretty soon we're going to find out that Mitt Romney is rich.

    The class envy and war on success is getting ridiculous.

    July 10, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. Wake up people

    Show us the tax returns Robmey. Where is Donald"the combover king"Trump now?? This vampire capitalist wants to be POTUS but won't release more than one years tax returns. What ya hiding Robmey?? No it's not illegal to have overseas accounts but it's not very patriotic either. I'm so glad President Obama has taken the gloves off. If the POTUS can be pressed to show his birth certificate surely a presidential nominee should have to show his tax returns.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 10, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  23. Evangenital

    You want to run for Prez? You got to disclose.

    July 10, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    To late for romney the clown and the republican bafoon party ,Obamas in for four more years ,good.

    July 10, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  25. WiredweirdinSF

    Really a joke coming from the most incompetent, inept, corrut, union toady president in the history of this country. Hey remember all of the lies this Kenyan village idiot has told the American people and has never been called out by the liberally biased main stream media. That is the only reason he is still in it. Looking forward to the impeachment and jail term.

    July 10, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
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