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Mitt in Obama team bullseye: When Newt?

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While GOP White House hopeful Newt Gingrich is surging he is not at the point where the Obama re-election team will take any public shots at him; that honor is still rival Mitt Romney, who on Monday is attacked again by the Democratic National Commitee and the Obama 2012 campaign.

The DNC has a new web video mocking Romney's claim he is not a career politician; "but it wasn't for a lack for trying," the DNC spot says, with clips of his bids for senator, governor and president.

Meanwhile, on the disclosure front, the Obama 2012 campaign is highlighting Romney's refusal to disclose his income tax returns, with new ammunition in a Sunday PARADE Magazine interview.

From Obama 2012: "You told PARADE Magazine that your father's tax returns were made public when he ran for President. President Obama, President Bush and Senator McCain released their tax returns, but during your nearly twenty year political career you have resisted calls to release them. Will you follow precedent and release them now?"

below, from the Obama 2012 campaign

NEW AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS FOR GOVERNOR ROMNEY

CHICAGO, IL -- Two interviews with Mitt Romney published this weekend raise both new and unanswered questions. Since Governor Romney says he holds a press availability "almost everyday," he should have the opportunity to answer these questions in the immediate future:

You told PARADE Magazine that your father's tax returns were made public when he ran for President. President Obama, President Bush and Senator McCain released their tax returns, but during your nearly twenty year political career you have resisted calls to release them. Will you follow precedent and release them now?

Romney Said His Father's Tax Returns Were Released When He Ran for President. When asked to describe how his father influenced him, Romney said, "When [my father] ran for president and his tax returns were published, it was clear he could've hired a landscaper. But he decided we would learn to work with our hands." [Parade, 12/4/11]

Romney Has Refused To Release His Tax Returns While Running For President Twice, Senator And Governor. "On the Republican side, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who kept his tax filings private during his gubernatorial and Senate races, says he hasn't made a final decision; neither has Rudolph W. Giuliani, who made his returns public while serving as New York mayor, or Arizona Sen. John McCain. Making tax returns public is, no doubt, an imposition on a candidate's privacy -- but choosing to run for president means relinquishing privacy in all sorts of areas. It has become a given that presidents and vice presidents release their tax filings." [Washington Post, 6/19/07]

· 2002: Romney Refused To Make His Income Tax Returns Public. "Romney, who has pumped nearly $ 5 million of his own money into the campaign, has refused repeated requests by O'Brien's campaign to follow her lead and make his income tax returns public." [Salt Lake Tribune, 11/4/02]

· 2002: Romney Said "I'm Not Going To Be Releasing My Tax Forms, But I Appreciate The Invitation To Do So." "GOP gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney yesterday refused to disclose specifics about the executive compensation package he received from venture capital firm Bain Capital after he left the company in 1999. 'I'm not going to describe my salary specifically," Romney said at a breakfast appearance before businesswomen hosted by the Boston Club at the Sheraton Hotel. "I'm not going to be releasing my tax forms, but I appreciate the invitation to do so.'" [Boston Herald, 10/4/02]

2007: Romney Refused To Release His Tax Returns While Running For President. "Romney reported the details of his wealth in a personal financial disclosure report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Presidential candidates had been required to file such disclosures by May 15, but Romney asked for two 45-day extensions to obtain detailed values of his and his wife's blind trusts. The report offers the most detailed public look yet at the finances of the former Massachusetts governor, who has refused to release his income tax returns, and who previously filed only state financial disclosure forms that described his holdings in the most general terms. His most recent Massachusetts report, filed in May for calendar 2006, was only 10 pages long, compared with the 47-page federal report." [AP, 8/13/07]

In a debate in August you took a pledge against raising revenue to reduce the deficit if balanced by spending cuts, but in PARADE Magazine you dodged a question about whether you would raise revenue. Are you now willing to ask millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations to pay their fair share to reduce the deficit, or will you continue to shoulder seniors and the middle class with the entire burden of deficit reduction?

