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. ST

    This man is not serious at all to become President for all people. What did he prepare himself for this remarkable job, where every voter is the employer? There was no need at all for folks to ask him several times to produce his Tax Returns. He would have produced them right from the beginning. If I were republican, I would worry a lot. This is not normal!

    July 10, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. phoenix86

    Maybe Romney can show his tax returns (there is nothing illegal about having funds overseas, as proven by Larry Summer, Bill Clinton, George Clooney, GE, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, etc.), and Obama can show his college transcripts?

    July 10, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Name jeho

    Time to know may be Americans are wise or foolish

    July 10, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  4. Linda

    All this money the rich millionaires and billionaires are giving to Romney in his SuperPac and to his campaign, is all about putting Romney in their back pockets......you don't think they aren't going to expect something for their support if Romney became President.......these are Romney's people, Romney is one of the Super rich just like them and they are looking out for no one but themselves and their companies and their money not America......more and more is still never enough for them.....and it is you and I that are going to suffer. Obama may not have gotten this econmoy back on track as fast as we would like, but for the mess that he inheirited and with the obstructions from the GOP to make sure this black man only has 1 term, he has done pretty good, but the white conservative republicans and tea baggers will vote for only a white man (not woman) reguardless of their lack of intelligence just to make Obama a 1 term President........God I'm glad I'm a democrat........

    July 10, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Willard can call it overseas investments/blind trust all he wants. To the common people like myself, it looks like TAX EVASION.

    July 10, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. pkbkr

    the guy who wants to be president can't keep his own records straight and pay his taxes on time.....nor will he release them from past years! What is he hiding? Don't think he really wants to put America first if he puts HIS money in foreign banks! Disgusting, that's what it is!

    July 10, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  7. kp3205s

    This is what the President needs to do because he has nothing to show for the past 3.5 years. Dems had full control the 1st 2 years and this is where we as a country are at!!! I know, Blame Bush, blame Repubs elected in 2010, blah blah, blah. Look at this way, the Congress is keeping POTUS in check because if the Dems still had full control, spending and the national debt would be worse than it is. Oh yeah, Obama has added more to the debt in 3.5 years than Bush did in 8 but you don't like to hear that one for starters.

    July 10, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. SeeThruIt2

    This is a leadership tactic: If you can't fix a problem, distract everyone by pointing to someone else as the bad guy.

    Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba and many others do that when they blame the U.S. for their internal economic problems

    July 10, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Romney Outsource America Jobs

    What does Obama school records got to do with Romney tax records. Why did yall ask for Bush school records and Romney school records.
    Romney is out of touch with middle class. Romney you need to release them tax records.

    July 10, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. petemg

    Why say that Mr. Romney to reveal anything immediately when it took so long for Obama to reveal his birth certificate. Why don't have obama reveal how many Jon's got sent out of country because we did not have qualified people here to do the dame jobs. For instance why did he have solar panels to be made in China. Oh that is right that is old news that people have forgotten.

    July 10, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. GI Joe

    This article was about robingme's taxes. Yet you haters found a lot of other subjects to project your hate onto.

    What pitiful, negatve, hateful people you are.

    July 10, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. Regressive

    This simply continues to play into the narrative that Mitt wRongney Simply does not want to reveal............what? We already know you have LOTS of money. "shock!" so what is it Mitt?

    July 10, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  13. jpmichigan

    Topic of this conversational piece should of appeared in the conic section. TRANSPARENCY, coming from the Obama camp is a big joke among Americans. Nothing about Obama past or present has shown TRANSPARENCY. He is one of the most secretive of Presidents. Raised by white Americans, sent to private schools, given various opportuities that many african-americans dream about and still he has shown distaste for american people and want this great nation to be a socialistic country comparable to those in europe. Those government funded americans will eventually need to take charge of their own lives and stand up for themselves without government support. Look at Greece and Spain majority of those citizens were government employed and when the government fails so do their jobs. Romney needs to show the same actions that he used against his own party to win the nomination, against Obama. Show the American people that obama is not what he states he is , show them what he real is , starting with his associations, his community orginizations, his time in the iIllinois state house. He has never been vetted by the media fully and he needs to be.

