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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"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."

Also see:

Romney promises to win Pennsylvania in November

Santorum's private meetings focused on his way forward

Santorum, Perry privately met in Texas

Santorum's daughter, 'Bella,' hospitalized again

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

    @llya, you need education. it is GOP idiots messed. Look at Romney when he was governor, his state is 49/50 for job creation, did you watch on Youtube, type, when mitt romney came to town, and enjoy. do not act like AH....

    April 6, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  2. tor5

    This is probably not a big deal in the long run, but it does contribute to the ongoing sense that Romney is not very transparent.

    April 6, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. CBR

    Oh dear, here we go again. We are all reading our thoughts into the meaning of this story. At face value it is clear that Mr. Romney has been able to legally hide some assets. Of course, we just have to look at a family with many homes and cars and sons who are able to campaign for their father instead of being employed outside of the campaign.

    Mr. Obama may have been a little too quick to speak about this news but the facts are the facts and the President is commenting on them. Mr. Romney has only one response which repeats his view about the President and how he handled the economy. Of course, we should be asking what Mr. Romney has done to improve the lot of workers in the country over the last 5 years.

    April 6, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. curious

    Has Romney ever spoke of transparency?

    April 6, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Ilya

    @diridi, you can't even use proper grammer or spelling (I understand fatfingering keys sometimes but you are beyond that) and you try to tell me I need an education? There goes your credibility right there. It was actually 47/50 but the part all you liberals convienently leave out is the unemployment rate was 5% and less while he was governor. So why did he need to create more jobs????

    April 6, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. petena

    of course he will hide the facts. Why on earth would this filthy ridh dude run for president is beyond me. He is so out of touch it is pathetic. Go home and count your money.

    April 6, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Ilya

    So diridi, you should probably get back to work, I'm sure someone is waiting on their fries.

    April 6, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Jean Sartre

    This is the way business people operate – although Willard has spent the last 6 years running for Prez – that's why only used car salesmen and lawyers are lower on the food chain than business people...

    April 6, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. brian in dc

    Release your college transcripts Obama and your real birth certificate.

    April 6, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Kurt

    I hoep Romney makes it to the general elections. It'll be fun to watch him and Obama compete. I do hope Romney wins, however. He has far more experience than most presidential candidates ever do - including President Obama. Romney's chance for two terms as president outweighs Obama's "lessons-learned" first term, even if he does now have good experience. Go Romney!

    April 6, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. james gordon

    I find it hard to say anything about a child receiving medi care , even a rich mans daughter , but the right seems happy to say bad things about parents who can't afford insurance for their kids . Yet when their children are sick, we need to show compassion and respect . My question is, by what divine power are these higher class citizens due so much respect , when they fail to respect others ??

    April 6, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Brandonious

    brian in dc...birthers are racist goons with single digit IQ's. Get a life dude.

    April 6, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Socialism RULZ, Resistance is FUTILE, you WILL be assimilated

    michael - in order to make money the Gov must tax
    "make money"??? The government TAKES money from those that CREATE product or services and EARN MONEY. Government is a leech on the economy. It sucks out of the economy what it needs to surviive but that amount has grown and grown and never stops growing. Its survival is not the aim anymore. Wealth redistribution is now the goal. The life of the economy is not the primary concern. The comune is now the primary concern. The vast numbers of government dependents MUST be serviced at all costs.

    April 6, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. tony

    It's about time we had election reform. No contributions from corporations or groups. Individuals only and $100.00 max per year for everything total, including the candiate. Equal media time per candidate from a limited govt.fund.

    April 6, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Bruce

    @Kurk. How can you say Romnie, who has never been President, has more experience than President Obama and Romnie has never been prez...as my 4 year old son would say: "That don't even sound right" Everyone knows that your argument was not valid one day after he was sworn in. Even then BHO had at least one day more experience than Mittens.


