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. mike

    "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"

    hey joe from ct not lieberman, Obama had a filibuster proof majority for his first 2 years. what other excuses do you have??? ATMs, Tsunami, etc.........................

    July 10, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. mommytwice

    So...every other candidate who runs for president releases tax returns, a tradition, I think, started by Mitt's own father. I ask again, what is he hiding?

    July 10, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Mack

    Secret offshore bank accounts...shady business dealings...magical underwear...this is getting interesting!!

    July 10, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. JoeTheAmerican

    That would be Biden the Plagiarist wouldn't it?

    July 10, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. ken

    SWItzerland has a special Law to hide crooks money more than any other country in the world.

    July 10, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. ted

    It is all George Bush's fault.

    July 10, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Give 'em hell Joe.

    July 10, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Remember Mitt Romney's original response to the issue of releasing tax returns late last year. His campaign and the candidate himself bungled the issue. Their initial position was that releasing personal tax returns is not required by law, and that they have conformed to all campaign financial disclosures.

    Romney was smug enough to say that he would consider doing it after the election, assuming that he won the nomination and won the election. Mitt dishonors his own father's example.

    July 10, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    Obama criticizing others for non-disclosure? Romney has disclosed what he needs to and frankly I could care less about his personal business.

    Obama has now hidden information from the American people and the parents of a slain border patrol agent through the misuse of Executive Privilege. All to hide the incompetence of Obama and Eric Holder before the election.

    Obama has released NONE of his school records to prove to the American people he has even taken a finance course. Whta is he hiding. It is clear he and others around him have been actively concealing a LOT of Obama's past and his affiliations. It appears he has a history of associating with far left radicals and even former domestic terrorists. The people he has put into the Whitehouse have been of the same ilk.

    Obama needs to come clean with the American people. We DEMAND to know who he is and everything about his past, including his educational records

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

    "The candidate emphasized he has no knowledge of where his money is being placed."

    He doesn't know anything about his money but wants you to think he'll handle yours just fine. What a doofus!

    July 10, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Wake up people

    Go VP Biden! Mittens should show the American people. We deserve the truth. He can say he isn't hiding anything but he is a liar, you can see it in his eyes. In the words of the bagger flunkies....What do you have to hide??

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 10, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    rs – The GOP may be very surprised by the level of revulsion they are engendering.
    Anyone with half a brain, and willing to do a little research of their own will quickly realize the level of revulsion is real. The GOP needs to get over it.. they call Obama divisive! Really, have they looked in the mirror lately. As a conservative (not a Republican) I"m repulsed at what the the GOP has allowed itself to become are represent. Plutocracy rules. Less govt, lower taxes? right.. not happened.. will not not happen for anyone in the 1%. Deficits don't matter? So why are they bickering at Obama? BTW – his budget deficits were 35% LOWER than the last GOP President (Dubya).
    The 1% are paying the lowest in history and keeping the tax cuts intact for all but the top 2 brackets does NOT cause a rate hike for the middle class. More GOP mis-information !!

    July 10, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. b

    who cares where romney keeps his investment money. its HIS money. my 401k has plenty of money in it and I couldn't tell one thing thats its invested in or where MY money is kept. do you think people strugling for work care what bank our president keeps his money. this only appeals to the dem base. its so stupid only liberals think it could work.

    July 10, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Pander Bear

    "All the taxes are paid, as appropriate."

    Now that is a complete hedge. He knows he's cheated, hence the hedge.

    July 10, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    I thought the man said he would show his income tax reports if, and only if, he was selected to be the republican presidential pick to run for the Presidency of the United States. Hopefully he will learn to be more honest in the future! Obvioulsy he has something to hide! What with money in offshore banks and money stocked up in foreign I don't think so, cause it is still about the buck! You would think he would support the US of A by being a good tax payer, like the rest of us.

    July 10, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Jose

    Come on press: Investigate!!!!!

    Have you forgotten about investigative reporting. Do your own homework: Is there something to hide, or is this simply retoric? Hit the road, call sources, dive into dumpsters, do some research, do financial CSI. I am very disapointed that CNN has turned into gosip (this person said this) instead of investigation and analysis. I still have hope for CNN.

    July 10, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Pander Bear

    "hey joe from ct not lieberman, Obama had a filibuster proof majority for his first 2 years."

