Obama team targets Romney over taxes, Republicans cry foul

Sun Jul 8, 2012 6:46pm EDT
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By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's campaign and top Democrats on Sunday called on Mitt Romney to release more personal tax records and raised questions about his offshore assets that the Republican challenger's campaign condemned as an "unseemly and disgusting" character assault.

Democrats and Republicans tussled over the economy, but it was Romney's offshore assets that Democrats seized on during the Sunday talk shows in their quest to portray him as a wealthy man out of touch with ordinary Americans. Romney faces Obama in the November 6 election and polls indicate a close race.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz raised the issue on "Fox News Sunday" as her interview time ran out.

"I'd really like to see Mitt Romney release more than one year of tax records, because there's been disturbing reports recently that he's got a Bermuda corporation, a secretive Bermuda corporation that no one knows anything about, investments in the Caymans, kind of Swiss bank account."

"Americans need to ask themselves why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" Schultz said.

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs, on CNN's "State of the Union," called on Romney to release years of back tax records to allow scrutiny of his adherence to tax law. Asked whether Romney had broken the law, Gibbs said, "Well, we don't know."

"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's done, and that's to release a series of years of their own tax returns," Gibbs said.

"This is a guy whose slogan is: 'Believe in America' - and it should be 'Business in Bermuda.' That's what Mitt Romney's all about," Gibbs said.   Continued...

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 6, 2012. Obama is on a two-day campaign bus tour of Ohio and Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque