[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/23/art.ap.biden.917.jpg caption="Sen. Biden took aim at McCain on overseas tax loopholes."]
WOODBRIDGE, Virginia (CNN) – Joe Biden Monday followed up on an ad released that morning by his campaign that criticized John McCain for protecting insurance companies that evade taxes by sending their earnings offshore to Bermuda, accusing the Republican nominee of saying one thing in public and another in private, remarking “maybe he should be asking those companies to put America first.”
“This continues something that has been a disturbing trend lately with John McCain,” said Biden. “Claiming the mantle of reform in public, but promising business as usual in private.”
Biden argued that domestic insurance companies are dodging $4-7 billion in taxes by claiming a headquarters in Bermuda. He pointed to a June article in the island’s Royal Gazette that says McCain “spent three days on the Island last year meeting business and political leaders and claiming he understood the concerns of the insurance sector about draft legislation proposing a clampdown on US business operations in tax havens.”
“On the floor of the United States Senate, John spoke out against these offshore tax breaks not long ago,” said Biden .“Then, while he was in Bermuda, according to the Bermuda Royal Gazette, the newspaper, he started singing a very, very different tune.”
Echoing the ad, Biden charged that McCain had taken $50,000 in campaign contributions from insurance company executives who profit from the tax haven.
“Maybe he should be asking those companies to put America first. Maybe it’s time to ask them,” said Biden.
McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds responded to the ad by pointing to the office space the Obama-Biden campaign leases in Chicago from the consulting company Accenture. That firm enjoys lower taxes because it is based in Bermuda.
“Whether he is opposing additional oil drilling while decrying high gas prices or blasting earmarks despite his requests for a billion dollars in pork barrel spending for his home state, Barack Obama has a stronger record of hypocrisy than he does making change in Washington,” said Bounds.