Super PAC ad hammers Romney on taxes
August 17th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
2 years ago

Super PAC ad hammers Romney on taxes

(CNN) – The super PAC backing President Barack Obama launched an online ad on Friday reminding viewers that Mitt Romney has rejected calls to release more than two years of tax returns, and claiming that a plan offered by his running mate, Paul Ryan, would reduce his tax rate to 1%.

The spot, from Priorities USA, uses clips from Romney's press conference on Thursday in South Carolina, when he told reporters that he's paid 13% in taxes for the past decade.

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"The fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded," Romney is shown saying.

"I've paid at least 13%," he continues in the spot.

A narrator jumps in, claiming that "under one of Paul Ryan's budget plans, Romney would pay only 1%. That's right. Mitt Romney's worth $200 million, but under Paul Ryan's budget, he'd pay only 1% in taxes while middle class families would pay $1,000 more."

"Romney and Ryan: If they win, the middle class loses," the narrator concludes.

Priorities USA cites analysis of Ryan's House GOP Budget plan, which proposes eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. The two years of tax information that Romney has released, from 2010 and 2011, indicate that the majority of his income – $21.7 million in 2010 – came from long-term capital gains.

Romney has not indicated specifically which parts of Ryan's plan he supports and which parts he would change. Romney's website indicates that he would maintain current tax rates on interest, dividends, and capital gains, while enacting a "permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates."

Bill Burton, a co-founder of Priorities USA, said in a statement that under a Romney presidency, wealthy people like Romney would be awarded a lower tax rate.

"Mitt Romney already pays a lower tax rate than many middle class families, but with Romney-Ryan economics he would pay even less," Burton wrote. "The Romney-Ryan ticket would not only protect a tax system that already benefits the wealthiest like Romney over middle class Americans, it would be taken from the paychecks of millions of middle class families."

In declaring he's paid more than 13% in taxes on Thursday, Romney was describing his effective tax rate, or the percentage of actual income he gave to the federal government. Over the past two years, Romney's effective tax rate was 14.5%, based on the records he's revealed already. Some 80% of Americans have an effective rate below 15%, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Effective tax rates are always lower than top income tax rates, due to credits, deductions and exemptions that cancel out all or much of the income tax many Americans would otherwise owe.

Priorities USA said its ad would run online in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia – all battleground states. The pro-Obama super PAC is the same group that produced a much-maligned spot connecting Romney's tenure at Bain Capital to the death of a steel worker's wife. The ad never ran as a paid advertisement on television, apart from a single airing in Ohio after a station error. It did, however, air repeatedly on cable news.

“This is another false ad from a widely-denounced group with zero credibility," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in response to the latest Priorities USA ad. "There’s only one candidate in this race who has promised to raise taxes – Barack Obama. Mitt Romney supports revenue-neutral tax reform that lowers rates across the board – for all taxpayers – and maintains the progressivity of the current code. President Obama’s failed policies have led to record-level unemployment and 23 million Americans struggling for work. Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will mean more jobs, more take-home pay, and a stronger economy.”

CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Priorities USA • Taxes
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Mitt the Twit and his side kick

    if the shoe fits wear it.... get em

    August 17, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Reunited and it feels so good.
    Feel the love in that picture.

    August 17, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Nix the Food Stamp President

    More scare tactics from the insane left. Priorities USA is the same PAC that suggested Romney had a connection to the death of a steel workers wife who worked for Bain. Priorities USA is run by former White House Press Secretary, Bill Burton. I am sure that has surprised no one since Priorities USA is so ethically challenged like his old boss.

    August 17, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney has been caught cheating on taxes and filed retroactive amended returns in MA. Mittens also served on audit board for Marriott and his expertise resulted in over $200 million in fines for taxes. Mittens has over $100 million in an IRA, and is believed to have taken amnesty for misfiling tax returns with his foreign accounts. Both Ryan and Romney are personhood candidates, both supported Bush's unfunded unnecessary wars, unfunded tax cuts for those who don't need them, and Ryan voted against the stimulus and took credit for the jobs in created in his district.

