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. Cheryl

    Why are standards for this potential president (Romney) so low? There is nothing exceptional about this lackluster man except his wealth and the arrogance that accompanies it. He acts as if he's superior to the average voter and doesn't owe them an honest accounting of his financial dealings and yet he doesn't seem superior at all in intellect, charisma, or character. Every time I see this guy I think another mediocre Bush-like president. Why do the American people settle for so little?

    July 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. ohreally

    Mitt Romney has given more to charity than Mr. Nobama and Biden combined. Romney is more like-able and honest than these two clowns. It's sad that anyone would vote for a democrat candidate nowadays. So many folks are buying in to this whole "lets let the hard workers pay for all the lazy people" mentality... it is so sad to see. Come on folks, don't accept mediocrity, YOU can excel and do well in life! You do not need a government hand out!------------------–The major share of that charity is the Mormon Church and is very self serving. And as I recall it is a Church requirement to give back to the Mormon Church, so was it out of the kindness of his heart or a requirement of a high ranking Church Official?

    July 10, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Rick Ash

    You are all so sad. Look at what Obama is doing every day, without any input from the people YOU put in Congress. Do you really want to live under a dictator? Biden is a mouthpiece and a joke. Name ONE significant contribution he has made.
    Obama scares me to death. What is wrong with you people?

    July 10, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Rmoney's Hidding Something

    He's probably hiding the fact that he payed 0 tax for multiple years, and then parked it all offshore, resulting in paying 5%-9% Effective Tax Rate, that's my guess, why else wouldn't he just say hey, here it is, now lets move on. It's like he's covering up a murder with how withholding he is to the public, its just your taxes, remember he gave John McCain 23 years of tax returns, I wonder why the people he's trying to represent are only worth 1 year.

    July 10, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. barb

    rommey,they keep saying he is successful so get over it or a good bussinessman. the koch brothers bought him and they are buying gops all over america if selling your soul to the devil is being successful i think america should pass on it

    July 10, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it is the luxury of the 1% to not know or care where their money is going or how it is being invested. But if you are insisting that you want to be the manager of the US citizen's tax dollars, you BETTER have a better answer than this...

    "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.

    July 10, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. encie

    i have a hard time believing this man does not know where his money is or going. something is fishy here. romney is going to be the kochs yes man if he is elected just like former president bush. the kochs and their cronies plan to buy this election to keep the people obedient workers with no rights in the work force. they want to cut wages and benefits to all workers not just unions. they are trying to slowly and insideously take our rights and freedoms away from us.

    July 10, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. brenda

    He legally doesn't have to disclose his tax documents, but he won't be president unless he does. The GOP has done nothing but ride Obama about his birth certificate and college transcripts. They also wanted Hillary Clinton to disclose her tax information. You cannot have it both ways. Even the other GOPers wanted to see his tax documents in the primaries. The American people do not like blatant hypocrisy; they like it hidden real well behind anonymous posters like on the internet. Eventually, he'll have to show his documents like he has demanded that everyone show theirs.

    July 10, 2012 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Joan

    Why are people asking that President Obama release his college transcripts? He is obviously one of the most intelligent presidents the US has ever had and would have no trouble at all getting into any college or university with his marks. Since he was a leader at Harvard when he was a student there and later taught Constitution at a state university he obviously has had the credentials and cabability all along. That is just a really stupid request and shows no understanding of the higher education system at all. I guess if you are naive and gullible enough to be a birther, then you might believe this but it is pretty sad. However, if Mr. Romney has nothing to hide, then why hasn't he produced the last few and the current income tax forms like all other candidates have done for years? Seems pretty straight forward and common sense to me. Why is he stalling on this?

    July 10, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Pete

    I like these hypocrites called republicans,they whine about Pres.Obama, but produce nothing but hot air when its time to contribute to help their constituents..I just hope people remember just what republicans have done since 2010,nothing,zilch,nada,where's jobs,jobs,jobs,it slipped from your memory hasn't it!!Romneys memory is fading fast also thinking he'll get past the election without coming up with his tax papers ala Trump,real smart Mormon prankster!!If he shows his tax papers he's probibly toast,that's what holding him back,he's obviously scared,it'll blow up in his face,sinking his dream of buying his way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,but guess what republicans,its not for sale!!

    July 10, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. MrHighMighty

    Of course Romney wants different rules and standards to apply to him, he thinks he's better than everyone else... Mormons think they are too good for the Bible, so they made up a new one.
    And look at the Republicans lining up behind a heretic! Imagine if a Mormon Democrat was running for office, the Republicans would be calling for burning at the stake.

    July 10, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. cobra

    Anyone with intelligence knows that when biden opens his mouth something stupid will come out of it?

    July 10, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. M.K.

    Romney is a big time crook. he should be arrested for tax evasion and fraudulent statements on his returns. He thinks because he is a multi-millionaire he is above the law. His statement that he does not know where or how millions of his dollars are being invested is one damn good reason not to vote for this creep. If he doesn't know where his own money is, why should the American people trust him to look after theirs?

    July 10, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Blah

    "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."

    So why still whine abt it. This is just the Obama campaign and DNC whining abt transperancy. It's akin to asking your neighbor to show his tax returns and wanting to know how much he/she makes. Nobama is such a pathetic and incompetent fool. Now he wants to extend Bush tax cuts, clearly as a political move to help save his job.

