Biden attacks Romney over 2011 tax return
September 25th, 2012
02:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Biden attacks Romney over 2011 tax return

Chesterfield, Virginia (CNN) - Four days after Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax return, Vice President Joe Biden used his first in-person campaign opportunity on Tuesday to pounce: comparing Romney's effective tax rate against that of a middle class person.

"Ladies and gentlemen, somebody today in America making $23,000 a year pays over 20-percent of their income in taxes, in some form of taxes," Biden said. "A couple making a hundred thousand dollars a year, they pay 29-percent in total tax."

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"Romney paid 14-percent," Biden added, noting the Republican presidential nominee's 14.1-percent effective tax rate. The vice president proceeded to crank through the new numbers from the Friday release and also reiterated attacks that Democrats have consistently made against Romney.

"He made over $13 million dollars in income, almost all from investments which he paid in 17-percent or less," Biden said. "He got millions, he has millions stashed in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The guy had a Swiss bank account. He refuses to release 10 years of his tax returns, which he demanded of his running mate?"

Biden's comments came at a campaign event in Chesterfield, Virginia. Though Obama won Virginia in 2008, he did not win Chesterfield County – a suburb of Richmond and a reliably red part of the state. In 2008, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain won Chesterfield County by eight points. In 2004, President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry here by 26-points.

Dispatching the vice president to the county is a clear sign the Obama campaign hopes to remain competitive.

During his speech, Biden repeatedly tailored his message to a middle class audience. In addition to comparing Romney's effective tax rate against middle class brackets, the vice president also reminded voters of the secretly recorded video in which the former Massachusetts governor said 47 percent of Americans are "dependent on government" – and "will vote for the president no matter what."

"Look, instead of attacking folks who work for a living and pay their way, Romney should be respecting their hard work," Biden said. "That's the job of a president: to lift people up, not to tear them down."

And Biden mocked his rival.

"He, Romney? Attacking someone on taxes? I mean, whoa! That's like me attacking someone for being passionate in politics," Biden said, noting "these people pay a lot of taxes: Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, state and local taxes, gas taxes, property taxes."

The Romney campaign was quick to respond.

"There is only one candidate in this race who has raised taxes on middle-class workers and families – Barack Obama," spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement.

"Governor Romney will lower tax rates across the board and eliminate all taxes on savings and investment for low- and middle-income Americans. The robust economic benefits of a lower capital gains tax rate is the reason President Clinton signed such reforms into law, and many prominent Democrats – including members of the Obama Administration – have supported that policy."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Mitt Romney • Virginia
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Go Mr. Vice President, we know that the twit family will amend their 2011 tax records as soon as November 7th rolls around so that they only pay 9%. It was all a ruse and I STILL WANT TO SEE 10 YEARS WORTH!!
    Those years that your accountants didn't tweak. The real taxes that made mcnasty pick the AK mutant over you.

    September 25, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    More disengenious BS from Biden. He knows full well that Romney paid taxes on ordinary income 0f somewhere North of 20% and NOW is paying 14% on the capital gain made on the invested original money. Biden knows better but is incapable of telling the truth.

    September 25, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Marie– Romney disclosed the required tax returns. Anything else is none of your or my business. He pays more taxes in one year than you would even EARN in 5 lifetimes. Let it rest.

    September 25, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We now know that Mittens is an example of tax evasion and money laundering.

    September 25, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Romneys answer to everything is to lower taxes, and the economy will be white hot and jobs will fall from the heavens except it is has been done to death and has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it does not work.How many jobs has Romney personally created with all the looop holes and tax breaks he got in the past 10 years ?

    September 25, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Romney and his campaign need to d some arithmetics. They want to lower all taxes, increase defence spending, and at the same time complain about increase in national debt,

    September 25, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. alien

    Ill gladly pay more taxes so my fellow Americans can have healthcare,I've always said take care of your own first and foremost

    September 25, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Louden Swain

    Biden was drunk singing the villages song on YouTube.

    September 25, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  9. v_mag

    Romney, show us your taxes. And show us Bush! You guys can wear matching red ties, like twins, since you're practically the same person. Or is Bush off the wagon and on the sauce again?

    September 25, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Ann

    Gov. Romney paid much more taxes than you paid Mr. Biden.. $1,900,000 compared to your $88,000. How can you keep talking about this? Don't you think that real $ contributions matter too? you keep playing the % game.

    September 25, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    For all you conservatives that think it's great that Romney's only paying 14% on "investments", try and think for a change.

    Romney makes some money and it's taxed at the income rate. He invests it and it is taxed again? No, not at all. What is taxed is the amount made on the investment. In other words, profit.

    Now, that does make sense....until you are a business owner. You make money and it gets taxed (income or otherwise). You invest that money into your business and results in increased business. You get taxed on those the income level.

    That is were my issue is. Why would that business owner invest in his business when he could make more investing elsewhere? There is no incentive to invest in his own business. And this needs to be highlighted. Investment income that is the main or only source of income should be taxed as income. Especially for those above middle class.

    September 25, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Lionel

    Romney manipulated his 2011 taxes to show that he is paying more taxes. Where are the other 10 years.

