Biden to Romney: 'Show your papers'
July 10th, 2012
12:59 PM ET
10 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. Wake up people

    We do not need a business running the country, because all they care about is money for themselves and for people that are trying to buy him the white house. I'm sorry to say it but OUR country is going downhill and the worst part is that POLITICIANS don't CARE; all they are interested in is themselves, power, money and screwing everyone else out of it. We do not need people like this running this great nation; we need people who will move America forward as the pinnacle of society, not the pinnacle of greed.

    July 11, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  2. Gloria

    Mr. Biden, I am sure he wouldn't to make one up like Obama did. no one listens to you anyways, you always speak from your tail.

    July 11, 2012 03:04 am at 3:04 am |

    I keep 6 (SIX) years of my tax returns and I'm an every day Joe.What makes you so special? If you want to be POTUS: Show Your Tax Returns for the past 23 Years, as you did for John McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Potential Tax Evasion? What R YOU HIDING?

    July 11, 2012 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  4. JC

    Romney doesn't know where his own money his? And he wants to run the most powerful government in the world?

    July 11, 2012 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  5. madmaninthemiddle

    When someone in politics says you need to "let it go" or "move on", it means you're killing them, they don't have a good response and they are desperately trying to change the subject.

    July 11, 2012 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  6. scott

    Joe Biden Obama's attack dog, what a useless Human.

    July 11, 2012 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  7. Miroslava

    Romney :

    July 11, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  8. Dave NY USA

    Ticker: When Biden attacks ...
    Attacks? Yeah, like a toothless chihuahua.

    July 11, 2012 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  9. Harleigh Kiffer

    Then Joe, have your man show his papers: like his college transcript and the rest of the information he has refused to release regarding his education. If not just shut up and go away.

    July 11, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  10. Mike

    Giving money to the Mormon church should not count as charity; more of a low-risk, high-return investment.

    July 11, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  11. Johnny DC

    "Look over there people. Please look over there!! Because we certainly don't want you looking at our record."

    I'm Barack Obama, and I support this message.

    July 11, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  12. Hussein Obama

    Biden is good for a laugh on a daily basis. Scary thing is that he's a heartbeat away from the presidency. Oh, by the way, Holder vows to keep the Texas voter ID law from taking effect, even as he requires (2) forms of photo ID to attend his event. VOTE THESE CRIMINALS OUT IN NOVEMBER!

    July 11, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. Anders Perillo

    I hope any official photos or paintings of this clown properly show him with a foot in his mouth.

    July 11, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  14. Johnny DC

    All the talk about transparency and "things to hide", literally 10 minutes after Obama exerts executive privilege illegally to protect his criminal Attorney General and the conversations they privately had regarding his illegal activity.

    And that's just one recent example of a horrific lack of transparency by this administration.

    Keep it going, libs. Independents know what's going on.

    July 11, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  15. King

    why do you think the Chinese are pushing so much money into the mitt campaign, they want American jobs. mitt don't have a slither of patriotism in his bones. imagine what the country has been through, and this man turned his back on this country by pulling out vital substinence with his money that he hid in other countries. now he wants to rap himself in the flag and sing patriotic songs, but where was he when the country needed him and his money the most.

    July 11, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  16. Guest

    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.

    July 11, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. Ravi Chandran

    Its amazing how the media and the politician play to the crowds. If you think about it, unless it is proved that Mitt Romney has done something wrong with his money or his taxes, this is a definite way to sidetrack everyone from the real issues. The question should always be would one of them be better than the other in improving the economy of this country? Saying that someone less richer or more likable will make a better president is absolute baloney. It might work the other way around – a rich bloke might not have to worry about his wealth and might be willing to concentrate on helping others with their prosperity.

    July 11, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  18. Shane-o-mac

    So he doesn't know where his money is or how much he even has??? Nice answer to defend yourself.

    July 11, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  19. Kevin

    Why doesn't Obama show us his papers, college transcripts or birth certificate. Obama has changed our government into an Idiocracy. A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    This message will soon be censored by the Osama worshipers of CNN

    July 11, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  20. Paqrat137

    When Romney loses he can follow Denise Rich to London and renounce his American citizenship to save his fortune from taxation.

    July 11, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  21. Get Real

    Real World to Biden, "SHUT YOUR MOUTH"

    July 11, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Deceit

    Romney should fire back at Oblamo with show me your Birth Certificate, the real unaltered version. Show the American people all of the Fast and Furious documents while your at it. I bet Oblamo knew all about what was going on down there. He needs to be impeached and jailed for treason!!!

    July 11, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. wnyguy

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said: "Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it." funny how the GOP won't say that to the GOP/Tea Party birthers; "Get over it"

    July 11, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  24. ObamaCares

    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 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. julie

    if ole mit didn't have something to hide why won't he SHOW is tax returns.................Question for EVERYONE....
    why would anyone anyone keep their $$ in off shore accounts..................... the only answer I can think of is NOT TO PAY EXTRA TAXES........I maybe wrong but this is what I always thought when one has off shore accounts

    Obama 2012

    July 11, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
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