Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'
July 10th, 2012
12:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'

(CNN) - Amplifying the Obama campaign's push for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents, Vice President Joe Biden made some of his most biting remarks yet in a speech Tuesday attacking the presumptive GOP presidential nominee on several fronts.

"He wants you to show your papers, but he won't show us his," Biden said.

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At a Las Vegas speech for the National Council of La Raza convention, a large Latino civil rights group, Biden carried the torch in the campaign's recent blitz against Romney over reports of his offshore investments.

He lobbed back at Romney the GOP candidate's charge that Obama is "out of touch."

"This is the man who says President Obama is out of touch?" Biden said. "This coming from the man who until recently had a Swiss bank account, and millions of dollars invested in the Grand Cayman Islands beyond scrutiny, and the president, Obama, is out of touch?"

Team Obama and national Democrats have seized on recent reports delving into Romney's finances, including one in the magazine "Vanity Fair," which called Romney a "remarkable financial acrobat" with accounts and investments in several places considered tax havens for Americans – Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

While the campaign hasn't directly charged Romney with tax evasion, they suggest the millionaire may be hiding important details about his finances by not disclosing multiple years of returns.

Biden also quoted from a recent Washington Post report on Romney's former financial firm, Bain Capital, and the GOP contender's suggestion to a Nevada newspaper that the housing market right itself by hitting "rock bottom."

"That may be a sound business judgement if you're running Bain Capital, but it's not a sound judgement for the United States government," Biden charged.

In January, Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and an estimate for 2011. Federal campaign law does not require candidates to release tax returns, but it does require candidates to file annual financial disclosure paperwork, which Romney has done.

The re-election team often points to Romney's father, the late George Romney, who released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

"He said, and I quote, 'One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show'," Biden said, referring to George Romney's stated reason for putting out a dozen years of documents.

Biden continued: "His son has released only one year of his tax returns. Making a lie of the old adage: Like father, like son."

Romney responded Monday to the recent barrage of attacks, saying his foreign investments have been held in a blind trust and managed by a trustee. The candidate emphasized he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed.

"I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are," Romney said in an interview with Radio Iowa.

Romney further reiterated he was in no violation of tax law.

"That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There's nothing hidden there," the candidate said, arguing the president was trying to "divert attention" from his own record.

A surrogate for Romney, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, came to the candidate's defense on Tuesday, saying it was time for Democrats to let go of the issue.

"He's released everything that he's required to release including paying more than sixteen percent of his income to charitable giving," the Republican congressman said on CNN's "Starting Point." "Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it."

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Nevada
soundoff (338 Responses)
  1. julie

    come on man you can do better then that..........I don't know where $$ many billionairs don't know where thier $$ is banked..........plz and some simpletons will vote for this rich chump

    Obama 2012..............the onlyway forward..............

    July 11, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. slippery

    Slippery Romney still at it.

    July 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Of the 200+people on this blog, 199 of us know where our money is, from the cookie jar, to mama's bra strap, to the bank. The 1 on this blog probably doesn't have any money to worry about

    July 11, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. David

    Too bad Obama won't show his real papers. The people actually beliieved that fresh birth certificate with dozens of errors was real.

    July 11, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Wake up people

    I don't see what the big deal is. Every presidential candidate has released multiple years of tax returns. Now we have one that has been accused of hiding money in offshore accounts and he will only release one. This guy supposedly being the leader of the party that harassed the POTUS for 3 plus years for a birth certificate that had been provided to the proper people BEFORE he was even elected. Come on people this reeks of hypocrisy. And now they want President Obama's transcripts?? Give me a break, that will backfire too. If President Obama WERE to release his transcripts (and I hope he doesn't) they would make Robmey look like an even bigger idiot. President Obama is by far one of the most intelligent Presidents this country has ever had. Too bad more don't appreciate him.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 11, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Scott in Michigan

    How precious. Good Ol' Joe is demanding paperwork and transparency. What a complete joke. Do I need to say Fast & Furious and Obama's college records? Total and complete hypocrits. Our country is becoming a mess. I'd vote for Bozo the Clown before Obama.

    July 11, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  7. julie

    @ublvble..............simpleton the jobs bill is on the "weapper of the House's desk......that where the jobs are..........can't you do any better then that that is the best you have.........set down be seen and not heard

    July 11, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. Esteb

    The fact that he has offshore accounts is irrelevant. Go ask any multi-millionaire (or billionaire), individual or corporation or, yes, pension funds (for the unionists out there) and they ALL make offshore investments. If they say they don't they are lying. It's legal. End of story. Until the tax laws are changed it will stay legal. Romney has followed the law to this point. He doesn't need to defend anything. Both sides are trying to jerk the electorate around and, unfortunately, too many are falling for it.

    July 11, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. Phenoy

    "I want to see Obama's real records, especially his transcripts and who paid for his college education-we know he didn't WORK himself thru. We all know he flunked out of several colleges. There is no evidence he ever took basic math or even entry level econ."

    So this is another version of the 'birther' thing??? Lol, Preident Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude in Harvard, that is commonly known. And if you don't know what Magna Cum Laude is, then please try this lie with your dog.

    July 11, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. Hugganoak

    He says he doesn't know what's going on with his money, but is sure nothing illegal is going on. How would he know? If his manager is doing something illegal with the funds, ignorance is no excuse, Romney is still culpable.

    July 11, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. chuck weidemann

    Why is it that everyday Joe has such a great ability to stir up the right wingnuts so much??... The man says a few simple words and wham the right has a cow!!!! Must be the truth hurts and they blame him for delivering the message in a way they understand.....

    July 11, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  12. fsulevine

    Hmmm... ""He's released everything that he's required to release including paying more than sixteen percent of his income to charitable giving," the Republican congressman said on CNN's "Starting Point." "Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it.""... kind of like so many in the GOP did regarding President Obama's birth certificate? EVERY Democrat should let go of this issue when EVERY Republican publicly admits that President Obama was born in Hawaii. Where is Donald Trump on the tax return issue?

    July 11, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. v_mag

    Circular logic, it's called:

    1. Q: Why won't you release your tax returns? A: There's nothing of interest there.
    2. Q: How do we know you aren't hiding anything? A: You have no proof, so therefore I'm not hiding anything.
    3. Q: But, the proof would be in your tax returns, so why not release them? A: See answer number 1.

    July 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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