By Alicia M. Cohn - 07/06/12 01:21 PM EDT
David Axelrod, one of President Obama's senior campaign strategists, on Friday compared Mitt Romney to former President Richard Nixon, suggesting Romney's penchant for secrecy is similar to that of the only U.S. president forced to resign due to scandal.
"This is the most secretive candidate since Richard Nixon," Axelrod, appearing on "CBS This Morning," said of Romney.
Obama, as recently as a campaign stop in Ohio on Thursday, referred to a Washington Post report that linked Romney's firm Bain Capital to outsourcing jobs overseas. The Romney campaign has disputed the report, and the Post later clarified that the report only claims that the firm was involved in the practice, not that "transfers of U.S. jobs took place while Romney ran the private equity firm of Bain Capital."
Axelrod told CBS the Obama campaign stands by ads that call Romney the "outsourcer in chief" and that the ads are "based on reporting, assiduous reporting by The Washington Post."
Axelrod also dismissed the jaw-dropping $100 million that Romney's campaign, jointly with the Republican National Committee, is reported to have raised in June. He noted that Romney has not revealed his bundlers.
"You have no idea who is raising this money for Mitt Romney," Axelrod said. "He's the first Republican or Democrat who hasn't released tax returns in a series of years. His father was a pioneer in this when he ran for president and said you have to release multiple years or else people can hide some of what they're doing. We just learned the other day from The Associated Press that Gov. Romney has this Bermuda business and he transferred it to his wife's ownership the day before he became governor of Massachusetts, so he wouldn't have to put it on an ethics form."
Romney voluntarily released his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011 last February. Romney's campaign maintains that their candidate has "completely and accurately" disclosed his holdings and that he always paid the necessary taxes on his earnings. The Bermuda investment Axelrod referred to was listed on the 2010 return.
According to Romney's campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg, Obama's campaign "is trying to tear down his opponent" with false attacks.
"This is just the latest example of President Obama and his political machine saying or doing anything to distract from his abysmal record over the last four years,” Henneberg said in a statement.