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. ghostriter

    This one is quite funny. Neither one is the poster boy for transparency. The more we learn about Mitt, the more he has to change the story.

    July 10, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. blake

    What a joke. The man who pledged to have the most transparent presidency in American history. He has lied and deceived his way through the past 3.5 years. The executive privilege action last month was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    In contrast, Romney is under no obligation to disclose personal investments.

    July 10, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Dean

    Who cares about Romney's personal finances? He'll put this country's finances in order better than Obama has.

    July 10, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. C S Narayan

    Seriously speaking, Mitt Romneys wealth is not the issue here, the issue is the US economy, the millions of Americans who do not have a job, people surviving on food stamps. I think someone is trying to divert the attention of all Americans. But I think the American people are wise than that. One term president is good enough. As for those worried about Mitt's wealth, it's his money, his choice. Why should I care where he keeps it, as long as he is doing things according to the laws of the land.

    July 10, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. The Film Professor

    Romney is obviously very afraid of what those tax returns would reveal. I mean, we already know that he and Ann deducted $77,000 last year for their dancing horse - so we know that they employ some very "creative" accountants, just like most of the really wealthy do. They just know that regular Americans will be outraged when they find out the truth of these tax dodges. That's how you end up paying 13% on an income of $21 million plus.

    July 10, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. cali ha ha

    I'm an independent and I will never vote for a person that openly tax cheats america

    July 10, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Eric in Denver

    The left is getting desparate. First he bullied a kid 40 years ago and now they want all the information on every penny he ever made? This is the sign of a campaign that is falling apart. Good bye Obama!!!!

    July 10, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. WireweirdinSF

    Natural response is how llong can Obama keep hiding the fact that is a total failure as president? The answer is of course, just as long as the liberally biased mainstream media keeps providing him cover as it has done every since he gave that keynote speech to the democrat liberal convention that nominated Kerry. That is why we have ended up with the most incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady president in history.

    July 10, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Alan

    This is laughable – The Obama administration, the most secretive, cover-up oriented administration in history is complaining about transparency? You can't make this stuff up.

    July 10, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Grahame Rhodes

    If you do not pay taxes to help this great country move forward, then you are a PARASITE = ROMNEY. Two words which are synonymous with the low life cheating criminal Romney really is. If you vote for the Republicans then that will open the door for Bachmann and Palin and all the other fools.

    July 10, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. IbetIgetcensored

    As soon as 0bama releases the following. Highschool transcripts, college transcripts, thesis, papers, explaines his contridictions in the book "DREAMS of his FATHER'S" (WHO'S YOU DADDY), Explains where the heck he came from, Why he used so many Social Security Numbers? Birth certificate, Why he flubbed his Swear in in the first 39 seconds of his Administration ( OH wait, that was ROBERTS FAULT, The blame game begins, I guess that explains why Roberts "JUDGED " In favor of the Obama Care BILL. Thanks buddy, appreciate that.) Then the OATH re-administered the some 38 hours later "WHO WAS IN REALLY IN CHARGE at that time? What he knows about Fast and Fourious, and why he Bowed down to the Saudia KING. I don't want to know much, Do I?

    July 10, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. RightyTighty

    Another smoke screen to hide obamas epic failures and focus your attention at another non story. It is amazing that the mainstream media will read the same obama talking points across all of the networks with a straight face despite no factual information to back up any of these false statements. First off "what is he hiding" is not a smoking gun and if anyone is hiding things it is obama who has spent MILLIONS hiding his past from America.

    July 10, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Nathan

    Typical liberals. Terrorize those who have been successful. If he thinks he can get better returns overseas and fairer tax treatment that is legal thats called free enterprise.

    July 10, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. KeepinItReal

    Why do people that lives in the U.S. have offshore bank accounts? Duh...................Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

    July 10, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Hack

    It's really a shame some of the responses I see on here. What president has ever had to release college records. Whos's business is it anyway. Just because he is BLACK doesn't mean he's not SMART. Regardless of the matter, he did graduate, he is smart, and he is our president. Get over it and stop "blackism".

    July 10, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. RS, CA

    How long before Obama releases his school records?

    July 10, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. luckjoe

    We taxpayers were forced by Obama to bail out GM with billions of dollars . Since the bailout 70% of GM autos are manufactured in China. I don't imagine that Obama will publicize this information.

    July 10, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. IbetIgetcensore

    Lets talk tranperancy;
    Where is your "REAL Birth Certificate" Mr. Obama?
    Why did you use so many S.S. Numbers through out your life?
    Where is your Slective Service Registration card? And the release commitment card?
    I want to see your Highschool and college transcripts, thsis, Talk to someone you had in a class a s a student or classmate.
    Who did you smoke dope with "Dreams Of My Father"?
    Where did you come from? How is it you claim Hawaii you home but yet you are proud of your INDONEISAIN upbringing.
    BERRY SOTORO'S? Whats up with that?
    Just a few things I want to know about.

    July 10, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Is it really a character assault when one candidate criticizes another for not living up to promises made on the campaign trail? Mitt Romney accuses Pres. Obama of not keeping promises all the time, but that's okay. Mitt Romney promised his 2012 returns, and should release more, and Obama criticizes Romney for not doing it. But, that's not okay?

    Romney would rather stall, procrastinate, and not make anything public. So be it. And if the American people wish to elect a sneak and a lie to be POTUS, so be it for that, too.

    July 10, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Debby

    This is how dumb the liberals are. If you are a US citizen you have to pay US taxes on all your investments. This is like old news and Obama is drawing at straws now.

    July 10, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. politics as usual

    Obama has no shame.

    July 10, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. Pat

    I believe our country is going backwards (maybe even to a time in history before America) when the poor were taxed and the extremely wealthy ruled. After hearing the comments from those in the Hamptons ar the Romney event I believe most are of the opinon that middle class citizens are too stupid to vote. If they could have their way the voting of the middle class and poor would be eliminated. How did we get to this point? Apparently the people we have voted to go to Washington have not been considering the well being of all citizens. Too much emphasis on a president and not enough on the house and senate. Most Americans work 2 and 3 jobs to take care of their families and we have a group that get paid extremly well, have benefits most dream of, and work only a portion of the year. And work is a joke because all they do is work for their respective political party and never mind the ones that are paying their salary. Too bad we cannot fire them all and start over. Maybe we can replace them with war veterans who know what is means to fight and be a true American! And by the way there a lot of educated people who don't make millions of dollars and there are apparently some with lots of money that need to get a grip of the real world. Where did all of these mean, etc., etc., people come from.

    July 10, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Two Of AKind -

    Obama WASN'T screened for the job of "Leading the American people" Why is Romney so different?

    The one who WASN'T screened insists that Romney IS screened smells soooo bad.

    July 10, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. Texmaster

    Romney has claimed he's not ashamed of his wealth.

    OK then, let's open up the books and see how he earned it.

    He's on a job interview and his prospective employers, the American people, have a right to know.

    July 10, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Greg in MO

    Well, some had a name for the crazies who wanted us to believe President Obama was hiding something and demanded he release his birth certificate – birthers. What are we going to call those who want us to believe Governor Romney is hiding something and is demanding that he release his tax forms? Okay...here's a good one...hypocrites!

    Still, I don't think those on the left will understand the irony in this because, well let's face what we all know is true: if most Democrats could use their mental capacity beyond mimicking President Obama's campaign distortions and lies, there would be few Democrats indeed.

    July 10, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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