March 7th, 2008
08:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama camp slams Clinton for secrecy


Obama's campaign manager had some sharp words for Clinton Friday (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Barack Obama's campaign stepped up its effort Friday to target Hillary Clinton for delaying the release of her income tax returns, saying the New York senator has a "pattern of secrecy" and has yet to be fully vetted by the American people.

"Senator Clinton is one of the most secretive politicians in America today," Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters. "She has consistently refused to release her tax returns. They have said they are going to release them around [April] 15, but there is no reason why the prior six years of tax returns couldn't be released right now."

Obama's campaign has long criticized Clinton for not releasing her previous tax returns, though it stepped up its attacks earlier this week. In a conference call the morning after Obama lost three out of the four March 4 primary contests, Obama strategist David Axelrod said Clinton is the least-vetted candidate in the presidential field because of her refusal to disclose the documents.

Clinton's Communications Director Howard Wolfson released a statement shortly after the call repeating recent assurances that the New York senator will release last year's tax returns in April. He also said over 20 years of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s tax returns are already public.

Clinton did release a Senate disclosure form last May that revealed the couple’s joint income for the previous year was upwards of $12 million. But a tax return would present a more comprehensive account of the Clintons’ income, and include revenue sources that aren't required on Senate disclosure forms.

"Considering the huge amounts of money they have made in recent years, they've contributed their money to the campaign, some of those relationships financially have been with individuals who have come under quite a bit of scrutiny for possible ethics transgressions, its essential to know where the American people are getting there money from," Plouffe said Thursday.

"If Sen. Clinton is not being open and honest about her tax returns or her experience on the campaign trial, you have to wonder if she'll be open and honest with the American people as president," he added.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Houston Texas

    What about Paul v. Clinton in California? If convicted, she will be the first president to take the oath of office from prison.

    March 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. vanchava


    March 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Haley Rodman Clemson

    When all else fails, go negative. Obama's finally become what he said he wouldn't. Looks like the political world is back to normal. Now we have liberals fighting over which protected group they would rather hand a "first" to.

    March 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Michigan uncommitted voter

    Senator Clinton is not about what she can do for the people of America. Who are we kidding? We all know deep in our hearts that it is about her wanting to be president for the power of it all and her since of entitlement. Senator Clinton’s behavior has surprised me. I am in my late fifties and know she feels she is privileged and above others. She has changed her position on several issues. President Clinton and his political mobsters promised the Presidency it to her for staying with him through all of his misdeeds. The more I watch with is going on the more I see the cruel person she really is.

    March 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Jay

    Thats all you got Obama. Cry Baby!!

    She dosent have to release them until everyone else has to. You dont make the rules. GROW UP!

    March 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Deb, IN

    Let me repeat this WHO CARES ABOUT HER TAX RETURNS!!!

    For all those Obama supporters, Sen. Clinton said she was TOUGH and a FIGHTER and she's showing it. Stop whinning, your candidate has messed up and he's paying the price GET OVER IT this is politics!

    And if you think one person is going to make a difference in WASHINGTON you are as DELUSIONAL as your candidate!

    I'm with you "President Hillary Clinton"!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. laurie

    Talk about media secrecy!! What about Paul vs. Clinton fraud case. Google it. This is CURRENT news!!!!

    Go to youtude and view the video hillary uncensored.

    March 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Adam - TX

    Can the Obama camp get any more desperate and can his supporters become any more bitter? his hype is falling to the ground. Relax...we're all democrats here. Jump off the train before his advisers run him into the ground.

    March 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Here we go again

    Obama needs to just go home, does anyone really know if Obama donated that money to charity that he got from his hoodlum friend? Where is the proof?

    Obama is not seasoned enough to run this country! And anyone who thinks he is should go back to their caves!

    March 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Troy

    Hillary, this corrupt monster, has been bankrolled by special interests and crooks. She can only lie about it for so long (she learned how to lie from her husband, Bill). Couple that with the fact that she's supported by the uneducated and hispanicsm. And we want her to our US President.


    March 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. Celia

    The last paragraph was fairly and nicely put!!! I am proud of him!!! I am so pleased that we have Senator Obama to represent us!!! I am so ready for things to be different. If there wansn't anything to hide, they would have been making copies of that stuff the day after the last debate gladly and it would be a non-issue. I am so very proud of Senator Obama!!! He doesn't have to be nasty to be strong. Sometimes people get it confused, bullies are insecure, they are not strong.. He has proven to me that he is strong!!!