    July 10, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. M.K.

    "I dont manage them, I dont even know where they are" this statement by Romney concerning his millions should tell the American voters something about this characters ethics and business dealings.

    July 10, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. MDNA = MaDge Not Applicable!

    "He's complied with the law! End of story!"

    Uh no, we are in the cons reality now, where nothing is ever enough when it is a black man, so now nothing is going to be enough because this man is a Mormon.

    Surely, you know how that works, keep yammerin' about a birth cert some 3 and 1/2 years later, which is NOT required by law, so we want at least 5 years of IRS returns and approximate amounts of how much money is in the "off shore" accounts.

    I mean after all, the Swiss hid Jewish goods for the Reich, so, we need to know what they are holding for a Mormon.

    'Sides, if it is all legal, why the hedge and deflect???

    July 10, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. ED FL

    A close look will more than likely find that ROBME donates most of his charity to the MORMON Religion which doesn't have to explain or give amounts of donations. Based on how Romney ran those money making buisnesses he probabley has a way to get back most of his donations and not have to report the transaction refunds. This dude is prtty slick with and around money,no matter whose money it is. No wonder he won't take questions ,most of his comments have to be covered up by his staff or his wife.

    July 10, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. Ronb

    Boy, you common people really just don't get it! How much will it cost to buy you? LOL Poor republicans. Do those who are not millionaires know that romney and friends only need them for one reason....and only once. They want you poor common people to vote them and their buddies into congress so that they can turn this country into an aristocracy. you do know what that means...right? If not, look it up and ask yourself if that fits romney and friends.

    July 10, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  19. really

    I read a lot of comments here asking for the President to show his transcript... got a couple of issues with it:

    one: was there a sitting President ever asked for such document before? then what changed with this President? his color of skin? please someone answer this question as i read like 20 comments about it...

    two: how could you ask for a transcript on a subject of tax? what is that got to do with anything? showing your tax is simply showing people that you have been responsible with the law of the land. nothing less nothing more. if you haven't then people can't really trust you to look after the country if you don't respect the law.

    I'm not affiliated with any party – I'm just a voice of reason but sometimes the argument is more about hate for the President than what is good for the country. Think of your kids people and try to have merit and reason in your argument and opinion.

    US suppose to be the leader of the free world. People from all over the world read your comments here. Stop using your head to grow hair and start using it to THINK. Ciao.

    July 10, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Ibsode

    to Jonathan,

    i bet you are not as successful as you sound. Nobody wants to rely on government. Did you ever ask yourself why we had a surplus during the Clinton era and a big deficit on the bush era? Why is it hard for romney to release even more tax returns than his dad did? we all agree that he doesn't have to release his taxes and we all agree that by not releasing multiple years of tax returns he deserve any blame he will get. it is so simple, just release the damn tax returns if you love this great nation the USA. why he want to be an exception? We all notice that he flip flop on lot of issues, so how can he convince us independent voters that he will not flip flop once he is elected president of the great nation in the earth. I like lot of conservative ideas and i disagree with some of them. i wish Santorium is the candidate for the Republican and trust me i will campaign for him and make sure to convince lot of my friends even democrats to vote for him.
    Romney need to tell us where he will take this country nit just waiting a job report to hit on obama , we all know what is going on in the world.
    Romney, please release your damn taxes so may be by november i can vote for you if you will not flip flop in the future.
    i will bet,on Romney if he try hard to be honest. we are not clients that Romney need to satisfy by saying things we all know do not add up

    July 10, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. ibsode

    why Romney was nkt the VP for Maccain? Why Santorium called him the worse GOP to run for president?
    If bush was not the worse GOP and he messed up the surplus created by Clinton, i start wondering what Romney will do. I like bush despite all his mess. Bush believed on what he did. He likes this country for sure and we tried with his taxes cuts which i never agree on which never create jobs.
    we cut taxes and we cry about deficit. something is not adding up. either we are responsible and accept the taxes and secure the future or we keep those taxes cut and keep deepening the deficit.

    July 10, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. ibsode

    why is it difficult for Romney to just release even 20 years of his taxes returns if he filed them and he just need to print them?
    As an independent voter, i know Romney does not have to release his taxes, but it really matter to stop any speculation.
    we already,experience lot of Romney flip flops on different issues. How can we know that he is clean as he claims it up to now?
    Why Romney always want to create doubt in our mind?
    I am still hoping to vote for Romney until he become more explicit in how he will handle this economy and not waiting to see the job report and talk. we all know what is going on in the world. So we really need plans not just talk.
    I miss Santorium, i really think that the GOP made a big mistake by letting us no other alternative than Romney. We will see when the debates start. Another flip flop and i am out for Romney.
    God Bless America

    July 10, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Jewels

    Romney is more likable than the other guys? Hmmm, that's a subjective comment. I will say I disagree. I suspect Romney is a decent person - however, I suspect there's a bit I don't like about his actions and business. And, thus - will not vote for him.

    July 10, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  24. T'sah From Virginia

    ►TRENDING: Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'◄
    Then you just might be able to pull off this caper
    Unless there's something there you don't want us to see
    I wonder if it's taxes, illegal investments, hmm, what could it be?!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 10, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. The Bear

    The same biden who was caught PLAGIARIZING twice?

    July 10, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
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