Obama team hits Romney over financial disclosures
April 6th, 2012
11:37 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama team hits Romney over financial disclosures

(CNN) - President Barack Obama's campaign wasted no time Thursday jumping on a report about Mitt Romney limiting certain disclosures of his financial investments. And Mitt Romney's campaign was equally quick to fire back.

Using the president's Twitter account, as well as accounts from top campaign staff, Obama's re-election team pushed a story by the Washington Post, even starting the Twitter hashtag: #WhatsRomneyHiding.

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"So what's Romney hiding?" the president's Twitter account (@BarackObama) read Thursday night, urging followers to demand that Romney release more years of his tax returns.

Romney's team, however, blasted Obama's campaign for launching the attack.

"President Obama will do anything to try and distract Americans from his failed record of chronic unemployment, lower incomes and higher gas prices," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to CNN.

The Washington Post reported Thursday Romney used an "obscure exemption in federal ethics law" that allows him to avoid revealing the full extent of his holdings in financial disclosures.

According to the Post, Romney took advantage of the loophole for 48 accounts at Bain Capital, the candidate's former private equity firm. By giving narrow descriptions of his holdings, Romney is permitted from fully disclosing the company's underlying assets, the Post reported.

"Romney has made it difficult to know precisely where his money is invested, whether it is offshore or in controversial companies, or whether those holdings could affect his policies or present any conflicts of interest," the article stated.

The newspaper noted, however, that Romney is not violating any rules and that his advisers have certified his financial documents with the Office of Government Ethics.

But that didn't stop Obama's campaign from using it as another way to paint the former Massachusetts governor as an out-of-touch businessman seeking to hide his true wealth.

"Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history," Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said in a statement.

The campaign has previously attacked Romney for not releasing more tax returns than the ones he released in January, which only included returns from the years 2010 and 2011.

Romney spokeswoman, Saul, said the candidate's disclosures "completely and accurately describes Governor Romney's assets as required by the law applicable to candidates for president. If (the Office of Government Ethics) had at any point considered any part of the filing insufficient, it would have made this clear."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Normal in NH

    This is going to be an interesting general election with the President's campaign trying to match accomplishments with Romney...I advise the Obama family to pick up change of address cards.

    April 7, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  2. DDTM

    And to think that Obama sends his 13 year old daughter to Mexico for spring break, along with classmates and 25 secret service agents. You sure don't read how much all this cost in the news. Of course that isn't anything dealing with personal wealth, like the story on Romney, rather, that is our money we are talking about.

    April 7, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Romney keeps saying that Obama CAN'T run on his record. I say that Obama can, should and will run on his record and here is why. When Obama took office after 8 years of Republican Presidential leadership we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. We have now had 24 months of private sector job growth. When Obama took over we were deep in recession on the brink of Depression some thought. We have now had over 8 consecutive quarters of economic expansion. Not to mention that the stock market is up over 100% since March of 09 a few weeks after Obama took office. The only thing the GOP can really try to hang on Obama is the deficit. But let us not forget that Bush inherited 3 consecutive surpluses from Clinton. With control of the house and senate they passed massive tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that helped take us immediately into deficit mode where we have been ever since. Obama is still governing under those foolish, politically driven tax cuts. The deficit is a Republican problem more than any other. We might have paid off the entire debt if they had left well enough alone. Thank Karl Rove for that strategy.

    April 7, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  4. Matt

    Whether he does or doesn't fully divulge his returns. Obama campaign advisers intends to use it as a smear campaign against him either way. If the law doesn't require it, then why should he?

    April 7, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  5. JD

    When will CNN (communist news network) sign as a PAC for Pelosi & Obama? Seriously America, why do we allow the Progressive Socialist Dems to attack our small businesses? Tell me ONE Business the Government runs that is efficient? Not one...yet Romney has been in business and been very successyl. CNN sucks, just like a majority of their commentators and so-called journalists!

    April 7, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What's the big deal? Anybody could survive on a safety net! And by the way, if you ever encounter financial hardship, you could always become a sales man/woman and sell etch-a-sketch!

    April 7, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  7. Russ in Md

    And what are you hiding Barry? Why don't you release your college scores or you final thesis. Do you have something to hide yourself? I'll bet your scores say you are dumb as a post and that you feel that the black man is repressed by the white men.

    April 7, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  8. mcp123

    "Why is it something as basic as Obama's transcripts are sealed? What is he hiding?"

    This is so amusing that republicans hold on to totally irrelevant things like this.... you don't get into Harvard Law with low grades so who really cares what his grades were? BTW if you do get in with low grades... lets see what Romneys grades at Harvard were.

    April 7, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  9. Matte

    Vote republican is the smae as voting for chinese and outsourcing american jobs. thats there answer to everything big business does nothing for this country. 65% of all americans are employeed by small business. the reason republicans want tax breaks for the top 10% richest in this country and large business is they put more money back into their crooked as pockets. whats going to happen if they continue this path is major economic recesssion and failure of global economy. just keep voting for china/republican party if you want you children and grandchildren to speek chinese. they will have to learn when the communist/republican party takes over.

    April 7, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  10. Orwell shrugs

    American sheeple it is none of your bizness who Romney works for, or who works for him, foreign or domestic.