    Hey Mike from Ignorance Valley USA, no he didn't. It was barely 3 months before Kennedy died and poster boy replaced him as the deciding flilbusterer. No matter how many times you repeat a lie, it doesn't get any more true.

    July 10, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. zago

    This guy is so unpatriotic to place his money in foreign economies while he wants to be president in America where he wouldnt even invest his money. So much!

    The Worst is that this Rich Man, Gov Romney, wants to take health insurance from the poor whilst he can afford million of premiums for himself and his family: So cruel! I forgot: I don't care about the poor, said the Man!

    July 10, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney is sounding more and more like Bernie Madoff "I don't know where the money is" only difference is it's Romney's money and shouldn't be a problem for him to release his tax returns so why lie like Bernie.

    July 10, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. realitybites

    If you really think this is a non issue, you must be an ABO individual. If this was Obama they were talking about, Rebpublicans would be all over him like he hadn't presented his birth certificate or something. Except this is much more an actual issue than the dumbAa$$ birther, secret Muslim crap. Seriously, if it wasn't an issue, why would Mitt try so hard to avoid it? Show us what you've got, Mitt, so we can move on or can you? Blind trust? You expect us to believe that it's OK not to know where your money is and you want us to trust you with our Federal Budget? Good God you really do take us little safety net people for idiots don't you? Well, it actually looks like there are some from what I've seen posted.....sad. Really sad. I've got millions and I don't know where my money is but, I do know how much I gave to Salt Lake last year. 15%. 15%!!!. I wan't to pay that. Where's my loop hole? Oh that's right I don't have enough money to be considered for special tax treatment. My 30-40% has to go to lazy milkers in Washington set for life w/ retirement and healthcare insurance for serving as little as a 4 yr term after the spend billions (combined) to get themselves there. I really wonder what the combined total for all political campaignes for US govt posiitions was in the past 4 yrs. I bet the staggering amount would have been better spent on paying down the deficit. Politics bought and paid for. And the companies that pump millions into the political process through Citizens United can't spend that money on their own employees b/c they are supposedly not doing well in this tepid economy. 44 million dollar yearly bonus anyone?

    July 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. JoeBiteMe

    Quit crying Joe. Most Obama supporters can't even name the Vice President so I don't think your opinion carries much weight.

    July 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Teleprompter No Spin Zone

    Hey Joe America does not want no stinking papers; we want jobs.

    It is time for someone with leadership skills and experience to lead this country and that ain;t Obama Bidean that's for sure

    July 10, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |

    Geez.... I wonder if all this smoke and mirror BS has anything to do with the abysmal jobs report last week??? Way under 100,000 per month for the last 3 months now. OF COURSE IT DOES. The Obama Failure Parade just keeps rolling along so they have to create new distractions for all the bad news and failure.

    Another 4 years of the Obama Smoke and Mirror BS Parade and we are TOAST.

    July 10, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Willy Brown

    Biden will be the only high point of this disaster called Obummer picnic basket community organizer administration.

    July 10, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. jenny

    Barack Obama has gotten his way from the very beginning of his presidency, he got that huge stimulus bill, then after claiming that 600 billion would be saved til 2013, Obama claimed that 600 billion disappeared. When congress demanded he open the accounting books, he refused. Obama's been creating conditions that starve small businesses of their abiltiy to survive, so they pay more in taxes and can't hire or even maintain current workforce. Obama shut down responsible oil companies in the Gulf after the BP explosion, and still denies US oil companies who had no role in the explosion the ability to resume operations, but Obama let BP, whose shoddy, substandard practices resume drilling in the Gulf, and the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras drills in the Gulf courtesy of Obama, Obama also gave Petrobras (who George Soros is a major investor in) 26 billion in US taxpayer dollars, to subsidize it's deepwater drilling. Obama is bleeding the wealth out of the US, and taking kickbacks from foreign elites he's letting destroy and take over US economy. Obama's biggest bundler is the biggest outsourcer in the US.

    The house republicans introduced more than 76 jobs bills since Obama took office and Obama and his democrats in the house prior to the 2010 election, shot them down, and since 2010, the democrat controlled senate has shut them down. Obama promises to veto any that happen to make it to his desk.

    July 10, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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