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. Stohn Jockton

    Mitt Romney knows exactly where his money is being invested, because as he so eloquently pointed out in 1994, when running against Ted Kennedy, who also stated that he, Ted Kennedy, uses a blind trust as an investment vehicle, the beneficiary of the "blind trust" sets up, and controls the parameters of this so-called "blind trust". As such, the beneficiary controls where the assets of the trust are invested, in which countries, the levels of risks assumed, and controls what measures are used for tax treatment, etc., etc., etc., ETC!

    Mitt Romney, the serial liar that he is, wants YOU to believe that using a blind trust as an investment vehicle shields the trust beneficiary of any disclosure of the trust's assets. all one has to do is to go to YouTube, and see the video of a debate, featuring , none Mitt Romney, defusing Kennedy's charge that he did not know what was in his, Kennedy's very own blind trust.

    July 10, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. FajitaBob

    Yeah, Joe, you go get h...what? He was at a LA RAZA CONVENTION????? Somebody wake his old @$$ up and tell him about La Raza. Although, all that matters to him is the head count.

    July 10, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. mdn

    He is able to pay "more than %16 of his income to charity" because he only pays %15 in taxes! I wish I could do that.

    July 10, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. rob

    Desparate flailing bu the media and the Dems. Anything,anything to keep the story off the horrible economy and the dems policies which got us here.

    By the way when did the media stop thinking it was important for a Vice President be somewhat inteligent? This guy makes Dan Quayle look like Einstein.

    July 10, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Most, if not all, of President Obama's failures can be chalked up to opposition by Republicans in the Senate during his first two years, through the use of the now bogus filibuster. I remember when the threat of a filibuster was not enough. The person threatening actually had to hold the Senate floor and speak about whatever he wanted. Requiring a 60 vote supermajority to take a vote on something requiring only a simple majority to pass is ridiculous! The failures if the second two years can be chalked up to the stated agenda of the Republicans in control of the House and with the filibuster power of the Senate "to make Barak Obama a one-term President" – not my words, but Mitch McConnell's. Had the House and Senate actually done the jobs they were elected to – see to the needs of the people – instead of trying to obstruct everything the President wanted to do, then Congress wouldn't be struggling to achieve a 20% favorable rating.

    July 10, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney is sounding more and more like Bernie Madoff, "I don't know where the money is".

    July 10, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. mhill68123

    Why is it anyone's business?
    No one seemed to care to do any vetting on Obama, so why should Romney answer anything Biden has to say.
    Even though kudos should be given to the VP as he is almost credible in this article, as opposed to his usual goofiness.

    July 10, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. incredulous

    So Romney doesn't know where all his money is but he wants Americans to trust him with the US economy?

    July 10, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. victor

    Is that all you have bringing up the birthed issue over and over again. Its like arguing that the world is flat. Move on.

    July 10, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. JohnW

    With followers like Katlynn, I hope some of Romney's investments are in tinfoil.

    July 10, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Don

    This is it? This is all team Obama has? Why don’t they just run on their record?

    I would suggest that Romney disclose all his tax records just as soon as Obama lifts his executive privilege on the fast and furious docs.

    July 10, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. phil

    A budget requires only 51 votes in the senate. This buffoon hasn't had one in three years.

    July 10, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Sagebrush Shorty

    I am not a big fan of President Obama, but I wish him good health because look who is waiting in the wings. Can you imagine this foul mouthed buffoon as President of the United States?

    July 10, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Mikey

    Someone posted – "Romney will save us from the socialist plague."

    Is anyone supposed to take that comment seriously? Or was it just a joke intended to make conservatives look stupid?

    July 10, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. rob

    @Joe from CT, not Lieberman
    I remember those lovely days when GW was pres and the Dems in the senate and the House did everything they could to cooperate with him. They used to sit in the capitol and sing Kumbaya together and all was well. Remember???? Oh yeah thats right, its ok to oppose a Republican president. Its a civic duty that is taught in Journalism school right???