    You should listen to your father, Mr. Romney. Your father said that one year could be an anomoly and the public needs 10 years of tax returns.

    The American people are not fools Mr. Romney.

    September 25, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. mcskadittle

    what is the difference between a tax loophole and welfare?

    September 25, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    OMG – I was THERE!!!! My daughter and I – I am up on top to the far right in the picture above!! My daughter actually climb down off the bleachers from the back after the speech and managed to get next to Biden and the Secret Service took her cell phone and took a picture of her and Biden together!! Go Tyrah!!! (I was not going to climb down the bleachers from the back...LOL)

    Anyway, Biden is a very good speaker and he really warms the audience. At the end, he made sure everyone who was close enough to him to get a picture; he even climbed up in one of the stands (the stand behind him) and shook everyone's hand!!!

    Obama/BIDEN 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!!

    September 25, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Don Davis

    Romney probably paid more dollars to the US govt. than all the people put together that Biden was speaking too. Biden and Obama have spent their whole time talking about wnat is wrong with Romney instead of telling us what they are going to do different the next term. They have made it a sin to have money and be rich. Romney is just paying what he is supposed to under current laws. Sure he has money in foreign accounts as most of you have money burried in the back yard or in a safe deposit box or a safe. I am sure if Romney were to be elected he would bring all of his funds back home. He like the rest of us is scared to death of the current administration and I am sure that is why he is running to try and fix this mess. You got to know he is not doing this for the money as he already has plenty. Give the guy a break and listen to what he has to say before you sign us up to four more years of this mess we have now.

    September 25, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. JAB62

    Ancient Texan the BS isn't from Biden it's from you and your flip flopping, tax cheating, job outsourcing, vulture capitalizing, magic underwear wearing, perfectly lubricated weather vane, born rich, out of touch, olympic showboating, lyin Ryan picking, I'll do and say anything to get elected candidate.

    September 25, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |

    This from the progressive social guy who gave a poultry 1.5% to charity last year while Romney gave 30%. What a joke.

    September 25, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. v_mag

    Ancient Texan is a prime example of the kind of old soreheads we have to deal with down here in the Lone Star State. He said, "He pays more taxes in one year than you would even EARN in 5 lifetimes."

    He thinks that's okay, that a guy "earns" that kind of money and gets to keep 85% of it, while a secretary goes home with maybe 75%, which amounts to a tiny fraction of Rob-money's take-home for just as much or more work. It doesn't faze him, or even occur to him, that the money "earned" by Rob-money is the money acquired by destroying jobs of American workers.

    Ancient old buddy, "earned" is a relative term, and not all work is honest work.

    September 25, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. myviewis

    Biden said, noting "these people pay a lot of taxes:
    Social Security taxes= paid from your paycheck
    Medicare taxes = paid from your paycheck
    state and local taxes, gas taxes= expenses
    property taxes = you are a homeowner and currently pay a mortgage or mortgage is paid in full

    Where do the 47% of Americans "Dependent on Government" fall into Biden's equation????? Are we talking in reality of all the free loaders, potheads, alcoholics, government manipulators, beach bumbs, anti-work Americans, all the people that have learned to manipulate the system and take away from those in need????? I think so.

    September 25, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. obama victim

    income...versus capital gains.....don't fall for this dumbocraps...if Barry/Biden didn;t like it...whay didn't they change it when the had both houses of Congress........Biden is an embarassment...and some people fall for it

    September 25, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. demwit

    "That's the job of a president: to lift people up, not to tear them down."
    but.., but.., what about the last 4 yrs of wealth re-distribution? Uncle Joe is so confused...

    September 25, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. RealityBites

    Meanwhile.., out here in Reality.

    Obama/Biden have added $6 Trillion more in debt onto the backs of your children and grandchildren. More than all the money made byRomney, and the rest of the 1%er's combined. But hey. Biden or CNN never let facts get in his way..

    September 25, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  23. Produce The Returns

    Ancient Texan: Marie– Romney disclosed the required tax returns. Anything else is none of your or my business. He pays more taxes in one year than you would even EARN in 5 lifetimes. Let it rest.

    Actually, there are no required tax returns. He didn't have to show any at all. It's just that he's running for the highest office in the United States, and if people want to see his tax returns to find out what tax loopholes he's taken, then don't let it get under your skin. If you don't want to see any, fine, but other people do. Even Romney required 10 years tax returns from each of his potential VP running mates. If 10 years is good enough for Romney, then it's good enough for the American electorate. I paid more than Romney in 2010 and 2010 (both as a percentage and as a dollar amount), and I'm asking for 8 more years minimum. If that bothers you............. why?

    September 25, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Dee

    Romney's answer to anything could change in a day or a week because he is the ultimate flip-flopper...One minute it's one way next minute it's the opposite. He won't lower taxes..and he and Ryan lie constantly.

    September 25, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. gt

    uncle joe has never had a job in the private sector ..just drew his ck from the tax payers.. how would he know how to create a job....i know joe thinks its a bfd to tax business men and women who earn there own pay they can fund his job..

    September 25, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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