    August 17, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. george of the jungle

    go get them he paid less than a single person making 40 grand. so much fo the middle class Has anyone heard Devos don't roof rack me Bro? . What a hoot. Should be the theme song at the democratic convention. Vote all the lying repos out Forward

    August 17, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. WiredweirdinSF

    They have nothing else to run on. The Obama regime has been a complete and utter failure and he has not fulfilled his own campaign promise not to run if he could not turn things around in his first term. He hasn't and the Romney tax thing is a sneaky democrat liberal tactic to divert attention from them miserable and abysmal failure of the the regime. He has to win a second term, Michelle still has lots of places she wants to pary at the taxpayer expense.

    August 17, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. American People

    Mitt Romney is a liar, tax evader, and a criminal for not disclosing his off-shore accounts. We the American People want to see your taxes to see your real tax rate. We also want to know how many jobs you off-shored and how much money you have in off-shore accounts evading taxes.

    August 17, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. CanadaONE

    If Republicans followed their leader and placed their money in the Cayman Islands = America would loose 380 Billion dollars a year in taxes and federal investments revenue and WOULD GO BANKRUPT

    Romney sets a BAD example as an American – In Canada we would kick him OUT of the country

    and some of you would vote him in as president ???? Obama Care covers mental illness – see a doctor FAST !!!!

    August 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "In declaring he's paid more than 13% in taxes on Thursday, Romney was describing his effective tax rate, or the percentage of actual income he gave to the federal government. "

    Where did you get this CNN? How can you possibly print something like that? IT WAS 100% UNCLEAR WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. This time it's really beyond the pale. You just published an ASSUMPTION as though it is FACT. FIX IT.

    August 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. California Gary

    So under their plan, people like the Romney's would only have to pay 1%........and with a good tax attorney, I'm guessing they would continue to pay closer to 0%........like most of them do now. Gee.......that seems fair. Of course, we'll have to cut back on the safety net and other programs that aid the poor and the working poor and the middle class.......but oh well. They should have been born rich like the Romneys.

    August 17, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Reunited and it feels so good.
    Feel the love in that picture."

    I know right? SLOTH LOVE CHUNK!!!!

    August 17, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    This is election is about tax fairness, and it looks like Willard has been getting preferential treatment for quite some while now. Seriously! This is the guy who said "CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE MY FRIEND." What race and gender is Bain Capital Willard? Did Bain Capital fill out a U.S. Cencus last year? I'd sure like to see Bain Capital fit inside a voting booth.

    August 17, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. California Gary

    Say there nix.......do you really want to get into a discussion about the ethics of the people running the super pacs? Do you really think the people running the pacs on the GOP side of the ledger will measure up? Really?

    August 17, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. SwissMitt

    Ryan is a joke and so is Romney, vote third party

    August 17, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The dumbest people in America are the right wingnuts who think that President Obama stole $716 billion from medicare. They are incapable of reason, as Obama's has that saving go directly back to healthcare. The Ryan Romney plan also takes $716 billion from medicare, but it is in the form of tax cuts to the wealthy, and on top of that, they make an additional cut of $500 billion from medicaid. The only reason that the Obama plan is feasible is because of the ACA. What makes the republican plan impossible to save medicare is that they also promised to repeal the ACA.

    August 17, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. cali girl

    WiredweirdinSF. really? Robmey won't show a drop of his tax returns and he does everything he can to change the subject. Every time this issue arises, Robmey does a duck and dodge and changes the subject fast.
    Example, late last Friday night it was all over the news channels that Ryan was the VP pick. Also last Friday was the funeral for the victims of the Sikh temple shooting. Robmey's team decided against the announcement for respect of the shooting victims, but sure enough someone from his team leaked the Ryan pick and on Friday there it was for all to see.
    This is the problem with Robmey, he says one thing and does another.
    Were are Robmeys' plans for the Economy: nothing. For ACA,:nothing. Immigration: nothing. Tax rates for working Americans: nothing. Budget for the Government: depends on how the wind is blowing at what event and what day it is.
    Medicare: going to kill it.

