July 15th, 2012
10:03 AM ET
10 years ago

Axelrod: Obama could have Swiss bank account if he wanted

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's accounts in offshore tax havens would have repercussions in essential governing decisions if he's elected president, a top adviser to President Barack Obama claimed Sunday.

David Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Romney's accounts in places like Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda would cloud his decision-making on reforming the tax code, and that the current president had avoided such conflicts of interest in his own investing choices.

"We lose $100 billion a year to offshore tax shelters," Axelrod told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "We've learned from the limited disclosure that he's made that Gov. Romney takes advantage of these. He had a Swiss bank account. He has a Bermuda holding company."

He continued, "When we go to reform the tax code, how does that inform his judgment? He's told us his business experience is the lens through which he's going to look at these decisions. We're getting a look at that experience, and people need to gauge, is that the kind of experience we want in the Oval Office?"

Obama, Axelrod said, could have taken advantage of the same loopholes that allow Romney to place his fortune in overseas accounts.

"I'm sure he could have a Swiss bank account if he wanted it," Axelrod said. "He could have a Bermuda holding company. He could put tens of millions of dollars in the Caymans. He could use loopholes in the tax law to have a $100 million IRA. The president could do those things, but he doesn't do those things. He looks at this through a different lens."

In defending himself against attacks about his offshore accounts, Romney has repeatedly pointed out that his investments are held in a blind trust, and that he has no involvement whatsoever in where and how his money is managed. He has not, however, agreed to release his tax returns beyond 2010 and 2011, despite calls from Democrats - and some Republicans - to release more.

On Sunday, Axelrod said such limited disclosure only raised more questions about Romney's financial situation.

"His father said if you release one year, it could be a fluke, it could be just for show," Axelrod said, referring to George Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 1968 election.

Axelrod continued, "I can only conclude, with all these Republicans asking him to release these returns, that whatever is in those returns would be more damaging to his campaign than simply not releasing them."

Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Herschel Caudill

    David Axlerod says that President Obama "could have a Swiss bank account if he wanted it," Axelrod said. "He could have a Bermuda holding company. He could put tens of millions of dollars in the Caymans. He could use loopholes in the tax law to have a $100 million IRA. The president could do those things, but he doesn't do those things". In order to make this comment Axlerod is admitting that President Obama has 100's of millions of dollars. Why is that President Obama is not disclosing where he has his money. It is obvious that the President did not report this kind money, So is he avoiding paying his taxes like his Treasury Secretary did?

    July 15, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. kevin

    Some of you better look at your 401K's. A lot of them have your money invested in off shore accounts. So does that mean you are all a bunch of tax dodgers and cheats? Can't believe people actually hear or read some of this garbage and can't control themselves, and they hate, long enough to be objective. Let us level the playing field. At the count of 3 Mitt will release his tax returns and investments and Obama will release his investment portfolio and all his college records and his thesis papers. Let us see what each has really got to hide.

    July 15, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. biologixco

    Mitt Romney is in the IRS Voluntary disclosure program. This allows Swiss bank account holders to declare the account and pay tax and penalty for no tax evasion charges. They know there is something there. They KNOW. The IRS KNOWS. Now its time for the American public to know.

    July 15, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Nietodarwin

    ALL CANDIDATES for the past 3 decades from BOTH PARTIES have disclosed their taxes. Even, Romney. It's just that he only disclosed his to JOHN McCAIN.

    July 15, 2012 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  5. Hey Mittens, got any more of those 100K jobs at Bain for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe?'

    Funny, Mr.1% still has not answered how his signature got on the forms at the SEC in 2001 when he supposedly was NOT doing anything with the plundering of working folks pension plans and foisting their plight off on the taxpayer thru the guaranty trust fund.

    Of course, he did pocket the 102 Million he made off the sale of the assets of the dissolved corp.

    The cash must be in those Cayman tax evading accounts!

    July 15, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. sharon

    To some of you people, must I remind you some of your negative and racist remarks. Pres. Obama being called LIAR at the State of the Union Address. Birthers claiming him not US citizens, despite all this negatively Pre. Obama did not faulted did not become the ANGRY Black that you wanted him to He have Arise above all that and my friend shows you Pres. Obama can take punches and throw them back.

    July 15, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Harry From Pa

    Like Biden said, Rmoney wants you to show your papers, but he wont show his...

    July 15, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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