    April 6, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Colorodan

    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 6, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  17. BD70

    So what...Romney can keep his finances secret. He dd what he minimally had to do to run in the primaries. Just watching and listening to him I wouldn't vote for him so could care less what he is hiding financially if anything.

    April 6, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. they're like vultures circling around their own hatred


    So diridi, you should probably get back to work, I'm sure someone is waiting on their fries.

    My, my, llya. For a minute there I thought you might be nothing more than a bored teenage given a holiday break on Good Friday. All doubts have been erased, though. Perhaps it was the Alan West / Sarah Palin article which drew you to us from your lofty perch at FOX media?

    April 6, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  19. rich

    Really, there are still people talking about Obama's birth certificate? Wow, just amazing!

    Obviously whatever Mitt is hiding he is hiding it for a reason. I'm sure it is nothing unethical but if I had to guess it would be something that he has been trying not to talk about - taxes paid and jobs he personally created with his wealth. There is nothing wrong with being rich providing you play by the same set of rules. The long term capital gains tax rate is a rule specifically geared for the rich - not the average working joe. Mitt has been able to take advantage of this tax gem and I don't begrudge him for doing so, but I do have a problem with him wanting to continue this obvious tax break for the well off. It's funny how so many people (especially on the right) bemoan wealth distribution to the down and out but at the same time ignore this distribution to wealthy. Mitt paid $3 million in taxes last year when he should have paid $6 million (not sure how accurate those numbers are but they are close). This will be a problem for him in the general election.

    April 6, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. jake

    Truth is romney is scared as hell about going against President Obama. Obama will knock him flat when it comes to debating any topic. romney and the republicans are scared and it shows, just like deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck. Go Obama 2012...Go Hillary 2016. I can feel the rebubs shaking at this thought, but it's the truth. And the truth scares repubs.

    April 6, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Rick in Phx

    Some of the comments on this thread are truly amazing! ! ! When John McCain was asked a couple of weeks back why he picked Sarah Palin as his vp he stated; "She was the most qualified". So four years ago Mitt Romney wasn't even quailified to be vice president but now all of a sudden he's qualified to be president lol lol lol. What's even funnier is that four years ago the majority of republican voters agreed with John McCain. I'm an independent but I have to agree with a lot of the democrats that post and state that the republican party is in trouble.

    April 6, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Steve

    Romney is a thief!!!! If we let that thief in the White House, he will steal from the American people too. We need to just stick with Obama for another 4 years. Its not gonna hurt us. Obama 2012!!

    April 6, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Corey

    I'm getting really tired of this fail policy talk. If things are financially worse now then when he took office than you can say that. But just because you disagree on ideological ideas doesn't give you that right. (odiously legally you do). Was it failed policy that we are adding jobs instead of loosing them? Is it failed policy that we all can still buy (of course if you can afford it) a GM car? Is it failed policy that insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage base on past or present conditions? Is it failed policy that Bin Laden is dead or Gadoffi for that matter? Is it failed policy that the U.S. oil production is actually higher now than it was in 2008? Is it failed policy that we are no longer at war with Iraq? Is it failed policy that our troops (you know the people willing to die for use) don't have to live in fear of discharge for their lifestyle? Like I said you can disagree with ideology all you want but you cannot deny all the positive things this POTUS has done. And if you are to biased to see it then that is your problem.

    April 6, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Ed

    You thought the Republican primary was rough? Remember that Obama is from Chicago, home of the roughest politics in the country. Obama went easy on McCain in 2008 because McCain had no chance of winning. That won't be the case this time around. This will be the nastiest, dirtiest Presidential election in US history.

    April 6, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  25. Carl

    Too bad Republicans did not pick a better candidate. Sure Obama is in a tight spot trying to fix a wrecked economy and can't find a magic bullet, but for Pete's sake Republicans should be able to find someone who could run over Obama like a freight train. What is the problem with the Republican party. First George Bush, then the McCain/Palin ticket... what a party!

    April 6, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15