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. joe

    Romney has so much money he doesn't even know where it is? How it's invested? How many hard working Americans can say that?

    July 10, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yeah Mitts,show them the money!!

    July 10, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. julius raynor

    Mitt Romney overseas accounts.....No bank in United States good enough.... Come on, we know the real deal tax evasion and you all know it.

    July 10, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. Kansan

    I wish I had so darn much money that I didn't even know where it was. I have so precious few dollars, I know exactly where each of them is. I would like to know if Romney is stashing money off shore to avoid paying taxes – may be legal but it seems un-American to try to avoid paying your fair share.

    July 10, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Michael

    It doesn't matter if he shows his tax returns or not. Romney is unable to relate to the middle class. This isn't his fault. He was raised affluent with different issues. He's grown up in a different world. I'm a Republican. Obama will win the election due to winning the majority of the independent vote. Facts are facts.

    July 10, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Katlynn

    Just photo shops some like Obama did on his birth certificate. Have someone proofread it unlike Obama who has obvious errors in his fake birth certificate.
    What about those Obama social security numbers and hiding his record who is this guy really, Obama? Barry? or who? This Obama guy is a sneaky, lying crook and he obviously is good, he fools so many ignorant people who don't do enough research or think of why someone needs to change name, get false S.S. numbers and hide all records.

    July 10, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Sonoman

    Mittens is the first presidential candidate with a Swiss bank account.
    Tough to cover that up.....

    July 10, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Which would you think would be more importment, showing your birth certificate, social security card, or any other public records, or some deposit records of someone whom is knowm to be very, very wealthy. " NUFFSAID "

    July 10, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Katlynn

    How about we have the records of how blacks are doing under Obama or the hispanics or whites compared to pre-Obama days. We all are way poorer and with all Obama's regulations that will be past onto us we will get poor yet. So many just don't get that and will stand behind that half white president who we really don't even know who he is or where he really came from.

    July 10, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Michael

    It seems to me that the combination of Holder and the birth certificate has caused a karmic coincidence.

    Personally, I'd like to see him hounded and hounded and even accused as both Holder and the POTUS have been regarding their authenticity.

    How could Mitt not have expected this? I think we're going to hear more and more and someone far afield of the current campaign will begin to actually acuse him of tax evasion. I would love to see this happen sometime during September and just press it.

    July 10, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Romney, you are a disgrase to America. Really, you want to be President of the U.S, but you are lying(google lying for the lord) about your overseas accounts and HIDING your income so you dont have to pay AMERICAN TAXES. You will NOT be elected President.

    July 10, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Keep trying to take the focus off Obama's failures.
    No more Obama!

    You want GW Bush with a different face ? Then you will love Romney.

    July 10, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. RRD

    Hey Joe,
    Maybe Romney will trade his papers for the fast and furious docs.

    July 10, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Enough is Enough

    "Show your papers" and if your not a citizen Obama still wants your vote and he's fighting with all his heart to keep it that way.

    July 10, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. FreeWheelin'Money!

    @MichaelB – yeah, they believe it NOW that trump's been proven to be full of crap!

    July 10, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. solarwizzy1

    Reblogged this on Barry's Blog.

    July 10, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. cathy Forster

    My 7 years old grandkid is smarter than Biden. I say again, remember the Kennedys?????

    July 10, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Luke,AZ

    Gov Robme say he does'nt know where his money is, if that's the case, why would you want him to try and manage this countrys budget. Gov. Robme is not a leader. He is not made of presidential material, but he is the best candidate for the 1%. He'll do what they tell him to do.

    July 10, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Daveinil

    Joe best he careful. Usually when he attacks he winds up biting his foot when he puts it in his mouth.

    July 10, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    "He's released everything that he's required to release including paying more than sixteen percent of his income to charitable giving,"

    The president wasn't "required" to release his birth certificate either but it was okay to yell and scream for him to do so wasn't it? As far as his "charitable giving" most of this was to his Mormon cult so stop trying to make him out to be some type of Robin Hood. Now where are the returns?

    July 10, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. DRC

    Well Joe why did you not ask these Latino groups to support respect for American laws and the border? Why not ask them to encourge legal immigration? Is that asking to much?

    July 10, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Stop asking Romney to release his tax returns, he's already released them to Bermuda, Switzerland, Cayman Island and China. It's not fair to keep asking him when he only wants to be President of the U.S. and create jobs in foreign countries where he does his banking and business dealings.

    July 10, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. srgntyork

    The rich normally dont think any laws apply to them because they can afford lawyers and accountants who will shift things and hide things and generally decieve. Is it always illegal? No. Is it always immoral? YES!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Dave

    Show us the details of fast and furious! Show us what actually happened behind closed doors during the health care earmark discussion!

    July 10, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. jedi mind trick

    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. Governor Romney's been very successful. Get over it."

    Well then since he put it that way, maybe we should just believe "Mittens" and drop the subject. Isn't that exactly what the GOP expects?

    We should all just sit back, shut up, and quit asking questions of their God given and God blessed candidate. That's the American way as you see it, isn't it Sir Mitt?

    Folks, I really, really, really, hope that "Mittens" wins. For Sir Mitt will bring back a new form of capitalism and exploitation (of US workers and our environment) that even the Devil himself would admire. And we shall find out that it was trueley Mitt Romney and not the reverend Wright who first said, "God bless America? No, God Dammn (sic) America!"

    Folks, we need to fix this fool immediately!

    July 10, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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