    March 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Liz

    Clinton said she would release them by April 15–Now whey doesn't Sen Obama release the names of the charities he supposedly gave his campaign contributions from Rezko to? Also, Please explain how a well educated person with above average earnings like himself could tour his prosepctive house (which he did buy at a reduced rate) with Rezko and then call it a "mistake"

    March 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. NoBama

    If Obama and his camp can't pull it together... and Soon! I might be switching my vote to McCain.

    March 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Drake

    sexist SEXIST and more SEXIST...give me a break...that is what he finds fault with Hillary.....
    This country is so is just sad

    March 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Kat, Huntington, West Virginia

    Boy, Barack really is a sore loser isn't he? Look get over this tax thing. Hillary has released her taxes each year she was in public service and this year will be no different. Do you think that this year is special and she is holding back some deep dark secret? Come on, this is just another smoke screen put up by BO to keep people from looking at the real issues. Besides remember most Americans know what it takes to be president. Just ask Ohio. And remember as Ohio goes so goes the country!!!!!!! Hillary08!!

    March 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Edgar

    Obama is getting desperate!!!! Tax records – OMG! Defect to the Obama camp!

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Lanae

    Why is this such big news. The clintons are the biggest con artists out there and they will always be caught up in some sort of scandal. I am tired of them and wish they would just GO AWAY!! And Samantha Powers comments about hillary sounds about what us african american voters feel about her. We hate her, despise her and feel that she has been a total witch this primary season and we will not vote for her PERIOD!!!
    Just a word of caution to the hillary supporters..According to most of the urban radio stations I listen to, if hillary "STEALS" this nomination thru back door deals, we are having a BLACK OUT which is already being planned and voting independent in the Fall. Ralph Nader was on Al Sharpton yesterday and he is aware of the plan. As an african american voter, I will slit my wrist before I cast a vote for that evil, coniving woman. And according to my estimates miss HILLARY can't win without the black vote which makes up 50% of the democratic party. It is virtually impossible for hillary to catch obama and the only way she can win is if the superdelegates give her the nomination. So she can attack attack attack she still can't catch Obama in the pledged delegate count and that includes Florida and Michigan.

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. I P

    Hillary Clinton is well on her way to steal this nomination from Obama. It will happen in broad daylight and in front of everyone's eyes. And Americans will forget about it as easily as they forgot Al Gore's bid and the Florida vote. This is the great American Democracy. Cheers !!!

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. A. Harrison

    We know any and everything about the Clintons except what toilet tissue they use and I'm sure we can get that too.

    TEll us how you're ready to lead, OBAMA, and stop going Negative!

    HIllary 2008!

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. Harvey

    Is this all they got..geez weezie poor Obama

    Hillary 08

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. sw

    It is still March!!! what is the point you call out people to release their tax return now???plus, considering so many Clinton haters out there, if there is something wrong with their income, don't you think it will be already leaked(accendentally) from IRS? or IRS already inspecting them?

    Plus, Has Obama finished his tax return yet? probably not, he is too busy with his political positioning, he hasn't even had time to hold one single meeting with NATO regarding the war on terror inn Afganstan yet.

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. globescout

    It's always about the Clintons, according to Obama's campaign. Why don't they have their man stand on his own two feet, and put the spotlight on him, and leave it on him, instead of marketing him with sound bites and chants, then hoping to keep him propped up by scruitinizing Clinton?

    Obama, stand on your own two feet and accomplishments, whatever they are!

    March 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. franklahai

    Here is what Tim wrote

    She is so awful. I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of most Americans. First they put Bush in the White House (for 8 years) and now they want to put this charlatan in the White House. This country is the leaders of the free world? America lives in a constant state of fear because their politicians shove it down their throat. The rest of the world is pulling for Obama.

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. A. Harrison

    After your campaign shows signes of collapsing......Desperation. You can smell it.

    Vote Hillary 2008!

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Joyce, NY

    Can't he come up with anything new? Talk to us about issues – economy, foreign affairs, security. That's what we want to hear about.

    Keep focusing on mud sling when you yourself isn't exactly squeeky clean.

    March 7, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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