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. ToldUso

    "Naive" would be one of the nicer characterizations of Romney. "Clueless" and "amoral" would be more accurate.

    March 31, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. kenny

    Romney is as stupid as stupid gets if he thinks a "Sitting President" should release notes and or transcript of his private conversations with world leaders.

    March 31, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Tom in San Diego

    The part Mr. Romney didnt hear on that open mic gaffe was Mr. Obama's comment, tell Vlad thanks for the donation to my superfund, I have been paying the Unions back, the enviromentalists back, and I'm trying to shut down those insurance companies like I did the small banks. I'll repay him and give him Europes addiction to Oil and we will finally be rid of those Saudi's for the favor they did Bush in letting Osama's family live. Stick with me Vlad, so far we have delivered for you....

    March 31, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  4. nolimits3333

    Mitt wants to kill Social Security and Medicare and reduce taxes for the rich.

    The 1% rule!

    March 31, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. FIELD1stSGT

    What does i g n o r n a n t find wrong with Romney's doing that. At least he isn't standing in the street trying to try a man who the police think is innocent and the teen boys shooting was justified. Instead he does what no other President has ever done. Try to incite a riot in America. We the Patriots will stand for no more of this kind of ignorance.

    March 31, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. Stopthemadness

    Romney is a twit and out of touch with real Americans. If you vote for Romney you will vote your savings away!

    Santorum is an overzealous religious fascist. Who believes that if it isn't in the bible it is wrong and if you aren't seen or heard doing it it's ok. He will force all to bow before the will of the church and bring upon us a whole different form of evil.

    Hope you republicans are noticing the end of your parties chances.

    March 31, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. Blue

    Romney is too dumb to be president, and he does not understand anything but how to take money from others.

    March 31, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. Bootstomper

    Romney doesn't even know why he wants to be president. His secretary of state would probably be Wink Martindale.

    March 31, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. truth1111

    Romney naive???? Seriously?? Obamas first few months in office... 1) Apologizes to Iran without the American flag behind him, for amercas past.... 2) Calls police officers idi*ts without knowing the facts.... Naive huh??? Now Iran almost has a nuke....!

    March 31, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. Donkey Party

    Romney is so out of touch and unfit to serve as President, the GOP should be flatly rejected for running their crop of fatally flawed candidates.

    March 31, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. steven harnack

    The most ridiculous thing about the Republicans lambasting Obama over the open mic incident is that what it caught was the President trying to keep the Russians talking about European missle defense, a program that all of the Republicans want. I guess that they would rather have the Russians reject it outright than give Obama any credit for keeping it alive.

    March 31, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. Smeagel4T

    Wall Street Mitt's campaign rushed the fire-back without thinking it through and ended up lobbing a dud that made Wall Street Mitt look bad. Is Wall Street Mitt's campaign suggesting his tax returns are a matter of national security? That's amazing. What exactly is in Wall Street Mitt's tax returns, anyway? Has he been (literally) selling out our country to the point where it is a national security concern. Americans have a right to know what traitorous business actions Wall Street Mitt has been engaged in if his campaign is suggesting his tax returns are a matter of national security.

    March 31, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  13. Smeagel4T

    Hey, what goes around comes around neocons. Where are Romney's other long form tax returns? Where are his REAL tax returns - not those Photoshopped versions he released? And while Romney's at it, where's his long form birth certificate? There are allegations that Romney was actually born to an illegal second wife his father had secretly married. What is he covering up by refusing to disclose his birth certificate? He could easily put these allegations to rest simply by disclosing his birth certificate.

    March 31, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  14. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There has to be some question with Romney since he and his staff bought the hard drives from MA when he left office. I am not saying that Obama is 100% transpartent, but he is a far sight better than many others out there.

    March 31, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. chris

    I think Romney needs to release transcripts of the secret chruch proceedings he attends so we know he's not plotting to tun over control of the US to his church elders.

    March 31, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Casey

    "remarkable naiveté " is exactly what I would say the democrats performed in the last election nominating our current president. Sometimes I do not think people ever stop long enough to think about what they are saying. Perhaps the one who speaks privately in public with a mic on and then expecting we will swallow his lame excuse is the one demonstrating remarkable naiete. Naw...not possible....LOL & ROTFLOL

    April 1, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. barry

    In the General election I will vote for Romney. I don't think he is all that great but having to choose between Obama and Romney I will take Romney. It's kind of like picking the prettiest leper.

    April 1, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. rmtaks

    "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."

    This is overplaying his hand. It would have been better to just let the Russian thing simmer instead of "durr, unclassify every meeting with every world leader."

    April 1, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. dave oldread

    is romney forr real, release transccripts of what our president is doing to protect our country, catching more teroist than bush did is making him un-american ? or doe's out of touch romney want the president to look like a no mind like the way mitt ol' buddy, me and my wife made under 100,000.00 llast year and paid 20% in tax. release the tax records so you and your acctant can be charged with breaking the law,like most rich ....oh, it was an error slap on wrist, in the middle class its called pay fines and peneltys.

    April 1, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  20. Blualliance

    If Mitt Romney manages to buy his way into the presidency, America would be in great jeopardy and war would prevail as Romney is all about the bottom line. He cares nothing for the human condition or for the condition of planet earth. His arrogance and lies are astonishing and unfortunately the media gives him a pass. He panders to whatever group he is speaking to and tells them what they want to hear. If he is questioned on his views, he will very likely have a different answer, depending on who is asking the question. Romney is a spoilt little rich boy with a superiority complex who thinks he is above it all and not accountable to anyone. God help America if he takes the whitehouse.

    April 1, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. rntaks

    "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."

    This is overplaying his hand. It would have been better to just let the Russian thing simmer instead of "durr, unclassify every meeting with every world leader."

    April 1, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  22. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Romney the mass loser clown will never be pres except in somila where he wouldn't get elected either!!!!!!!!!!!!@

    April 1, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |

    I am happy to assure you of this, most sane Americans would rather have our intelligent President talking with world leaders including our allies as opposed to someone who is completely out of touch with the average citizen. It appears that Mr. Romney's only career has been running for President and getting himself rich through investments in between campaigns. Perhaps he should stick to getting richer and firing people and leave the IMPORTANT things to those who really care about what happens to our country. I'm just saying......

    April 1, 2012 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  24. Really?

    Yup, Romney must've cheated since he's so successful.

    Why does this country shun those that are successful?

    Major jealousy problem in this country....the haves and the have-nots.

    April 1, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  25. Stan

    All we hear about Romney is that he's going to run our country like a business. Business this, business that. The only thing I see wrong with that is if decisions are made on the basis of a snapshot at a particular time that could hurt people unnecessarily. A good example is that his businesses were profitable with American employees, but yet he took his company overseas because the opportunity to do so was there. Also he did not favor the bailout of U.S. automakers and thought we should just let them fail.

    April 1, 2012 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
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