Romney Dodged A Question About Revenue In PARADE. When asked, "Let's say you become president and you're trying to reach a bargain on deficits. The other side says, 'We'll reform retirement, but you need to budge on revenue.' Your party says, 'No way.' What would you do?" Romney replied, "If you're climbing a mountain and encounter a cliff, you don't scramble against it--you look to the left or right to see if there's a way around. It means saying, 'You've got your principles. I've got mine. Let's see if we can both honor them and achieve our objective.'" [Parade, 12/4/11]

8/11/11: Romney Raised His Hand To Say He Would Walk Away From A Deal That Was 10:1, Spending Cuts To Tax Increases. From a Fox News debate in Iowa: "BAIER: Well, I'm going to ask a question to everyone here on the stage. Say you had a deal, a real spending cuts deal, 10 to one, as -- as Byron said, spending cuts to tax increases. ... But who on this stage would walk away from that deal? Can you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes, you'd walk away on the 10 to one deal? ... Just making sure everyone at home and everyone here knows that they all raised their hands. They're all saying that they feel so strongly about not raising taxes that a 10 to one deal, they would walk away from. Confirming that." [Fox News Debate, Iowa, 8/11/11]

In the past you called for a stimulus to address the financial crisis. In the New York Times Magazine this weekend, your chief policy aide suggested you would not have pursued any sort of stimulus in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, other than to take actions that would have had little to no impact on job creation and economic growth. Which is your actual position?

1/4/09: Romney: "I Think A Stimulus Program Is Needed." "I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they'll be doing, and that's net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that's one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed." [CNN, Late Edition, 1/4/09]

· Romney Said Obama Should "Move Quickly" On The Proposed $750 Billion Stimulus Package And Include Middle Class Tax Cuts, Infrastructure Projects, And Investment In Energy Technologies. "BLITZER: He's talking about a $750 billion economic stimulus package. He wants it to be passed as soon as possible. It's unclear if whether it can be passed before he's inaugurated on January 20th. What do you think about this proposal? ROMNEY: Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they'll be doing, and that's net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that's one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed. I'd move quickly. These are unusual times. But it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We'll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies." [CNN, Late Edition, 1/4/09]

· Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi: While Romney Criticized Obama's Economic Policies, "Romney Wrote In His Own Book, 'No Apology,' That A Stimulus Package 'Was Called For' After The Late-2008 Economic Downturn And The Democrats' Stimulus 'Will Accelerate The Timing Of The Start Of The Recovery.'" Joan Vennochi wrote an op-ed for the Boston Globe that said, "In an op-ed piece in last week's Boston Globe, Romney called for what he describes as a 'bipartisan growth and jobs' agenda. He wants to preserve the Bush tax cuts, match corporate taxes in America with those of other countries, and allow businesses to write off capital investments made in 2010 and 2011 rather than over time. Although he was allegedly calling for bipartisanship, the underpinning of Romney's op-ed piece was an attack on Obama's economic policies, which he wrote, have 'deepened and lengthened the downturn.' However, as the Democratic National Committee pointed out in a fact check, Romney wrote in his own book, 'No Apology,' that a stimulus package 'was called for' after the late-2008 economic downturn and the Democrats' stimulus 'will accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery.'"[Joan Vennochi op-ed, Boston Globe, 8/22/10]

12/4/11: Romney Policy Director: A President Romney In Early 2009 Would Not Have Pursued A Federal Stimulus. "I asked the campaign staff if I could talk to Romney about his economic proposals. They replied that in the interests of controlling the campaign's message, the candidate would not be participating in any profiles or 'proc-ess stories.' Instead, they suggested I speak with the campaign's policy director, Lanhee Chen, a highly respected Harvard Ph.D., who did his best to characterize Romney's views. The problem is that when you look beneath Mitt Romney's critique of the Obama economy, his remedies feel a bit thin. Asked what President Romney would have done during his first days in office, in lieu of a federal stimulus, to address the market meltdown, Chen rattled off a few likely options: 'Lowering the corporate tax rate. Enacting a permanent extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Immediately ratifying our pending trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. In the energy sector, freeing up the necessary land to enable greater domestic production.' He did not make clear how Romney would have steered these boilerplate conservative proposals through a Democrat-controlled Congress." [New York Times, 12/4/11]

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 5, 2011 7:33 AM.

Rahm Emanuel Dec. 5 public schedule. In Washington was the previous entry in this blog.

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