    When he flip-flops saluting the republican flag, you shall vote straight Republican to beat Obama, at all costs. Being a Tea Party Patriot, if needed, you shall cut off your nose to spite Obama's face. The etch-a-sketch is about to be shaken, have faith and be strong against the socialists, as true anti-social Republicans are !!!

    Get used to President Romney's priorities, for which you have no reason to understand, and never question the commander in chief. His father served the greatest President, Richard Nixon, and you shall now serve Mitt Romney.

    April 7, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  11. truedat

    ok you've got Romney who may be worth a quarter of a billion $$ and in the past you've had Kerry and Edwards who are worth 1/2 a billion. The point for me is who's gonna represent the middle class - and I believe (other than maybe Ron Paul) the answer is nobody !!! I work for Verizon.They are a healthy and profitable company.They paid no federal income taxes the past 2 years and even got a tax refund ! The top executives raked in a quarter of a billlion $$$ in pay over the last 4 years.The company sends American jobs to India and also is trying to take away the workers pensions and reduce their healthcare coverage. Do you think any politicians on either side of the aisle have anything to say about this bad corporate citizen? No! The pols on both sides of the aisle are bought and paid for by the corporations. We need an average Joe to somehow get in there and clean up the corruption in the system but how does an average Joe get 50 million for a campaign or fair coverage from the media?

    April 7, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  12. Steve-Illinois

    @Jean Sarte, guess which of the three Obama is! Can you spell L-A-W-Y-E-R BOYS AND GIRLS? LOL!
    Obama makes land deal with a crook- ignored.
    Obama's wife gets $250,000 yr no show, non-existent job immiediately after he's elected to Senate- ignored.
    Obama starts his campaign, and hangs out with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers- ignored.
    Obama falsifies law school app.- ignored.

    Romney claims using 6 sheets of tp for last movement- CNN headline claims he lied and used 7!

    April 7, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. Jenna

    Obama can talk about no one:

    He's never worked a moment in his lazy socialist life.

    And what business is it of Obama's. Any $ Romney has, he WORKED for. Plus, he donates 40% of his income.

    Obama needs to write his concession speech. GOOD riddance to socialism.

    April 7, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  14. zq

    Romney would release the information if he hadn't gotten the money by immoral means. Maybe not illegal, but I'm sure there is more job exportation at the very least. Who knows what else he is hiding? Bribery? Polluting? Child labor? Romney reminds me of Bernie Madoff - no ethics, just greed.

    April 7, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. kiss

    That's the pot calling the kettle black. If Romney was smart he would go after everything Obama sealed hid about his past

    April 7, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  16. Matt

    I don't like Romney, but this is curious criticism from the man who won't release his medical records or school transcripts, and took two years to release his birth certificate.

    April 7, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. Mollybee

    Thre are a few things Americans deserve to know about Mitt Romney. The truth about Bain Capital's activities, how much money they reaped from the taxpayers, how many Americans lost jobs when Bain let their companies fail, how much Romney made on these ventures and how much money he has 'hidden' in off shores accounts. There are certain activities that are 'legal' but totally unethical....thanks to the big corporate GOP.

    April 7, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  18. .

    Obama is this generation's Jimmy Carter.

    All the polls said Carter would defeat Reagan.

    Except the one that counted: the election.

    April 7, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  19. Brian in DC must feel all alone

    Brian, you must feel all alone as the only tin-foil birther in DC. We are generally the most educated region in the country. Where do you go for friends?

    April 7, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  20. American

    Many Americans do not trust Romney, especially after Mitt's numerous lies, shifting positions, and now this...

    What is Romney hiding from the American people?

    April 7, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  21. stew

    I wonder why Romney has to hide his wealth, he say's he is proud to have worked hard to make that money, why is it so hard to show how it may or may not help this country? Or where exactely is that money doing any good, exception if it only strenghtens a few banks.
    Plenty of anger at people that live on government funds, many people on food stamps have to show where their bank accounts are and how much they have in the bank. A poor person seeking hopusing has to show their credit, bank accounts and even the cash they have on hand.
    Why is it so hard to have Romney show America what or where his money is located ? He if elected and I hope it nevers happens, but just if, he will live in the riches property in America completely funded by tax payers, he'll have no electric bill, water bill or anything and he still has to hide his money. I don't think so!

    April 7, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. Mike In Carolina

    Romney's entire campaign theme is a lesson in using double standards against Obama. It's a classic example of exploiting racism and bigotry without using clear and overt language. Romney's favorite word is "Failed". The only thing Obama had failed at is not producing a magic wand to eliminate the problems his administration inherited. The idea that we should expect miracles from Obama is pure nonsense and bias.

    April 7, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  23. IndeePendant

    Is @Ilya Romeny? Why is she defending him so much inspite of his flipflops and hypocracies: Oh well, she is probably an english tutor for pre-schoolers. Romney created jobs yes, at Bain, but more in China. You want proof? Go check where the products sold by Staples are manufatured.. where elsem but China. Imagin the no. of jobs created in China by Romney vs. a few sales-clerks in each store and some admin staff at Staples. @Ilya, what suddenly you got aroused by Ann's 'Stiff' comment about Romney?;)

    April 7, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  24. harry zoyster

    This coming from the least transparent president in history.

    April 7, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  25. bettyboop33

    When the Washington Post asked Bernstien and Woodward to investigate watergate it ended up costing Nixon the presidency. Mittens better watch out....the Washington Post may have more to add to this story! lol

    April 7, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
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