New day, another Obama attack on Romney transparency
July 10th, 2012
07:00 AM ET
6 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. Dixie Normous

    Obamacare = 20 new taxes on the middle class. I am not crazy about Romney, but he will do a lot less damage than Obama. I hate these choices of the "lesser of two evils." I wish either party could get a candidate that I can get behind. Dems haven't had a good choice since JFK. Last decent choice of Republicans was Reagan and he had plenty of faults.

    July 10, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. Tony

    How long can Romney keep his economic plan secret? After he and Republican Super PACs spend 1 billion attacking Obama, will we know anything about Romney's economic plan? No, it is not sufficient for Romney to say that he has a plan for cutting taxes and reducing regulations, because Republicans have been saying the same thing for 30 years.

    July 10, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Thomas

    Hows that car elovator working out for you ?

    Romney , " The Untouchable ".

    July 10, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine


    When Romney realized that Romney care was not the answer, he changed course ... but, Obama has decided to double down on his failed policies. While Democrats point out similarities between the federal health care law and the one Romney implemented in Massachusetts, others note Obama's raises 21 taxes, Romney's raised none.
    Hunting licences, a gas retailer's tax, the penalty/tax for being a deadbeat for Romneycare....the list goes on and on. In addition, because the Mormon aristocrat cut taxes on the top wage earners in the state, local property taxes rose more under Romney than anywhere else in the nation. Quit lying and accept the fact Romney taxed anything that moved, in the long tradition of GOP governors in MA.

    July 10, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    The rightie conspiracy nuts are out in force. On one hand, Obama is grossly incompetant, and on the other he's this devious schemer who hatched his plot to steal the presidency while still in the womb. Textbook examples of desperation on the right.

    July 10, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Roy

    Where are Mitt's allegiances? In Switzerland? The Caymans?

    I cannot shelter funds in foreign currency, foreign property, or foreign banks. Can you? Mitt does.

    My fate, my wealth, and my allegiances, like those of 99% of my fellow Americans, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, hangs in the balance in this land.

    It's important that our fates be so attached to keep our confidences in one another and our allegiances at home; here, IN AMERICA!

    Is it too much to ask that our President's fates also be tied inseparably to our own?

    Let Romney count his Swiss Francs; he'll not count my vote!

    July 10, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Roy

    Remember Mitt Romney was joking a little of also being unemployed just like the others while he was chatting with a group of people last year. That was very unrespectful for what he did since he is very well-off while many of us are struggling while being unemployed.

    July 10, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Roy

    Question: How many people do you personally know who has more than 10 bank accounts?
    Answer: You probably don’t know anyone with that many bank accounts. But in reality, there is at least one person like that whom we all know. His name is Willard Mitt Romney, also known as Etch-a-Sketch Romney to his campaign manager and any intelligent person who has been paying attention to the words Willard spews out of his empty head on a non-stop basis. So, before you cast your vote in November, please keep that thought in mind that Willard Romney has more than 130 personal bank accounts loaded with the pensions from all of the unemployed workers that Bain Capital left high-and-dry and stashed in their coffers, including Romney, who is now earning a handsome interest rate on daily while those whom the money was intended for struggle to make ends meet and will never forget how Romney shut down their jobs, companies, dreams and hopes so that he could get very rich.
    Romney has more than 130 bank accounts filled with stolen pensions.

    July 10, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Oy

    Looks like the paranoid loonies are out in full force this morning. How much does Mitt pay you to post such nonsense? We ALL know where Pres. Obama is from. He was born in Hawaii.
    I'm amazed that people don't CARE that Romney has offshore accounts! People! He is not paying taxes! Doesn't that bother you?

    July 10, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    the more he evades showing them, the more people think he has things to hide...isn't that what the tightie righties said about Obama and the birth certificate? Since he already has tepid support amongst the sheep, this will do nothing to help his chances with independents. And to all the drones mentioning transcripts, etc.....since when were they a standard release for candidates? answer...never

    July 10, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Out Of Touch with reality

    and from the most transparent government administration too, NOT! once again obama trys to cover up how much his administration lies and corrupts the system, obama show us your records, college, passport, social security card, draft card and even your citizenship papers, why not obama, be transparent yourself.

