President Obama’s campaign hits Mitt Romney on foreign assets, calls for more tax returns
President Obama’s reelection campaign on Sunday continued to blast Mitt Romney for offshore financial holdings and renewed its call for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to release additional tax returns.
The pressure followed a week of news reports about a Bermuda-based company Romney owned and transferred to a trust in the name of his wife, Ann, on the day before he became Massachusetts governor in 2003.
The existence of the company, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., and other foreign assets -- including investments in the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account maintained until 2010 -- was not known to the public until Romney released his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011 in January.
Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs suggested Sunday that Romney might have broken the law; at minimum, Democrats say, Romney is guilty of secrecy and of betting against the country he aspires to govern.
“The one thing he could do ... to clear up whether or not he’s done anything illegal, whether he’s shielding his income from taxes in Bermuda or Switzerland, is to do what every other presidential candidate has done and that is to release a series of years of their tax returns,” Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you are doing or you believe the Swiss franc is stronger than the American dollar,” Illinois Senator Dick Durbin added on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
In response, the Romney campaign called the Democrats’ comments and a similarly themed Obama campaign video “unseemly and disgusting.”
“Mitt Romney had a successful career in the private sector, pays every dime of taxes he owes, has given generously to charitable organizations and served numerous causes greater than himself,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
“Barack Obama has become what he once ran against -- a typical politician willing to use false and dishonest attacks to save his job after failing to do his job,’’ Saul said. “The American people expected more from this president, and he continues to let them down.”Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.