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. kevin

    @ Ilya – The word is "grammar", not "grammer". Before you start correcting the "grammer and spelling" of others, maybe you should try improving your own.

    April 7, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. GOP is for the rich

    @ fair is fair......real definition of blind trust.....the 'blind trust' that what Rmoney is doing is right(wing)!

    April 7, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Alois

    WhatsRomneyHiding, Who cares ,we all want to know what loser obama's hiding.What about the campaign donations from the now bankrupt solyndra.And the kicbacks that went to your reinstallment campaign, from the other companys that went bankrupt after you gave them our taxpayer money.Loser obama and his super corrupt administration has proven to be the most corrupt administration in history.

    April 7, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. GOP is for the rich

    @ fair is fair.....you said...."-Once again, his fortune is in a Blind Trust. The definition of a Blind Trust –

    "A financial arrangement in which a person, such as a high-ranking elected official, avoids possible conflict of interest by relegating his or her financial affairs to a fiduciary who has sole discretion as to their management. The person choosing the trust also gives up the right to information regarding the status of the assets"

    But Rmoney is NOT a 'high ranking elected' official. Until he is, he needs to disclose like everybody else!!!
    This is very convenient. He is using a tool that is not needed until AFTER(if) he is elected to avoid disclosure!

    April 7, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. ED FL

    Do Not Know why the Romney's want the keys to the treasuy. There isn't enough money in it for him to bother confiscsting compared to what he his covering up now. Maybe he is afraid that the government will hit him up for some of his ill gained fortune or he may have to declare some of his now hidden real wealth compared to his pocket change of $250 million.

    April 7, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  6. Dave

    It is funny how Obama and CNN focus on Romney's money, but completely ignored Obama's ties to radicals, terrorists, ACORN, etc. I guess if you have a failed record,you have to focus on something else.

    April 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. a realist

    Obama will win, and deservedly so. Watch Intrade for accurate predictions. Obama/Biden 2012!

    April 7, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. truedat

    You've got Romney who may be worth a quarter of a billion $$ and in the past you've had Kerry and Edwards who are worth 1/2 a billion. The point for me is who's gonna represent the middle class - and I believe (other than maybe Ron Paul) the answer is nobody !!! I work for V_erizon.They are a healthy and profitable company.They paid no federal income taxes the past 2 years and even got a tax refund ! The top executives raked in a quarter of a billlion $$$ 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 bucks for a campaign or fair coverage from the media? We're all losers in this race.

    April 7, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Gloria in NW

    Lordy, are we STILL talking about President Obama's birth certificate and circulating the myth that he has done nothing in nearly four years? It really is frightening that so many people are willing to believe this garbage. Doesn't give one hope for the future of America.

    April 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. GI Joe

    I don't trust Rmoney 2 feet. Would never vote for him or put him in power over anyone or anything. POWER - that's what the repubs want. With that they get free (read that tax-free) Money.

    April 7, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Donkey Party

    Dave @ 11:06 –

    That's because CNN is intelligent enough not to believe all the fabricated hot garbage on Fox Non-news.

    April 7, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. blackbeard79

    Obama just continuing to vilify the wealthy and successful. As if Romney would be the first rich guy to become President.

    April 7, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. Cayman

    Of course mittens is hiding his wealth. He found out what happened when he released just his tax returns.

    One suspects there are one of two reasons mittens is affraid to release his financial basics.

    1. He is actually breaking US law and could be subject to criminal prosecution and massive fines if the holdings are revealed

    2. He is technically "legal" but highly unethical in using offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes. Many of the very rich play this game, as do corporations. They have good lobbyists who have rigged the tax code to allkow the very very rich to avoid taxes in a way the 99% of us cannot.

    Either way is a loser for mittens. Better to kep it secret and let people guess than to reveal and prove them right.

    April 7, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. blackbeard79

    Wholly consistent with Obama's history of vilifying the rich.

    April 7, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Cayman

    Other posters bringing up mitns weatlth as disqualifying him to represent the middle class. Wealth alone does not do that. The greatest champion of the middle class in US history was FDR, and he came from piles of old money. Ditto for JFK. Kerry, Ted Kennedy all very very wealthy and yet champions of working people.

    What DOESdisqualify mittens is the policy agenda he has already laid out. It hurt EVERYONE except the very rich and multination corporations. He PROMISES to gut eductaion environmental protection public safety retirement access to medical care...you name it, if the middle class needs it, under the ryan romney agenda it is GONE. And THAT disqualifies him, for representing the middle class.

    April 7, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. GOP is for the rich

    'Another Day in the Idiot MInes of the Obama Adminstration' said:

    Obama is as clueless as they come. Non-stop attacks and demonization of business, taking control of companies illegally and giving them to unions, piling added taxes and regulations on them as well as huge healthcare expenses. All while growing government and spending like drunken sailors. Then they wonder where all the jobs are? This is what happens when you put an inexperienced community organizer that never evn ran a lemonade stand in the Whitehouse. Enoy all your Hopelessness and pocket change SUCKERS!

    Whew! Now we know where all the foxwashed idiots go! The teatrolls put them in a mine!

    April 7, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. GOP is for the rich

    What many do not understand is that Government was created to defend US against stronger foes, including business, that want our servitude or outright destruction. They are our only protection and that is why business is out to destroy a strong government!

    April 7, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Jimbob

    Good thing for him he has a cushy, taxpayer paid health plan

    April 7, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. gg

    time to take down these off -shore bandits-they are killing america one job at a time –treason

    April 7, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. gg

    how much foriegn oil mony is backing robme–treason

    April 7, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Capitalists

    I cannot wait until Romney and Odummy start debating. When Obama's teleprompter is gone this guy will be as lost as he is trying to run this Country. What can Obama say about his failed leadership!

    April 7, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Saint_John

    Do we really want the LDS church in the driver's seat? I don't think so. Jesus!

    April 7, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. John Herzog

    If congress had any integrity, they would pronounce that they will suspend health care for themselves, their staff, and other federal workers under their "thumb" until such time that healthcare covers all hardworking (or otherwise striving to survive) Americans...........but of course integrity is not a pre-requisite to election (but it shouldn't be a detriment either)

    April 7, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. non disclosure mitt

    @Fair is Fair:

    Mitt Romney 1994 quote: "The Blind Trust Is An Age Old Ruse.

    Definition of ruse: A ruse is an action or plan which is intended to deceive someone.

    Ergo, Mitt's blind trust is by his own definition an action or plan intended to deceive.

    April 7, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Michael Q

    American elections are so much fun watching each other rail against the other as if that makes for a great leader. How about actually defining what you will do and why? Oh, that's right, it's politics. How's that working out for you? You just keep shovelling crap against the wall hoping some will stick for whatever group you are wooing today. Real leadership is lost on a society believing whatever advertisement is in front of them. It is no wonder the world has a very hard time believing anything America has to say. There are no real gentlemen left in the game of politics.

    April 7, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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