    July 10, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    If you are poor and don't pay any taxes ( even though Reagan came up with the idea), you are a deadbeat: if you are rich and do the same, or stash money in overseas accounts, you are a hero: anyone see the disconnect here?

    July 10, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. JP

    How long will President Obama keep his college transcripts secret?

    July 10, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. vet in tx

    I love how the people on this post who voted for W not once, but twice, have any credibility regarding choosing a leader. The fact that the current republican nominee is on record implementing, agreeing, and signing into law the very same things that Obama is attacked for, proves that conservatism is nothing more than a myth. Speeches, and campaign quotes are one thing, but all the previous "conservative" presidents since the myth was created......have done the complete opposite that the "entertainers" who sell gold, bottles of tea, and ear implants tell you what conservativism should be! You guys make it seem like Obama has:

    raised taxes 11 times
    double or quadroupled the national debt
    sold weapons to Iran
    funded guerilla fighters in South America
    invaded a soverign nation based on false information
    created cap and trade
    disregarded your "freedoms" based on fear to catch the "evildoers" (patriot act)
    implemented drug prescription with "socialized medicine" (donut hole)
    etc. etc.

    And know you actually think your current believer in the planet Kolub will be able to change. I guess if you actually thought Sarah Palin could actually lead this nation, then you will believe the gold salesman.....BTW, think about how much you paid for assault rifles and ammo when you were duped in believing "Obama's gon' take ur guns!" Hilarious!

    July 10, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Sniffit

    Google Romney's $100M IRA account and "Unrelated Business Income Tax" if you want to know how someone amasses such a gigantic IRA tax shelter when the annual deductible contribution limit is only $6,000. It's pretty simple tax avoidance, but something only the extremely rich can take advantage of.

    July 10, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    What did you expect? As a member of the top one percent, Romney is not paying his fair share of taxes.

    July 10, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    LOL at the conspiracy theory tin-foil hat club still clinging to birther and school record nonsense.

    Bottom line: Obama's tax returns are out on the table. Quid pro quo Willard.

    July 10, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Another White Lie

    Oh you mean transparency like Obama's administration ? The one that gets US and Mexican citizens killed and then covers up their involvement and motive ?

    July 10, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Another White Lie

    How about Obama's college records, anyone seen them yet ?

    July 10, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Mia

    Obama is one to talk...why are his college records sealed? What's he hiding? Hey, give Romney credit for not telling "what we want to hear"...

    July 10, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. American

    Unbelievable, "birthers" out there still decrying a non-issue birth certificate. Seriously?

    Romney is evading investments in America by hiding his accounts in other countries, and enablers on here are somehow ok with that. Sad.

    July 10, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Gard

    i cannot believe that we have people in this great country would think it is ok that Romney not release his tax returns. All American should want this. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at there returns. It will tell you how he really thinks. Money will tell you who he is and it is why most people do not want to talk about money even in relationships. to compare grades in school is flat out stupid. Americans need to stop defended politicians behavior of hiding things on both sides. I am really sure there is some issues with those returns.

    July 10, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)


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

    I do. And so do many others who would be offended if the man who wants to run our country cheated it. Republicans call for shared sacrifice, well then walk the walk. Hiding money while being a chickenhawk is an epitome of hypocrisy. If Willard was too scared to serve, if his sons are too scared to serve, then at least have the audacity to put the money (all that you SHOULD be paying) where the mouth is.

    As far as putting the country's finances in order? His MA track record says otherwise; yeah he outsourced MA govt jobs to India, in addition to his grand 47th ranking.

    July 10, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Peace

    No one marries the person they don't trust. Hiding former boyfriends/girlfriends or not willing to say anything, makes the marriage arrangement difficult and hence cancellation of everything. So, this does apply the same to Romney. Not showing/hiding voters what they need to know about him, will make impossible to cast their votes for him.

    July 10, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. Woman In California

    Keep the ads coming. Andrea Saul was quite upset yesterday and unprofessional which tells me two things: 1) Willard CAN'T release those tax returns and 2) these ads are quite effective. This man Willard is a liar and a fruad and should not be trusted especially when it comes to "looking out" for the American people. Either he shows us those tax returns or we send him a message loud and clear that he obviously is guilty of hiding something which would prove he is unAmerican and unfit for POTUS.

    Go Team Obama!

    July 10, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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