    August 17, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. UrNIdiot

    @WiredWeirdinSF – Nothing else to run on? How about protecting SS and Medicare (SS by eliminating the cap, Medicare by controlling Provider payments)? How about helping the poor and sick? How about clean air? How about clean water? How about safer products? How about equal rights for all(even you)? How about not starting another war? How about everything the GOP represent? Pretty easy to decide especially if the alternative is a tax evader and a criminal for not disclosing his off-shore accounts.

    August 17, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Jan

    There is a saying concerning the Baptist Religion where some would hold to it AGAINST ALL ODDS!!! It goes like this, "Baptist Born, Baptist Breed, Baptist I'll Be Until I'm Dead." This seems to be the case with Republican Die-hards. "Republican Born, Republican Breed, Republican I'll Be Until I'm Dead." HOW ELSE CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE MADNESS?!!! Romney and Ryan aren't being secretive (at least Ryan's not). They are out with Their Plan for The Benefit of the 1%ers and The Demise of The Middle Class. One would think THEY COULDN'T POSSIBLY WIN!!! BUT THEY CAN BECAUSE REPUBLICAN DIE-HARDS ARE WILLING TO DIE FIRST BEFORE VOTING FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT. I only ask that should Romney and Ryan win you don't blame President Obama, but admit that it was you who tied his hands after two years in office with your Republican Congressional Tea Party Votes...and it would be you who voted him out of office. First, you would have obstructed him, then you would have voted him out. So, if this comes to pass, you'll have only yourselves to blame.

    August 17, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Priorities USA is the same PAC that suggested Romney had a connection to the death of a steel workers wife who worked for Bain"

    Cry me a river. Turds roll downhill. For all of his life, Mittens has been at the top of the hill taking dumps. That he and his supporters are suprised people are finally throwing them back at him is hilarious.

    August 17, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Bill from GA

    These attack ads are fine and well, but soon pro-Obama groups need to create ads promoting Obama's record. Recently, defending his support of Stimulus funds for his state, paul ryan claimed, as is often done, that the Stimulus was a total failure. mitts often claims the same thing.

    If these 2 are economic whiz boys, they should be able to recognize the awesome turnaround resulting from TARP and the Stimulus. Looking at charts of job growth from minus 750 thousand per month to over 250 thousand per month in Obama's first year and a half; the turnaround of the stock markets, and GDP going from below MINUS 5% to over 3%, anyone could see the success.

    August 17, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mr Weird – You have a lot of anger, and it seems to coincide with Walmart firing their greeters. You will be able to get a new middle class minimum wage job under the Mittens' plutocracy for $2 an hour.

    August 17, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Silence DoGood

    It would be a good idea to see who is behind the Obama Super PAC's and Romney's too for that matter. Fun to see when the payback happens.

    2008 Goldman Sachs makes big donation to Obama (US audit records).
    2012 Goldman Sachs let off the hook being prosecuted by US Government.

    Remember after the rhetoric and smiles and nice words – Obama and Romney are both part of the 1%. The only way they are "one of us" is if we are all ruthless, powerful, career politicians each with about the same money at their disposal (CNN estimates $1 trillion each equally).

    August 17, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Paul Ryan stated that the stimulus failed and didn't create jobs. Then why did he write a letter asking for stimulus money? He said "it will help stimulate the economy." The ultimate height of hypocrisy.

    August 17, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    Still no mention of Obama's accomplishments as president or even before.
    The reason is that there are none!

    August 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. pht

    you know what really ticks me off is the fact that romney and his wife act as if americans are a bother to them. You know this country neeed a president who is for everyone,listening to them say things like we are not releasing anymore taxes to them, as if we are not americans is disgusting. Ann R omney is just as unlikable as her husband is. They seem to be very cold and i would never vote for them.

    August 17, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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