House GOP campaign chief says Romney's personal finances 'fair game'
July 12th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
2 years ago

House GOP campaign chief says Romney's personal finances 'fair game'

Washington (CNN) – The chief of the House Republicans' campaign arm said Thursday it was "fair game" for people to ask for more information about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal financial records.

"His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game," Texas Republican Pete Sessions told CNN.

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Sessions heads up the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect House Republicans. The senior GOP leader's comment comes amid calls, mainly from Democrats, for Romney to release his tax returns from 2011, and earlier financial records. Democrats have seized on recent reports about Romney holding accounts in places considered offshore tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands.

So far the former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax records and an estimate for 2011, but he has filed an extension for his 2011 taxes. In an interview on Fox News on Wednesday Romney said he'll release the most recent information "as soon as they're prepared." Romney has an estimated net worth of over $250 million.

Sessions declined to specify what level of detail or how many years worth of tax records Romney should release, but called it a "legitimate question." He emphasized that any disclosure should be confined to the candidate himself – not his extended family.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, who said he was arranging a meeting soon with the GOP candidate's campaign on other issues, urged Romney to make the information public sooner rather than later.

"I think he should release his financial records and I think if he does it in July it would be a lot better than in October," Jones told CNN. Romney's extension for completing his latest tax return goes until October.

"Obviously people know he's rich, nobody holds that against him," Jones said, but added, "whenever you are asking for the vote of the American people that you need to fully disclose what your holdings are, if you have any."

Jones said he's not a financial expert, but he said Romney should release the last 6 -7 years of records.

But not all Republicans believe Romney needs to provide any more public information.

House Financial Service Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, told CNN, "I think the issue is who will make the best president and not the fact that Mitt Romney's been successful."

He argued Romney's business success was enough information for him and voters.

"I'm just excited about having someone who has been so successful -turning the Olympics around and creating jobs and who understands free enterprise. I'm not interested in finding out every deduction he took or every charitable contribution he made," Bachus said.


Filed under: 2012 • House • Pete Sessions
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    Thanks goober Sessions, we have all been waiting for your permission.

    July 12, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Brandy

    Isnt Romney the one who went to President Bush for money bailout stimulus for the Olympics

    July 12, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Best Post of the day.

    B wrote:

    "A look at Romney's tax returns will clear this matter up in no time."

    We are still waiting and thank you B,

    July 12, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    ""I think the issue is who will make the best president and not the fact that Mitt Romney's been successful.""

    Aaaaaw, isn't that cute? He said something irrelevant and thinkly veiled it in language that makes it seem relevant. Aaaaaaaaw.

    Newsflash: Nobody's attacking Mittens for being successful. We're questioning what he did with it after becoming successful. He won't give a straight answer and come clean. Maybe it's all fine and when he tells us, we'lll all say "ok, that's fine, let's move on"...but the fact that he's playing avoidance games suggests otherwise. Personally, if it's all legit, I'd rather he just keep playing the games, beacuse they make him look dishonest, secretive and squirrely.

    July 12, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. William

    Better release them soon as the Obama mafia wants to comb through those filings to legitimize all of their many crazy accusations.

    July 12, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    BTW, is it just me or does Cantor have the single most slappable face in DC?

    July 12, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. Independent For President Obama

    Some people think rich drug dealers are successful in businnes but we don't want them as our President.

    July 12, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans are beginning to see that they need a do over for presidential candidate. Mittens has a lot of baggage, and his foreign finances will be his undoing.

    July 12, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. anotherGDlefty

    Look for him to walk this back tomorrow after hearing from FOXPAC and the Koch boys.
    He will be punished for going off script.

    As for Willard, daddy dropped 12 years to prove he was legit. The Bishop will only drop 1 plus an estimate.

    Hiding something negative or bad for the talking points?

    July 12, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Stohn Jockton

    Thank you very much, Mr. Sessions, for okaying it; however, I think that we, the America People, can make that decision for ourselves.

    July 12, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Marty, FL

    America continues to see bipartisan calls for Romney's tax records, especially now that Mitt either lied about Bain or falsified records with the SEC.

    July 12, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. CAWinMD

    And whle you're at it, produce a legitimate, long-form birth certificate. Not a copy, not a layered PDF file - the original piece of paper. Since that seems to be the bar now for presidential candidates.

    July 12, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Reservation....Off.
    What's the catch?
    They are so idiotically devious.
    @
    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans are beginning to see that they need a do over for presidential candidate
    -------------------------------------------------
    Babe, with all the bs build-up and fake melodrama you may not recall that they were begging other Rethugs (Christie for example) at the eleventh hour of their primary to jump into the race.
    Talk about desperately pitiful and buyers remorse.
    I LMAO!

    July 12, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. Stohn Jockton

    He emphasized that any disclosure should be confined to the candidate himself – not his extended family...hmm So Romney's delay tactics are simply a way to stall until he moves his current assets in trust, to a family member? Who is this time, if not Anne? She took over in nmae in 2002 when he was elected. Is it Tagg? Which son? The LDS?

    July 12, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. LBAM

    just wait until the working class see what this guy has been doing; the money he has been hiding and the financial manuvers and tax aviodance strategies he has taken while the little man gets sqeezed.
    OBAMA wins and the FAT OLD MAN WHITE MAN party start screaming and going crazy.
    By the way, Ted Nugent must be either dead or in Jail ther after...., dead is better.

    July 12, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney care, hour by hour Bain updates
    GOP tired of Romney now, they just want to end the Bain discussion. GOP fear many southern conservative may stay home in November.

    July 12, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. Deeb

    @ Sniffit

    "BTW, is it just me or does Cantor have the single most slappable face in DC?"

    Totally agree.

    July 12, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  18. Maxx

    Come on Mitt, tell us how you get to have a $100 million 401k when the yearly maximum contribution is liike $10,000.00 (just betting money). There's so much that just doesn't jibe with this guy.

    July 12, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Remi

    Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans are beginning to see that they need a do over for presidential candidate. Mittens has a lot of baggage, and his foreign finances will be his undoing.
    _____________________________________

    Only liberals despise successful people. The best example is Obama who had a lot of experience as a part time teacher, bull horn agitator, and state senator but thats about it. Look at where his moronic policies have gotten us.

    July 12, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. IntelligentDesign

    As an independent I am going to protest any event of his in driving distance. I glad i didn't drink the tea aid.

    July 12, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. SafeJourney

    Was Mitt lying then to the SEC or is Mitt lying now to the American people.

    July 12, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    I don't think it up to the republican bafoons in congress to tell us as voters,how much we need to see .romney the clown could be a drug dealer for all we know .he already lost my vote anyway !!!!

    July 12, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  23. Jeff in San Diego

    Well now that Romney's sheltered his cash into his wife's and his sons' accounts its "fair game" to ask about his finances, but not his "extended family's". Who the heck do they think they're foolin here?

    July 12, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. timothy

    Three years of LIES about Obama were fair? I'd say the TRUTH about Romney is reasonable.

    July 12, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Michael

    It's been reported that Gov. Romney has control over Swiss bank accounts totaling close to $900,000,000. Nobody has challenged the reports so I suppose they are true. If so, where did this money come from and was it not kept in the USA?

    July 12, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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