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. RJ Matthews

    Romney(and the other's that toe THIS line,) that if we take away the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest, they will stop creating jobs. Well, they have had the Bush tax cuts for what, 10 years! And then they ALSO want to blame Obama for the poor job creation during is term as President? Well, it Can't Be Both Ways! Either the rich need the Bush Tax Cut money to create jobs, Or, it is actually their fault over the past 10 years for the recessions and the poor job growth during Obama's presidency(which was already starting during Bush's.)

    July 10, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. Jerome

    He should release them in a dual press conference, with Obama releasing his school records.

    July 10, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  3. independent

    It is time to tax overseaa profits of Corporations, just like we do with individuals.If Corporations are supposed to be like people, tax them the same way.

    July 10, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  4. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Obama has actually done pretty well with the economy in spite of Gop obstructionest and propaganda ,and we don't need a Gop secret agent for pres. That works under the table ,and has no answers for any question accept ,I'm not Obama .Dem in landslide in Nov !!!

    July 10, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. Scott in Michigan

    Obama thinks Romney should be more transparent? Wow – that is a good laugh for the morning! OK Mr. President, maybe you should lead by example. You first. Lets see those college records of yours, shall we?

    July 10, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  6. don

    Romney is applying for a job serving the American people. He needs to fill out the application just like everyone else. Sorry Mitt,. thats just the way its is

    July 10, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  7. charles

    It is unprecedented that a presidential candidate is hiding money abroad to evade taxes on a country he is telling us to believe in. Who does he thinks he is fooling? What a fake patriot.Release the tax forms if you are not hiding anything. Vulture capitalist outsourcer in- chief,plastic Romney.

    July 10, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What is Romney hiding is the question. If he isn't hiding anything, then why not release them? It really makes you wonder what is going on with his taxes (assuming he paid any) and other finanicals.

    July 10, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    Poor Willard Romney (and all GOP sissies), always the victim. Pathetic.

    July 10, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  10. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    What kind of mitt is Willard hiding in those returns?
    George Romney was not afraid to release 12 years worth of returns to show he had nothing to hide by running AMC. His boy is not nearly the man his dad was.
    We already know about Swiss and Cayman accounts and $77 grand for show horse deductions, what else is Willard trying to hide? Did he profit off of abortion operations? Is he still waist deep in Bain even though he "retired" supposedly before all the outsourcing? Is he seeing clearly in these alleged blind trusts?
    President Obama has nothing to hide and willingly released his, so that stall and delay tactic won't work like it did in MA.
    If you are interviewing for the most powerful position, and we the people are the ones hiring, then there should be no secrets. Open up the books Willard - the Bain ones, too.

    July 10, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  11. Jerry

    Mr. Obama and HIS so called election team are talking about (demanding?) transparency???!!!

    This is the epitome of hypocrisy. I am hoping that the American populace takes this for what it really is; lies on top of more lies. This president and his slime balls have no shame and absolutely no respect for American taxpayers/voters.

    By the way, what happened to NOT raising taxes for the middle class?! Remember the Obamacare penalty tax?!

    Oh well, blame it on Bush...

    July 10, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  12. John, PA

    Obamacare = ObamaTax, the American people can tolerate an incompetent president and administration but what we will not tolerate is being lied to.

    July 10, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. Ancient Texan

    It's Romney's money and he can keep it wherever he chooses for as long as he chooses. I'm more concerned about how much longer the Obama administration can keep spending the taxpayer dollar for his reelection campaign travels and spread his message of class warefare, devisive, untrue attacks on anybody not in his camp.

    July 10, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  14. Core republican Values

    Romney's campaign is right. Their candidate is "unseemly and disgusting."

    July 10, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  15. papanez

    It would appear Romney is investing only in himself, not the people of the United States. I'm just sayin'.

    July 10, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. TBS

    If Romney has nothing to hide, then why doesn't he release these returns???!!! If elected, he will be the FIRST president EVER to have bank accounts in foreign countries! How much money is in these foreign bank accounts???!!! Why is he being so deceptive???!!! If anyone thinks that Willard understands the plight of average Americans, then I will gladly sell them so ocean front property in Iowa!!!

    July 10, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. Maxx

    Let me see, the guy who tells one lie after another tells us theirs there's nothing fishy in his portfolio and we're suppose to believe him? Just like he's been a hunter all of his life.

    July 10, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. GOP puts "chri$t" in "chri$tian" since 60% of the GOP believes they should not care for those less fortunate!

    "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."

    Hmm, maybe the President thought the 2010 "shellacking" in which the GOP ran on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, meant the House was going to start doing the job!

    July 10, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  19. King

    these big corporations and china will pour billions into Romney campaign because they desperately need the almost three billion consumers china have to offer, they know much the Chinese people love American quality, and these businesses will be moving American jobs their. lesson the rich has the same mentality as mitten, which is getting money no matter no matter who is left on the side of the road
    the last thing these folks have on their minds is patriotism, greed clouds all those gushy feeling long time ago. these folks rape the American people, then hide their money in off shore bank accounts to hide from the taxman, this is why they want to get rid of government and labor.

    July 10, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. v_mag

    Oh, I think Rob-money is pretty transparent. He's a sleazy, outsourcing, home-wrecking, money-grubbing, lying, tax-evading, blow-hard whose sole purpose in life is to promote himself. He cares nothing about serving his country, as his draft-dodging and 5 military-free sons proves. He is a George W. Bush clone. He is totally out of touch with real America.

    Yeah, I can see right through Flipper.

    July 10, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I'm not worried about this rightwing flip flopping elitist hiding his untaxed stolen funds in foreign banks because when the debates start, he will have to be TRANSPARENT on where he stands on the issue! And I'm afraid that when Romney starts talking, the election for him will be over by the second debate! Mitt you can quit while you can and let another republican loser take on the President!

    July 10, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. sonnie3

    The best post so far is he should realese them and Obama his college record also that he is hideing??

    July 10, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  23. Q

    Romney will never reveal his finances. They are too complex for liberals to understand. People hate him because he is able to open secret bank accounts all over the world. They are just jelous. Get a job...................TEAMERICA

    July 10, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  24. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    I have to laught when you conservatives say the President is envious of the rich! Hey, for four years now you people have shown that you are envious and jealous of our black President for being successful in cleaning up the mess he inherited and making unprecedent accomplishments. Like Healthcare Reform, Financial Reform, End of Iraqi War, Riding the world of Moammar Ghadaffi and bringing democracy to Libya and Egypt, Getting rid of OBL, and Awalaki and many other alqaeda operatives, Winning the Noble Peace Prize, Restoring America's image world-wide, saving our Auto Industry, and so on and so on and so on!

    July 10, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  25. model67a

    If Obama is going to bend statements by not playing the entire statement and using it to their advantage, Romney should include the entire statement in an ad and show the American citizens how Obama is not giving them the truth. This is deceptive and the same as a lie.

    July 10, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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