    You people are ridiculous

    July 10, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. rs

    The tough thing here is how polluted the GOP has made this field. They trotted out the Birther nonsense, they've lied endlessly about everything the President has done, and endlessly called him a communist/socialist/fascist/Muslim, weak on foreign affairs-job killer. They conveniently forget their sorry pact to not work with the President (ask Mitch McConnell), or the broken promises of John Boehner. They've twisted themselves into pretzels over the ACA and their Individual Mandate. They refuse to accept the Supreme Court ruling and are holding yet another meaningless vote on the ACA today. They are running sideshows on Fast and Furious, the right punditry are screaming for Obama's college transcripts (ever hear of FERPA?).
    They are morons if they think this frat-boy behavior doesn't come with consequences. They cannot simply say we're Republicans and the rules don't apply. Mr. Romney's wealth and fincances are starting to stink. This sense of priviledge that the rich shouldn't pay taxes, or be held accountable whether as individuals or corporations is simply disgusting and un-American. I suppose it may be technically legal- but it isn't the way average people go about their business.
    The GOP may be very surprised by the level of revulsion they are engendering.

    July 10, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. rosethornne

    He only looks like he has something to hide, because he has something to hide.

    July 10, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. jake

    romney is a liar and he knows it. he is incapable of telling the truth. do the people of the usa really want a snake oil salesman at the helm? thats all this republican waste flinger is. a snake oil not trust him...ever!

    July 10, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. amlcpamaine

    Romney takes the high-and-mighty road, claiming huge donations to charity. I know his games because my employer was taken over by Bain and I worked in their system. The "charities" that get Romney's money are directed by the Mormon church and the money doesn't go to the needy - it goes to political action committees for conservative causes.

    Mitt Romney, outsourcer and poster boy for legal-but-unethical ripoffs, will have a reckoning when he arrives at the pearly gates. They'll let him know then that his concern for his "fellow man" has fallen far short of what his maker expected.

    July 10, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Mike in SA

    Wow...I wonder if the multip-millionaire Biden will do hte same...

    July 10, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Investment Advisor

    Joe, Joe, Joe Joe Joe.....Are things that bad with the economy that you have to go after Romneys wealth to agitate your base. (Like the answer to that question is hard to figure out). And the "Lemming Lefties" are climbing on board. Sad... truly sad! This is BS ....the guy has been succesfull, legally, and the have nots of the country want to vilify him for it. So what???...the guy is wealthy. If you want transparency, look into your own boss and his administration. Can you say "Glass houses and throwing stones"? Grow up people, you too Joe!

    July 10, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. bill

    I think biden and the uhbama should just run on their fabulous record. That will show Romney who is more qualified.

    July 10, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  23. Jerry

    Mr. Biden, if you were really relevant and a true American, you would be asking for the same proofs from your master. You traitorous hypocrites must be getting really desperate.

    You are just starting to realize that the American populace is not as gullible as it was four years ago. You and your master have nothing but lies, divisiveness and hypocrisy to run on.

    But again, you are failing to realize that the American people have awaken. You may still be able to fool and lie to some of the Obamamites; but you are going to have to do better than that.

    America has awaken!!! And, that awakening is a force that you, your master and his flunkies will need to face come November 2012.

    The fact is that if you, Mr. Obama and his cronies had stopped your lying and divisiveness tactics some time ago, we would not even be talking about a highly contested election.

    YES, I am a life-long Democrat! And at this stage, I am inclined to vote for Mr. Romney.

    July 10, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Peace

    Romney has said that he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed. I get difficulties to believe it. If he can not manage his personal money, how can he manage the economy of the entire nation? It is all about occupying the White House, nothing more!

    July 10, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Anonymous010

    "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."

    Sure, we'll get over it just as soon as the birthers get over their issue. Besides, the tax issue is far more important because it's an actual decision that this man has made. Who does he trust with his money? How do we know this surrogate is following all US laws? How does Romney know this surrogate is following all US laws? That's the problem with deniability. Yeah, it potentially shields him from prosecution if something were discovered, but If Romney truly doesn't know anything about his own finances, as he claims, how can he assert, with any level of confidence, that all laws are being followed? That's just it – he can't.

    July 10, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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