Romney, Obama campaigns tussle over transparency
March 31st, 2012
05:42 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney, Obama campaigns tussle over transparency

(CNN) – Call it a proxy war for their more significant differences: a volley of press releases from the political forces supporting President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

It began with a Thursday report that Romney's former financial firm allowed employees to buy a special type of stock in companies owned by the firm and include that stock in their retirement portfolios.

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Following the report, which was published by the Wall Street Journal, Democrats requested Romney release additional tax documents, which could shed light on some investment deals which Romney might have received. In January, his campaign released tax returns for 2010 and estimates for 2011, the two most recent years available - some 500 pages of documents.

"Today's report raises additional questions about Gov. Romney's manipulation of the tax laws," said Ben LaBolt, an Obama spokesman, on Friday. He questioned if Romney "may have engaged in questionable maneuvers to drive up the value of his IRA.

"Governor Romney could help answer the questions that have been raised by releasing his tax returns beginning with the year he became a corporate buyout specialist," LaBolt continued.

The Romney campaign countered by calling on Obama to release administration documents.

"The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he's doing in his conduct of foreign policy," Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney, told the National Journal in a story published Friday. "Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he's not promising to sell out the country's interests after the election is over."

The Romney campaign did not respond to a request from CNN to confirm the statement. Romney has been critical of the president for asking the Russian president for "space" on a missile defense project in a moment caught on an open microphone.

The Democrats responded by saying the Romney campaign request demonstrated "remarkable naiveté about foreign policy."

"For example, does Governor Romney think we should release all the notes and transcripts of the President's conversations with our allies, such as the Israelis and Europeans, tipping our hand to Tehran about every last element of our strategy to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?" Colin Kahl, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under Obama, said in a statement circulated by the DNC and Obama campaign.

"Our friends around the world need to trust that they can speak with the President of the United States in confidence, and that these conversations will not be politicized during an election," he continued.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Romney's campaign is quite transparent! You couldn't read the Etch-A-Sketch if you couldn't see through to screen.

    March 31, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. gt

    its about jobs and housing and gas prices...

    March 31, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. gg

    to-bad you could,nt run your car on republican would never have to drill again

    March 31, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Scef

    When the repubs are found to be involved in questionable practices and stances, all that they know to do is to attack in order to obfiscate the truth.

    March 31, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Ed1

    Paradoxical Quote of The Day From Ben Stein :

    “Fathom the Hypocrisy of a Government

    that requires every citizen to prove

    they are insured.... but not everyone

    must prove they are a citizen.”;

    March 31, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Blindersoff

    What about your governorship Mitt Romney, Mr. Etch-A-Sketch himself, After term was over, destroyed all computer hard drives related to his time in public office. Flip-it said they allowed staff to purchase computers. Talk about transparency . . . NOT!

    March 31, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Sig

    The US certainly doesn't need a vulture capitalist at the helm. Capitalist OK. Vulture not.

    March 31, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. ethandy

    Why would Mr. Romney's spokesperson, Andrea Saul, think it is a good idea to release to the public information that could compromise not only any president's ability to engage in honest dialogue with our allies, but also national security? It seems this is just par for the course for Romney campaign surrogates, who just refuse to think before speaking and acting. Either that or they simply don't understand what it is takes to be a respected global leader. It seems that, as with every other area of governing, Mr. Romney's foreign relations chops are woefully lacking.

    March 31, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  9. rickirs

    Obama is playing politics – oh dear me !

    March 31, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. dennis

    We the President is the one who said everything would be a transparent under his adminstration. Like Cspan televised hearings.

    March 31, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  11. mk1

    Romney will get us into a war within months if god forbid he ever wins election. That seems the only way Republicans know how to stimulate economies, war. These are very dangerous men and naive is being kind to their thinking skills.

    March 31, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. ze4420

    I am one republican who will not vote for Romney in 2012.I will sit this one out, because as evidence my his campaign to dodge the issue, there is something fishy going on here. Why not release all the tax returns? Especially during his time at Bain? I dont know. I am still not sold on this guy. The establishment wants me to believe that he will not sell us out, when he gets elected?

    March 31, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. K3Citizen

    Romney should at least show his tax records during Bush's presidency. They will most likely show that he amassed a huge fortune while everyone else bit the bullet.

    March 31, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. tony

    I thought it was illegal to put an non-public stock in an IRA, or we'd all put our low-balled stock options in and have the huge IPO profits held tax-free

    March 31, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  15. Indy

    Romney still thinks everything is a corporation or investment,and his only defence to possible tax fraud is to blame Obama and ask him to release top secret information on foreign policy. Romney is a lightweight on anything other than making money of the backs of others.

    March 31, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. otermbachmann

    Remember mittens isn't very bright.

    March 31, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    "Today's report raises additional questions about Gov. Romney's manipulation of the tax laws," said Ben LaBolt, an Obama spokesman, on Friday. He questioned if Romney "may have engaged in questionable maneuvers to drive up the value of his IRA.
    Is this the kind of pathetic and cowardly campaign we can expect from Obama going forward? He's not going to let self-pride get in the way of Axelrod's strategy de jour.

    March 31, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. 1twinsfan

    What a stupid and ridiculous request by Romney's campaign.

    March 31, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. concerned citizen

    For me, what Romney has been doing in his investment doesn't matter so much. There are millions of people including President's friend Mr. Buffet who live from investing in companies. But, what President said about "space" does matter. He should be honest and accountable. After having heard about this mishap, I have lost a respect in him, which I used to have to a great degree as a supporter.

    March 31, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  20. phenoy

    Romney is not naive..hes just stupid about these kinds of things..kinda reminds me of Palin...

    March 31, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. DeboG

    Romney, a real novice who actually doesn't even have business experience, not the kind that means building companies. He's made money being a corporate raider and he thinks that gives him credibility. He's never had foreign affairs experience but he's so arrogant, I guess he thinks he can buy it.

    March 31, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  22. Indyswimmer66

    Romney IS incredibly naive, quite simple-minded really.

    March 31, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. king

    How the hell can these folks compare Romney's manipulating our laws to pack him and his associates, to Obama asking the Russians for missile space. Romney have shown a character of untrustworthyness. Any thing Obama does with Russians have to be approved by the Congress, because this country is not a dictatorship, so it doesn't matter what this president say, or what deal he comes up with, Congress have the last say. Its amazing how these repubs praying on the intelligents of the American people. I know their are a lot of gullible people here, that will believe that this country is run by a dictator and Congress have no say in what the government does, and that the president can do what he wants, but they need to "STOP". We all know that Romney is a snake. He hide from the
    tax man, he ship manufacturing jobs to China for sweat shop laborers, and he manipulate workers to break the laws so he can get his pocket fatter, this is the man the rabid right winters wants to put into office.

    March 31, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Here is a counter request – Willard should release all private notes taken during any meeting he attended either in person or by teleconference from his Bain Capital years. I bet that would shake things up even more! Can you imagine actually hearing what the financial plans and strategies are for the top 1% of the top 1%?

    March 31, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  25. izy

    romney is an idi0t, the more he talks, the more i dont want him to be president....the man is not fit for presidency....he is only a corporate sellout and is out for his own interests....sorry romney, but Obama is definitely better suited for the job....romney has no qualifications what so ever for president....OBAMA 2012 🙂 THE REAL MAN FOR THE JOB!!!!

    March 31, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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