House GOP campaign chief says Romney's personal finances 'fair game'
July 12th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
10 years ago

House GOP campaign chief says Romney's personal finances 'fair game'

Washington (CNN) - The chief of the House Republicans' campaign arm said Thursday it was "fair game" for people to ask for more information about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal financial records.

"His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game," Texas Republican Pete Sessions told CNN.

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Sessions heads up the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect House Republicans. The senior GOP leader's comment comes amid calls, mainly from Democrats, for Romney to release his tax returns from 2011, and earlier financial records. Democrats have seized on recent reports about Romney holding accounts in places considered offshore tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands.

So far the former Massachusetts governor has released his 2010 tax records and an estimate for 2011, but he has filed an extension for his 2011 taxes. In an interview on Fox News on Wednesday Romney said he'll release the most recent information "as soon as they're prepared." Romney has an estimated net worth of over $250 million.

Sessions declined to specify what level of detail or how many years worth of tax records Romney should release, but called it a "legitimate question." He emphasized that any disclosure should be confined to the candidate himself – not his extended family.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, who said he was arranging a meeting soon with the GOP candidate's campaign on other issues, urged Romney to make the information public sooner rather than later.

"I think he should release his financial records and I think if he does it in July it would be a lot better than in October," Jones told CNN. Romney's extension for completing his latest tax return goes until October.

"Obviously people know he's rich, nobody holds that against him," Jones said, but added, "whenever you are asking for the vote of the American people that you need to fully disclose what your holdings are, if you have any."

Jones said he's not a financial expert, but he said Romney should release the last 6 -7 years of records.

But not all Republicans believe Romney needs to provide any more public information.

House Financial Service Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, told CNN, "I think the issue is who will make the best president and not the fact that Mitt Romney's been successful."

He argued Romney's business success was enough information for him and voters.

"I'm just excited about having someone who has been so successful -turning the Olympics around and creating jobs and who understands free enterprise. I'm not interested in finding out every deduction he took or every charitable contribution he made," Bachus said.

Filed under: 2012 • House • Pete Sessions
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The billionaire bus to the presidency that Mittens borrowed from the Kochs and Rove is losing its wheels. It appears the bus was made by outsourcing, and was not made in America either.

    July 12, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. Thomas

    And so is his families military service !

    No group , religion, cast , rich or poor is exempt from defending our country ,

    Military service is voluntary , and those that do protect all citizens ..
    However they do so with honer and justice for all. Thats something Mr Romney needs to pass down to his five sons.

    July 12, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. Milton K. Wiah

    The Right Reverend Mitt Romney is in trouble now. We will see if he will refuse calls to release the tax records
    from his own party. It is now clear that his own party sees reason to call his attention on this important matters.
    Let us say if he was considered for public post requires to release tax records, would he not do so, the
    answer absolutely no. So let him release the record, it is a fair game and the Democrats should should press
    on. Mitt will falter, and that may be the end of his ambition for this higher office.

    July 12, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. RandyKC

    He moved the offshore stuff over to Anne in 2001. He's saying they're not going to release that.

    July 12, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I'll bet that Ron Paul delegates are not happy about their vote at the republican convention being eliminated by the republican party thugs. The primary has been stolen by the Kochs and Rove.

    July 12, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. MaryM

    Mitt is now at Cheneys House for a fund raiser. Mitt has hired Bush advisors. Americans do NOT want another Bush in the White House

    July 12, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  7. Karm99

    Mitt Romney says he left Bain Capitol in 1999, yet here is the Bain Capitol SEC filing for 2001

    Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole
    shareholder, sole director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain
    Capital and thus is the controlling person of Bain Capital. The executive
    officers of Bain Capital are set forth on Schedule B hereto.

    July 12, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. T'sah From Virginia

    Think about it – The Republicans REALLY do not want Romney to win in November – Especially those Republicans who wants to run in 2016 – If Romney WINS in 2012 – Republicans can't run against him in 2016!!! What's good about this – When President Obama gets reelected in November, we will control the White House until 2020!! Why? Because Hillary will run in 2016 – Yes We Can!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!

