Obama team slams Romney over financials

2012-04-06 12:02
Washington - US President Barack Obama's camp accused Republican foe Mitt Romney of hiding his finances in a "black box" following a report he used an ethics loophole to avoid offering details of some earnings.

The Washington Post report unleashed a new spat between the president's campaign aides and Romney, the most likely Republican nominee, reflecting the quickening pace of the race toward November's election.

The report said that the multimillionaire and former Massachusetts governor legally used an obscure exception in ethics laws to provide a limited accounting of his assets, making it hard to trace exactly where his wealth is invested.

The paper said the strategy made it tough to determine whether there were any conflicts of interest, or if Romney's assets were held offshore or invested in controversial companies.

Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina complained that new questions were emerging every week about whether "Romney took unusual steps to avoid paying his fair share in taxes".

Underlying assets

"Today's report suggests that governor Romney is exploiting a loophole in order to shield his assets and investments from public review," Messina said.

"Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history."

But Romney's campaign hit back, accusing the Obama team of trying to deflect attention from the president's own economic record.

"President Obama will do anything to try and distract Americans from his failed record of chronic unemployment, lower incomes and higher gas prices," said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul.

Saul said Romney's personal financial disclosure "completely and accurately describes governor Romney's assets as required by the law applicable to candidates for president".

She said government ethics monitors would have made clear if they found Romney's financial disclosures to be insufficient.

The Post said that Romney declined to identify underlying assets held in 48 accounts from Bain Capital, the private equity firm with which he built his fortune.

Romney was not required to reveal details of the assets concerned because they were covered by a confidentiality agreement with Bain, which is exempted from disclosure rules by the Office of Government Ethics.

The Republican candidate rode out a previous row over his financial and tax arrangements earlier in the nominating race, in which he is now the prohibitive favourite.

But the Obama campaign offensive signalled that the president's team will seek to revive the controversy, as it seeks to portray the wealthy Romney as indifferent to the economic struggles of ordinary Americans.
Read more on:    barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  economy  |  us elections 2012

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.