As Democrats ramp up attacks on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for his overseas financial investments and refusal to release more of his tax returns, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican and a surrogate for Mr. Romney, defended the former Massachusetts governor Tuesday and said he’s done everything in compliance with the law.
An online video from the Obama campaign released Tuesday morning titled “Why Is Mitt Romney Hiding the Rest of His Tax Returns?” is the latest in the series of coordinated attacks. It includes a brief clip of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour saying that he would release the returns, along with other commentators calling into question Mr. Romney’s personal finances. But Mr. Chaffetz said that no, Mr. Romney should not release any more of his returns.
“He’s been very successful, he’s released everything he’s required to release, including paying more than 16 percent of his income to charitable givings, so I think it’s a diversionary tactic,” Mr. Chaffetz said on CNN. “Most people — they don’t care about this. Governor Romney’s been very successful. Get over it. It’s a reality — he’s been successful. That’s the kind of guy that I want president … he can turn the economy around.”
In his estimate of his 2011 taxes, Mr. Romney and his wife, Ann, listed earnings of about $21 million, $10.7 million of which came from capital gains.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported $790,000 in adjusted gross income for 2011, more than half of which came from his book sales.
Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said the tax return issue is simply another example of Mr. Obama’s trying to change the subject.
“With the failures of his presidency becoming more evident by the day, Barack Obama has resorted to the tactics of a typical politician,” she said. “Rather than talk about the issues important to Americans in their everyday lives, he has chosen instead to run a campaign based on character attacks and dishonesty.”