President Obama raised pressure on Mitt Romney to release more of his tax records on Monday, saying that his GOP challenger’s finances should be an “open book.”
“What’s important, if you are running for president, is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done, and that you’re an open book,” said Obama in an interview with local New Hampshire television station WMUR. “And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney’s father.”
Democrats have slammed Romney after a report in Vanity Fair last week provided details on financial holdings in offshore accounts in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
The Obama campaign is using the issue to portray the presumptive GOP nominee as out of touch with the concerns of voters struggling with the economy and to raise questions over Romney’s own economic policies.
Numerous Democrats on Sunday questioned if Romney had received favorable tax treatment through his foreign financial transactions and called on him to address the issue by releasing additional tax records.
Romney has released a 2010 tax return and his estimated taxes for 2011.
“Mitt Romney's father was the pioneer for releasing a series of tax returns, and the best way to figure out if he is complying with American tax law is to have him release more of the tax returns,” top Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CNN. “This is a guy whose slogan is ‘Believe in America,’ and it should be ‘Business in Bermuda' ... that is what he is all about.”
Romney’s father, George Romney, released 12 years of returns when he ran for the presidency in 1968.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) said voters had a right to expect more financial disclosures from Romney.
“Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?” she said.
Romney’s campaign has denied the GOP candidate used foreign transactions to lower his tax bill and accused Democrats of trying to divert voters' attention from the economy. Last week, a disappointing jobs report showed that the unemployment rate had not budged from 8.2 percent.
“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.,” said Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden. “Some investments in some foreign countries can be tax havens. But Mitt Romney does not hold any such investments.”