Democrats are attacking Mitt Romney on his personal finances, accusing the Republican presidential candidate of evading paying U.S. taxes by investing money in offshore accounts. The Obama campaign has been ferociously attacking Romney's business past and casting him as an out-of-touch millionaire.
Romney has been pressed to disclose more about where his money is after a recent Vanity Fair article revealed that the candidate has bank accounts in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, as well as having a Swiss bank account.
Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on CNN on Sunday that Romney is intentionally avoiding paying taxes on much of his wealth by investing it abroad.
"This is a guy whose slogan is 'Believe in America' when it should be 'business in Bermuda,'" Gibbs said.
Romney also pays only about a 15 percent U.S. tax rate because the majority of his income is from investments, not wages. He has also been pressed to release previous year's tax returns (although it is not required of candidates), only thus far having released his returns for 2010 and 2011. Other disclosure forms have revealed the candidate is worth up to $255 million.
President Barack Obama has released his returns back to the year 2000.
Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt questioned why Romney was investing money abroad, and further pressed for Romney to release his tax returns.
"If he has nothing to hide, why doesn't he just release his tax returns?" LaBolt said. "This raises many questions about Romney's finances, but it confirms something we already knew—Mitt Romney's economic philosophy has always put maximizing his profits above anything else even if it means refusing to bet on America and its workers."
The Romney campaign has responded to the attacks by continuing to rail Obama for the struggling U.S. economy.
"President Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney have been proven false time and again. As job growth slows, manufacturing activity stalls, and our economy continues to sputter, President Obama knows he can't make a legitimate argument for another term in office, so instead he is trying to tear down his opponent," said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg in a release. "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."
The economy has been central to Romney's campaign against the president, and a disappointing jobs report released last week showed the United States only added 80,000 jobs in June. In response to the report, Romney criticized Obama's handling of the economy, saying, "American families are struggling … There is a lot of misery in America today."
Yet the candidate made the statement from the town in New Hampshire where he owns a vacation home, and spent the week with this family. Democrats were quick to criticize the vacation, as photos of Romney and his wife on a jet ski circulated.
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