    July 10, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. mg

    I'm not sure why people care if Romney has overseas accounts. If the money was made in the US as income or cap gains, he paid his US taxes. After that, it's HIS money. If I work in the US, pay my income tax, and use the remainder of my money (after tax) and buy a vacation condo in Mexico, why should anyone care? It doesn't make me less patriotic. Actors do this all the time: Johnny Depp and Brangalina have homes in France (and most likely have bank accounts there too). George Clooney spends a lot of time living in a his lake house in Italy and I'm sure he has converted a lot of his US dollars to Euro's. This is a silly tax return thing is a distraction. When Romney was govenor of MA, he didn't even take a salary. I'd rather a guy that doesn't need money manage my tax dollars vs a hack that has no financial experience.

    July 10, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. WatchDawg

    @ Jerry & John...after all these years of not paying for health coverage...you finally have to pony up and pay your share...seems the only one screaming loud and hard about the AHC are those that will now have to pay...like everyone else...

    July 10, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  16. Swoosh

    The issue is not where he has his money, but whether or not he paid taxes on the income from the money in these offshore accounts. His tax record released earlier this year indicated that he has, in fact, paid taxes on this income. Switzerland WAS a tax haven, but now reports to the US, as does the Caymans. This issue is smoke and mirrors, not substance. Wealthy or smart people in other countries have put their money in offshore accounts to protect their assets and diversify their holdings. Romney is wealthy and smart, and doing what he should be doing with his money.

    July 10, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The closest Romney will ever get to the White House is in name only the day after Obama wins his re-election, he takes his dog out on the White House lawn for a walk and to greet the Press and stops to scoop the poop his dog makes with a newspaper with Willard-the-middle-class-killer’s name on the front declaring, "Obama Wins Re-election while Romney Loses bid for White House by a wide margin."

    July 10, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Eagle Eye

    Who cares about Romeny's taxes, yesterday it was reported that more and more American are renouncing their citizenship to avoid paying taxes. Why isn't this being reported. American citizens are giving up thieir citizenship for taxes and everyone is worried about Romeny's taxes. Who cares this is petty and childish. Thiis is the way the liberal press works they will find the most petty issue to write about a candidate. Why aren't the reporters writting about the all the rich people who don't want to be citizens so they can avoid paying taxes. Oh one more thing the reason why the rich Americans can do this is because it was the politicians who wrote the law so this could be done. These are elected officials that "We The People of the Unted States" voted for these laws don't get writen by themselves.

    July 10, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Bert in UT

    RJ, you are using logic. A waste of time on the anti-Obamans. They know he is to blame for everything from unemployment to the current heat wave. Facts and logic will not change their minds.

    July 10, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Ron Reagan

    Obama, the one that published a fictional biography about himself criticizes Romney about transparency!!! The hypocrisy campaign that is Obama keeps on spinning but nobody is buying the hopeless change anymore.

    July 10, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. DJC

    Bottom Line: The governemnet has a spending problem not a tax problem, if he taxes the 1% this amount it will only fund teh governement for about 9 days? Stop spending!

    July 10, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. realitychecks

    TAX EVASION....if he shows them hes busted. Someone said he can keep his money where he wants....he wants you to pay taxes and evades his...BUSTED

    July 10, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. 1twinsfan

    Most Americans are familiar Swiss cheese, not Swiss bank accounts.

    July 10, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. lovetheusaorleave

    So the same Obama that wants to blame his failures on Bush keeps extending the same things he suggest that caused the economic problems, just proves once again he has no clue of how to run this country.

    July 10, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. chuck weidemann

    Has anyone heard anything other than taxes and healthcare these last few days....??? Before that it was blame Obama for high gas prices because of his energy policy...Romney has been non transparent on everything,how about Romney's views on global warming ...you know its been the hottest year ever recorded??? These Republicans and their denial of failed policies are living in the world of make belive!!!!

    July 10, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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