    July 12, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Ken

    Oh My!!

    What will Rush, Bill, Sean, Laura and Glennnnnn have to say about this? Expect Sessions' apology tomortow! Thatis when we will find out that he "misspoke" or was "misquoted".

    July 12, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Debby

    If no one holds it against him for being rich then what is the big deal with the taxes. People file extentions all the time like us. Its no biggy.

    July 12, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. HenryB

    Oh Oh, a Republican stepping off the reservation! This is yummy. The grand chiefs of the rabid right, Rush, Glenn, Sean, and, let's not forget Bachmann and Palin (where has she been?) will reign in this guy. Cool! Lockstep Naz!s anyone?

    July 12, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. David

    It's nice to know that the 1% crowd (I'm talking to you Mitt) can hide their money in offshore accounts so they don't have to pay as much in taxes as the Middle Class. If that seems fair to you, then vote Republican. If, on the other hand you believe in Warren Buffett's view that it isn't fair that he pays less in his tax rate than his Middle Class secretary, then vote for Democrats. It is that simple. If you believe that Corporate Welfare is good, and welfare for the poor is bad, then vote Republican. If you are a member of the Republican Religious Right, you should study the book of James (you know. Jesus' half-brother). See what James teaches about rich people and then try to justify being a Republican.

    July 12, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. ted

    transparency does not extend to Mitt the weathervane. he is a smug rich guy who thinks he is above all people and everyone is there to serve him. yeah.

    July 12, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  14. mike

    It was the Federal Government that saved the Olympics Romney just asked for the money

    July 12, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. PJ/TX

    Be careful, I think he said this for a reason. Texas Republicans don't go "off message".

    July 12, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. Name JR

    This whole thing is maddening even for a political junkie like me. The right cowers like beaten dogs. The left are like poodles biting at your ankles. I'm just glad our forefathers knew all this and designed our system so the mob doesn't rule. God save our Republic.

    July 12, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. sharon

    Hey Romney what are hiding??? You and your croonies have hounded Pres. Obama to produce his birth certificate,so now it your turn to produce your tax records. As the saying goes, "What comes around goes around." Man Up and show those records!

    July 12, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. J Roby

    Yeah, Mitt RoMoney turned the Olympics around with a government bailout

    July 12, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Rodney

    Another Repub that didn't want Mitten as the GOP bigger winner and Obama challenger. I personally think they should be a ten year limit on tax returns for the White House.

    July 12, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |

    I guess your on your own romney the clown ,no wonder he had his staff buy or stole the disk drives in mass .

    July 12, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |

    Maybe the Gop bafoons want to ditch their loser canadate????????

    July 12, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. JasonP

    It's not about he being successful. Bill Gates is successful too. But Bill Gates is not a deceptive liar who is trying to get the presidency so he can hook up all his rich friends at the expense of the rest of us.

    July 12, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  23. gg

    sounds like a lot of paper shuffling and paper shredders working overtime

    July 12, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Brehon

    "House Financial Service Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, told CNN, "I think the issue is who will make the best president and not the fact that Mitt Romney's been successful."

    He argued Romney's business success was enough information for him and voters." Rep Spencer Bachus (R-Ala): "He's got the money and that's enough information for me and the voters." said, echoing his hardline stand in favor of transparency. "If he wasn't good at what he did he wouldn't be rich."

    GOP: Greed Over People
    100% Pure Republican Hypocrisy.(TM)
    "You can smell the truthiness in every load!"

    News Flash: Wealthy serial embezzler and bank robber to accept GOP VP nod.

    July 12, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  25. Ancient Texan

    How much money Romney has, or where he keeps it is none of my business and is of no concern to me, it's his money and he earned it.. What is done with my tax money and where it goes in return for whatever favor was done for the current administration is of concern to me as a taxpayer and a voter.

    July 12, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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