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. Dave

    Mr Personalitys plan to send 100 % of the keystone supply out of the Country reflects the true GREDDY human being & true American he is. But we will kget to that latter. Back to ALECgate. Walmart boycott next TBC

    April 6, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Lynda, Mitt has stated, and independent sources have confirmed, that Romney's fortune is in a Blind Trust. So that's exactly right – he does not know where his money is invested."

    Well, he ought to know for Pete's sake ... he's running for President. No doubt there are those who DO know and could "enlighten" him?

    April 6, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. B

    There are no real secrets about Romney, most people completely understand what he is about. Make lots of money at others expense and take it off-shore, like father- like son.

    This man is a 1% icon of self indulgent businessmen that grow-up in a environment of sheltered wealth not unlike his boys are experiencing now.

    The problem, like ol man Bush, is that they are typically completely out of touch with average working folks like Romney has shown us all time and time again.

    April 6, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. The REAL TRUTH...

    Rightytighty – you are happy with a successful businman, regardless of what that business does to BE successful. Perhaps you wouldn't feel that way had Bain come in to *assist* the company that employed you. To be fiar, they haev had a few success, but mostly your company would have been stripped of all your saleable assets (sold for Bains profit) which they would have invested at the Cap Gains rate, reduce the workforce to a bare minumum (no serverances, etc) and cut anything else to the quick. You'd be in the unemployment line – hoping that the GOP didn't KILL Obama's Jobs Bill and Unemployment compensation.
    How's that going to work for you in the unlekely event that Romney actually gets elected. Or is it just more of the rights smoke and mirror posturing. You can't have it both ways.

    April 6, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    a failure to connect.....Mitt to a tee.

    April 6, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. ST


    "Seriously...this is our attack plan? This is pathetically weak as something to run with. Now I'm worried about November if this is the fire we're trying to stoke to win"
    I beg to disagree with you. This is the genuine attack. The man hasn't been open and we demand that he should be. One question for you: Can you marry a person who you do not trust? And is hiding everything from you????

    April 6, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Iknowright

    Ignore head to head poll data an look at the electoral map. Obama has a lead in every swing state but wyoming. He will be reelected and the economy will continue to recover. Kind of glad The Gop will waste so much money on abuseless campaign.

    April 6, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. papanez

    Miranda Powell wrote:
    "Obama is sounding desperate. Lets look at Obamas record (or lack there of). Afraid much......"
    The last person on the planet that this president is afraid of is Mitt Romney. When this president has the opportunity to debate Governor Lightweight, he will leave him twisting in the wind. Between the outright lies uttered by Mitt and his denials about saying what he's been saying (Ex. "President Obama didn't start this recession, but he's made it worse.") When asked about that comment Romney simply denies having said it. "I never said that." Yet there's 2 miles of video tape indicating he has!
    Miranda, don't lose any sleep over the President feeling desperate and he welcome's an examination of his record. The prez will once again prove he's the right man, at the right time, to do the right job!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 6, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    Miranda Powell

    Obama is sounding desperate. Lets look at Obamas record (or lack there of). Afraid much......


    Not at all. Looking at President Obama's record, I see a much more impressive record that benefits the middle class from his THREE years in office than in the EIGHT years of the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As someonw who has worked hard my entire life and has never asked for or received a "handout from the government" I can say honestly that yes, I AM better off than I was four years ago.

    April 6, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. NVa Native

    Rubber-band-man Romoney wants MORE tax breaks for the very wealthy and make the middle-class pay for it.
    Bush pushed through the same scams and it caused the finacial melt down of US – is Romoney that stupid?

    April 6, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. Myviewis

    Remember when Obama would not disclose where all his campaign monies came from in 2008. Obama went around and around with excuses but never made a list available where all those millions of dollars came from. Remember, donations coming in through the famous untrackable gift cards that had been bought cash. If there is one person that is not open is Obama.

    April 6, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Another Day in the Idiot MInes (the real one and not the whiny extreme rightwing liar)

    President Obama is right and Rmoney needs to decide what's more important, running for President with a full disclosure of his finances, or to step out of the race and protect Bain's investment portfolio from disclosure. Rmoney has proven repeatedly he cannot be trusted. Now we have to wonder how heavily invested he is in MIC companies, like Halliburton, or Big Oil companies. Rmoney is clearly a servant of the rich and a beneficiary of the unfair tax laws the weasels in the 1% have stolen through their persistent corruption of our government. Time for the flip-flopping Rmoney to step down and let someone else lead the GOBP.

