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. American

    College records? Really. The people have NEVER demanded college transcripts from another president as they do with President Obama.

    By contrast, EVERY presidential candidate in recent history has released multiple tax returns, but not Romney?

    July 10, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Sniffit

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


    That the best yo've got? Dog whistling "that there n-o only got into Hahvahd cuz of that there complexion he's got"? For realz? Newsflash: it failed miserably every time you'v tried it (just like the trickle-down fairy tale). [Insert definition of insanity].

    July 10, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. anagram_kid

    More nonsense comments about school records and Obamacare being a tax.
    Regarding the school records, I am going to turn your ‘logic of equivalency’ back on you and ask why you are also not asking for Gov. Romney’s school records. And what happens if you do see the president’s school records and they don’t conform to your notion that there is just no way a black man from a broken home is more intelligent or better educated than you? Oh, I know, you will say they are forged.

    And for the nth time… the ACA ‘tax’ is a Republican policy and only has to be paid by those who can afford healthcare but chose not to purchase it (healthcare welfare queens). How many times must this be explained?


    Obama 2012 – Because intelligence matters

    July 10, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  4. DaveC

    The best thing Obama could do right now is show that all of his bank accounts and IRAs are with domestic companies. He doesn't have to release numbers; just say who they are. That would really put Romney to the wall on this one.

    July 10, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    @DaveC: "The best thing Obama could do right now is show that all of his bank accounts and IRAs are with domestic companies. He doesn't have to release numbers; just say who they are. That would really put Romney to the wall on this one."

    Excellent idea!

    July 10, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. bardfast

    Obama released 6 years of his tax returns in 2008 and America EXPECTS Romney will at least be able to match that.

    Mitt, we're waiting....

    July 10, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Really?

    NOTHING the Obama team slings at Romney matters because this country is on the downward slide with Obama. Not saying Romney is the best choice, just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than what we have now.

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

    Obama doesn't release anything about himself or Michelle. He doesn't want anybody scrutinizing anything about the White House or the "transparencies" that are hidden there. He is desperate to find something to get on Romney. That's what happens when you can't run on your own record.

    July 10, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Dave

    Funny thing – Obama did not turn over his college transcripts or his birth certificate initially. In addition, the health care debate was anything but transparent (remember, we had to pass the bill before we could learn what was in it?). Also, Obama is hiding the truth about Fast and Furious through his executive order. Be consistent democrats.

    July 10, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Woman In California

    The reality is Willard has never had to answer to anyone and now, all of a sudden, he finds himself in a position where he can't just walk over the American people and tell us what he will and will not do so as usual, he'll keep pretending right up until election day because he knows he's a liar and a fruad whose candidacy would be DOA if the media really did their jobs. The truth is Willard is no where near presidential material and that is becoming more and more apparent. He is just someone with half way decent looks and a fake business background which the republican party thought they could put against our president. It won't work and again, they will look like the fools they are.

    July 10, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. luckjoe

    At the end of the day what do we really know about Obama?

    July 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Dean


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

    And they weren't too interested in Kennedy"s either and all the booze money the family got.

    Liberals don't pay attention to things when they pertain to them.

    July 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. solution2

    I hope all of you understand that most of these answers are created by the Dems and Reps at their people answering banks. I blame him, he blames me. look at the available facts. Romney made it with business accumen tha "0" has no idea even exists. How can I say such a thing? Easy. Obama became a politician. Romney became a business man.
    Who would you rather have taking care of the economy?

    July 10, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Hammerer

    Obama wants Romney to be like an open book.
    Just like Obama!
    How can Obama make such a statement like that with a straight face? Only because he is practiced in being fast and loose with the truth.

    July 10, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "NOTHING the Obama team slings at Romney matters because this country is on the downward slide with Obama."

    Funny how all the numbers show the opposite then, eh?

    Are we osing 750K jobs per month? NO, WE'RE GAINGING...SOME MONTHS BETTER THAN OTHERS.

    Is the economy still in recession? HINT: NO, AND IT HASN'T BEEN FOR A COUPLE YEARS.

    Is the DOW at 6K as it was when he took office? NO, OVER 12K.


    Are taxes higher? NO, TAXES ARE THE LOWEST IN OVER 50 YEARS.

    Is spending "out of control"? NO, IT HAS RISEN BY THE LEAST AMOUNT (1.3%) SINCE AT LEAST 198 (while Reagan and Dubya had the highest at over 8% each).



    July 10, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Dean

    What some people don't realize is that taxes have to be paid on all that money as it is earned, before you invest it offshore.
    Many people and mutual fund companies, at the advent of the Euro, invested money in the Euro and saw tremendous profits for the first few years.
    Romney has created more jobs with Staples than Obama has ever created in his lifetime.

    July 10, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Ferret out the BS

    What is Mitt hiding out there? And how much money does he not pay income taxes on? It's interesting the Republican trolls don't seem to be interested in how much income Mitt hides in off shore accounts but are sure focused on birth certificates and college records for the President. If we really knew how much was stashed overseas maybe it would be enough to try out that trickle down theory they've been touting so much.

    July 10, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "At the end of the day what do we really know about Obama?"

    A whole bunch actually. Of course, I could show you that 2 + 2 = 4 and you'd still ask me "but what do we really know about math?"...sooooo...yeah...there's the rub.

    July 10, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Peggy Munro

    Bullies could do whatever they like especially when they do not get their way. Bullies do not spare any expense and will challenge authority and make trouble even after the Highest Court has spoken.

    July 10, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. American

    President Obama has already released his tax returnS, yet Romney somehow thinks he's exempt from the precedent? Nonsense.

    July 10, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Larry L

    @Dixie Normous

    Obamacare = 20 new taxes on the middle class.
    This is of course an outright lie – certainly something you got from Fox News and their re-creation of reality. Fly your Confederate flag Dixie.... we know what it means to you.

    July 10, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. Ferret out the BS

    Mitt is truly the Manchurian Candidate, what does anybody really know about him?

    July 10, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)



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

    Speaking of.... The John Kerry that released 20 (twenty) years worth of tax returns? That John Kerry?
    Keep digging, Dean-O.

    July 10, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Woman In California

    @ 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.

    First of all, the president is NOT afraid of Willard and IF Willard tries to do the things you suggested-he would have to be man enough to do alone and we all know he is only strong when others are guarding and protecting him. Any more worthless suggestions?

    July 10, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Mike in Fairfax

    Why is it that, whenever I visit this site, at least one of you knocks trickle-down economics as being a bad thing. I'd take that any day over the trickle-up poverty that the current president seems to prefer.

    July 10, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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