Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, called on Mitt Romney to release more than one year of tax returns, following a report that detailed the presumptive GOP nominee’s use of offshore accounts.
Wasserman Schultz called that report, published in Vanity Fair, “disturbing.” According to the magazine, Romney’s financial advisers formed a corporation in Bermuda, and the article also detailed the former Massachusetts governor’s holdings in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
“Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account, and secretive investments like that?” Wasserman Schultz asked on Fox News Sunday.
The Obama campaign and top Democrats have been hammering Romney on the issue ever since the article was published online last week, with a spokesman for the president’s campaign saying the report showed how the presumptive GOP nominee bet against America.
In a statement read on Fox News Sunday, Kevin Madden, a Romney spokesman, rejected those Democratic claims, and the idea that Romney’s holdings were giving him tax advantages.
“He hasn’t paid a penny less in taxes by virtue of where these funds are domiciled. His liability is exactly the same as if he held the fund investments directly in the U.S., Madden said. “As a U.S. citizen, he is accountable for U.S. taxes. Some investments in some foreign countries can be tax havens. But Mitt Romney does not hold any such investments.”
Romney has already come under fire during the 2012 campaign for his tax returns. The former Massachusetts governor initially said he had no plans to release any tax returns, before finally circulating a 2010 return that showed he and his wife, Ann, paid a 13.9 percent rate on some $21.6 million in income. At the same time, the Romneys also released an estimated 2011 return.
A former private equity executive, Romney is estimated to be worth perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.
George Romney, Mitt’s father and a onetime Michigan governor, released 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in the 1960s. President Obama has also released tax returns dating back to 2000.