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. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -----------------
    That is flip=flopping taken to new heights. I call it kaleidoscoping. It's even better than Etch A Sketch.

    July 10, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "How about Obama's college records, anyone seen them yet ?"
    ----------------–
    It's Mitt Romney's turn to go first on this issue.

    July 10, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. gypsyalso

    having money in off shore accounts to avoid taxes seems to me to be rather unpatiotic when you are running for president of the US. we try very hard to buy american as the job we save might be our own. the taxes he is avoiding might be the ones that go toward the presidential salary. not a smooth move in my book.

    July 10, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Laverne

    Funny how no one is demanding to see Romney's college transcript or demanding to see his birth certificate because his father was born in another country nor making a huge deal about his religion even though President Obama has repeatedly said he was Christian.............and we are suppose to believe there is not a racial element to this. Just look at the double standard here and tell me the difference in these 2 guys!!

    July 10, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. Laura, Boston

    Probably as long as it takes President Obama to tell us about Fast and Furious and tells us about all the back room deals that were promised to push the Health Care mess through the Senate.

    It is not illegal to have a Swiss bank account or to bank in the Cayman's is it? It is not required either to devulge ones personal tax records. I am sure he will when he sees fit. Obama is using anything he can so he doesn't have to run on his accomplishments, why? Because he doesn't have any!!!

    July 10, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Vidyashanti

    A person who wants to be the President of the United states need to be frank with American Public. Americans are fair minded. They appreciate success then any one else. Romney should be proud of showing his wealth if it was legitimate and paid honest tax. More you avoid or try to hide more people will demand full disclosure. Media should be after Romney. We assume he is an honest guy and has nothing to hide. He is smart. He knows that American will not trust him if he does not come forward. Before it becomes a scandal it is wise to act now. But inscrutable are the ways of Republicans. With their money might they may hoodwink Americans. Let us wait & see.

    July 10, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. stop the lying

    You are all so misinformed and misguided it amazes me. You pick up on the most left wing talking points and that is all we ever here from you. Talking points that are spread by email. It is getting old already. No one new is listening to you any more. All you do is talk amongst yourselves. All repeating the email you received or the diatribe you here in the press and on TV.
    You stopped thinking for yourselves and that's why you like big government. They do all your thinking and they control you from cradle to grave. You don't think about what you are saying you just believe in your big government leaders and repeat everything they say. Sad to say the least. You have become so lazy and you don't even know it. Very sad.

    July 10, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. emma

    Romney's deep-pocket bosses control his campaign and if he is the President, they will control the American government.

    July 10, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    I have yet to see Willard's college records. Or his long-form birth certificate for that matter; I have seen both of President Obama's.

    President Obama has at least 8 years worth of tax returns available. Willard has what, one?
    What's Willard hiding???

    July 10, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""How about Obama's college records, anyone seen them yet ?"
    ------–
    It's Mitt Romney's turn to go first on this issue."

    Mittens lead? Bwahahahahahaha....

    July 10, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Taylor

    RS, CA

    How long before Obama releases his school records
    Really
    Why don't you release yours................
    Why are people worry about his school records, silly you...........anything to try to nail him to the cross. Is this the best you got. There is something about Romney that doesn't jive. You know it and I know it. People have talked about him like a dirty dog, say anything ......some or sick of it. If you don't like him cool, but come on stop the bull.........

    July 10, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Anders Perillo

    hahaha! Coming from the Obama camp? This is the height of hypocrisy!

    July 10, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. ten

    Switzerland is also a safe haven to dictators and corrupt politicians across the world. That is where they hide the loot.

    July 10, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. porchhound

    Anything to change the subject from the ONE thing that matters in this race: WHO is best suited to bring this nation back from the fiscal cliff? The Dems had the purse strings since the last two years of the Bush presidency until 2010. They had ALL THREE captured with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate from 2008-2010...all they did was try to advance their LIBERAL agenda at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars with NO SUCCESS in reducing unemployment and NOT ONE BUDGET passed since Obama became president...Obama couldn't even garner ONE SINGLE VOTE from the House or Senate on HIS BUDGET!!!

    Now THAT is what is on everyone's mind!.

    July 10, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Wake up people

    President Obama could release his tax records, his school transcripts and anything else and it still wouldn't be enough. Bottom line is some people believe anything they are told and they would just come up with something else. How about DNA?? You need that too. Maybe a few strands of hair from Sasha and Malia?? The GOP/baggers are so very pathetic. You might be sorry if President Obama and Mittens released their transcripts..... I guarantee President Obama had better grades.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 10, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA has a FAILURE PROBLEM

    Obama criticizing others for non-disclosure? Romney has disclosed what he needs to and frankly I could care less about his personal business.

    Obama has now hidden information from the American people and the parents of a slain border patrol agent through the misuse of Executive Privilege. All to hide the incompetence of Obama and Eric Holder before the election.

    Obama has released NONE of his school records to prove to the American people he has even taken a finance course. Whta is he hiding. It is clear he and others around him have been actively concealing a LOT of Obama's past and his affiliations. It appears he has a history of associating with far left radicals and even former domestic terrorists. The people he has put into the Whitehouse have been of the same ilk.

    Obama needs to come clean with the American people. We DEMAND to know who he is and everything about his past, including his educational records.

    July 10, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. Jim

    Transparency...doesn't mean what it used to mean. Obama needs to find another tactic. Grandpa used to say, "That dog won't hunt." And he wasn't talking about a dog.

    July 10, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Jim

    Romney is rich. Get over it. Who do you want as President? A person that knows how to build wealth or a person that knows how to be a leech?

    July 10, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Q

    Job creators can keep their money wherever they want and they don't need to show you squat. Get a job and pay some taxes.......................TEAMERICA

    July 10, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Dixie Normous

    Either Obama unseals those records 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! Continue the lies!!!

    July 10, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Jon

    Obama is calling for transparency on Romney's taxes ... Mr. Obama where is your transprency on the Fast and Furious cover-up with Holder

    July 10, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. J

    How ironic that the Obama campaign wants to sell Romney as not being transparent when Obama himself claimed that he would have the most transparent administration in history and yet it's been one of the most secretive. Smoke and mirrors at every turn. Anything to take the attention off of the dismal economy that Obama will never take credit for despite being in the White House for going on 4 years. He knows he can't run on his own record so he just hopes people will dislike Romney enough to reluctantly vote for him again.

    July 10, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. philcrase

    Frankly, my dears, I think Romney should challenge Obama – if Obama releases his school/college transcripts, attendance records, scholarship info, etc, then Romney will release more tax filings. If Obama releases his Exec Order on FastnFurious and background info on Solyndra and other green project grants that have bankrupted, then Romney will release even more tax returns. Fair is fair. Obama, King of Transparency, is the least transparent of any American president to date.

    July 10, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. maramara

    Mitt is hiding something. He may be a tax evader, thats why he is for no taxes for the rich

    July 10, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Dave

    How long will Obama hide the details of fast and furious? Why didn't he open the health care debate to the public like he said he would? Give me a break on the hypocrisy please!

    July 10, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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