    April 6, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Pete

    Every one is waiting till they nominate Romney,then the two headed monster,forked tongue and all will speak.His hiding of overseas accounts,his other sleeze ball tactics will eventually come back to get him.Pres.Obamas campaign machine will ultimately unearth this maggots hiding places and his skeletons will come out to talk.So be prepared for some nasty secrets from a corporate thug,that's been a sheep in wilds clothing.He'll have no where to hide and he'll have to face his political sheep witha different look.Remember Pres Obamas machine is already zeroing in on Romneys past business and private life,Baracks people will find something that'll hurt the republican.Time will tell,Baracks a much better organizer than this rightwing hack will ever be....

    April 6, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Why have the republicans in Congress not past an infrastructure plan that would employ thousands? "

    Simple: On the one hand, they believe in giving massively preferential tax treatment to the extremely wealthy or $4B per year in subsidies to things like Big Oil because that money comes back to them. On the other hand, they view, threw their skewed plutocratic mindset, spending $4B on infrastructure improvements in order to employ thousands of blue collar workers making those improvements...well...all the GOP/Teatrolls see is twofold: (1) it would actually do good and help and Obama would get credit for it, and we all know they promised in January 2009 to prevent Obama from doing anything good and helpful and (2) construction workers are unionized, so the only thing the GOP/Teatrolls think when something would employ large numbers of unemployed construction workers is that these people must be kept unemployed and poor so they're not giving money to Democrats...and, hopefully, if kept unemployed and poor long enough they will be broken, disillusioned (and therefore less likely to vote) and forced to de-unionize and accept the yoke of the GOP/Teatrolls' plutocrat puppetmasters.

    April 6, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. comeon

    How is "chronic unemployment, lower incomes and higher gas prices" caused by Obama?

    April 6, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Wise1Speak


    Every federal employee that works in sensitive positions is required to make financial disclosures. In that same spirit, the public should know prior to election enough about a candidate, including their full financial disclosure to make a sound decision about the person they will chose as the next President. That means any relevant information:
    [1.] – related to a candidate's character,
    [2.] – or how the candidate ran their businesses,
    [3.] – or how they avoid paying their fair share of taxes (legally or illegally),

    . . . is of the interest to the voting public.

    April 6, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. ST

    During 2008 Presidential bid, Romney gave Sen. McCain a bunch of Tax returns (don't remember for how many years), so that he can pick him as VP. What I know he still holds them (he did not shred them). Why not provide them now when they are needed more than in 2008. The man has a lot to hide.

    April 6, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    If Obama pulled the same thing Mittens is pulling with his own finances, Mittens and the entire GOP/Teatroll hivemind would be in a foaming-at-the-mouth uproar and jackholes like World Net Daily would be inventing conspiracy theories at a record pace. All we'd be hearing from GOP/Teatroll congresscritters and the MSM who glibly and uncritically repeats their trash is "Blah blah George Soros!!!! Yadda yadda Al Qaeda MEK Taliban and secret muslim money!!! Israel1!! He's not one of us!!! Where's the birf surtifikate, ACORN's soshulist death panels, where do his loyalties really lie!!!???? Who bought Obama??!?!?!?!?" Yes, I know, we hear that alot from these puerile, gibbering conservative infants anyway, but it woudl certainly get worse if Obama were playing hide the ball with his finances the way Mittens is.

    April 6, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Three words for the MSM on this subject: DOUBLE. STANDARD. IOKIYAR.

    April 6, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. RealityBites

    Meanwhile..., Obama federal agencies financed by the tax payers, are now under congressional investigation over a lavish conference were captured on camera joking about the expense at the summit's "capstone" event.

    One joking about how much was spent at a party hosted by the agency's commissioner. And another mocks a music video, even singing about how he'd "never be under OIG investigation.

    April 6, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    @ Lynda –

    It's that way by design. It's meant to ensure there is no possibility of impropriety. For example, the treasury secretary, the chairman of the fed, etc. usually have either a blind trust or are exclusively invested in US treasury notes, so that no one can come back and say that they had a conflict of interest, e.g. making economic decisions while possibly benefitting from those decisions. Romney is doing the righ thing being in a blind trust.

    April 6, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Ann

    What is your problem? yes, Romney made his own money, he understands economics and has a vision of how to restore prosperity in this country. Four years ago, Obama had a 'food stamp story' for you, and his story is now your reality. You chose his story over the more pragmatic approach that Hillary had. What will you choose now?

    April 6, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. BLKMANinAmerica

    "President Obama will do anything to try and distract Americans from his failed record of chronic unemployment, lower incomes and higher gas prices," The repuks really need to wake up and deal with reality, this DENIAL they have is really crazy, triflin and makes them look like 1-HOTTER-MESS!

    April 6, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. W.G.

    Romney´s a CROOK .

    April 6, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. cali girl

    He he he, Robmey and his millions are on the ropes. Yes, Obama gets money too, but more comes from everyday American voters, who give on average 3 dollars per donation.

    April 6, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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