Obama ads ask: What is Romney hiding?
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his allies escalated their attacks on rival Mitt Romney for refusing to release more of his tax returns, suggesting Tuesday that secrets in those files cost him the vice presidency four years ago and could embarrass him today. “What is Mitt Romney hiding?” asked a new Obama ad.
Obama’s new 30-second ad questioned whether Romney paid his “fair share of taxes,” though it offered no proof for the assertion. Campaign officials Tuesday defended the ad, saying the full story behind Romney’s investments won’t be known until his tax records are released.
“The ad raises the question that we won’t know, and it’s not possible for anyone to know, until he releases further years of tax returns and everybody is able to examine what is included in them,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The Democratic National Committee piled on with a Web video, trying to link Romney’s tax returns to his being passed over as Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
The video said that McCain had access to 23 years of Romney tax returns, but then named Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. “What does John McCain know that the American people don’t?” the ad asks.
McCain on Tuesday called the inference “outrageous.”
The new barrage from the Obama camp sought to leverage an ever-louder drumbeat from the president’s camp – and some Republicans – for Romney to disclose more of his tax returns. Under pressure from Republican primary rivals, Romney released his 2010 returns and estimates for 2011. He’s asked for an extension of time to file the 2011 return and said Tuesday he’ll release it when it’s ready.
He’s refused to go further.
“The opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can
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