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. ColHeightsChic

    @mj: where on earth do you get your information?
    Public record for Biden's average Net Worth: $567,515.
    Perhaps that makes him the most honest of them all?

    July 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. David in FL

    GI Joe
    Never trust a Mormon.

    July 10, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    GI Joe – Never listen to a Bigot

    July 10, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. David in FL


    What makes me laugh is that Romney sees no issue giving 10% of his money to the church (a TAX to be a member) but won't pay the required taxes to the Government

    What makes me laugh is the proof you have that Romney hasn't paid all the taxes that the givernment requires.
    It's not a tax to be a member, its a commandment from God .. go read Malachi 3:10

    July 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. John

    Ha,'s funny to read the posts from the Biden fans a real insight into their so called way of thinking!

    July 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. JerseyGirl

    Willard R-money's reason for having $ off-shore is twofold: one, he gets dividends that are tax-exempt, and two, he thinks we the people won't find out how much $ he has! Elementary! I says he will never be president, as his having "too much money" will be a detriment to him, as will his religion (some people will never vote for a Mormon!). But he is also a flip-flopper & an Etch-a-Sketch, more detriments and reasons why he will NEVER be president! LOL

    July 10, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Liberty

    Really, Joe? I dont think Romney is hiding anything, unlike our current president. Let's see college transcripts from Obama for starters. One and done for you both

    July 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Lisa in GA

    If Romney is the business man he say he is ... I can guarantee you he knows where EVERY dime of his money is..... that's what investors that he can take that answer and shove it...

    July 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. JerseyGirl

    Sorry, I meant to write "I say," not "I says." Gosh, and I try to be so darn careful with my English!!

    July 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. realitybites

    @realitybites That's a pretty ironic nickname, seeing as most of your points have little basis in reality.

    And your sense of reality is...............?

    July 10, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Debby

    OMG now Biden on this ridiculous witch hunt. Romney is a candidate for the Presidency. If he wasn't paying his fair share to the government then he would have been booted out months ago. Hey Biden did you ever hear of accountants and I sure Romney has a few and they pay his taxes for him out of his trust. Why not worry about our economy now while you and your sidekick are running or I should say ruining this country.

    July 10, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    Obama: show your transcripts.

    July 10, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. realitybites


    Be careful what you ask for Mr could come back and bite you. I bet its only a matter of days when this blows over and the truth comes out. Romney didn't become the choosen one of the Republican Party without some serious vetting.

    Dude are you serious. Did you see all of the awesome vetting that went into picking Pailin as a VP runner?

    July 10, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. carly

    Romney can't show his papers. He is not paper trained. lol

    July 10, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Bill in CA.

    Old "elastic mouth" is on the loose...Old Joe needs two things...a muzzle and an enema...

    July 10, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. gregor1971

    This is all Obama has to run on. He has absolutely no record, and he is failing greatly on the economy. He has made so many missteps, including investing billions in companies owned by his largest donors, only to see the companies go bankrupt or shut down. Now with Fast and Furious, you can tell that he is a slimy politician, like so many others.

    July 10, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Debby

    The difference between Palin is she was just plain stupid, on matters. We are talking about the government sending you a form on how much money you make off of all your investments no matter where they are.

    July 10, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. zisee

    Another mouth with no substance and a man who is a joke.

    July 10, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. America

    Hey Biden, how about Obama showing us his college transcripts first. What is he hiding in them that he refuses to release them, hum?

    July 10, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. denroy

    Biden speaking to racists – now there's a surprise

    July 10, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Mark from Louisiana

    I thought Romney said he would release more of his records as soon as obama releases his college transcripts.

    July 10, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @jenny – 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.
    Jenny, your ignorance is typical of the Repug supporters. Have you checked the riders on all those supposed 76 jobs bills? Yeah... anti-abortion, military spending increases, 1% tax reductions, and so on – all added, so that the Dems would refuse to pass the bills in the Senate, or Obama would refuse to sign. Typical Grand Obstructionist Party policy.. introduce unacceptable legislation, knowing it will not pass then play the blame game!

    July 10, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. mm

    The dems will make it go away when the repubs make the birther issue go away.

    I would like to see where Romney has donated to anything other than the Morman church which he is required to do. You know, that same church that is so dedicated to giving back to the community, only if you're a member of their cult, that is.

    July 10, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. RobinSInSC

    You Go Joe!!! I don't understand why the tax evasion issue isn't pursued more and I agree with the comment that, if he's the businessman he claims to be and banks his potential presidency on, he knows the details of where his money is and why. Besides, it's HIS money – blind trust or not. Do we want a POTUS who says, when questioned, "I don't manage it; I don't even know where it is"? As for the college transcript comment, I don't care about either candidate's college transcript; I care about what they do NOW and Romney's personal business is, at the very best, shady. This one issue trumps all others; tax evasion is a felony and a felon cannot be President.

    July 10, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. mm

    First it was show me a birth certificate, now it's show me your transcripts?
    The fun never stops with you pathetic GOP crowd.

    July 10, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Michael

    If Romney hides his money that is his fate. However, Obama hides hie hate against WHITES though it is very evident from his actions.

    July 10, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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