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And the president said it’s important to point out the “stark” differences between himself and Mr. Romney, which is why he supports his campaign’s decision to criticize the Republican for holding a Swiss bank account.

“That may be perfectly legal,” Mr. Obama said. But he added that most Americans “would find that relevant information,” especially with the government confronting “tough choices” about spending and taxes.

The president also called again on Mr. Romney to release more of his tax returns, saying a candidate’s finances should be “an open book.”

“I think people want to know that … everybody’s been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Romney has released his tax returns for 2010, and an estimate of his 2011 taxes. He said he will produce his complete 2011 tax return later, but he has resisted releasing more, saying Democrats would just use the data for campaign attacks.

The Republican said last week that he reviewed about 10 years worth of tax returns, and he has never paid less than 13 percent in taxes. Some top Democrats have claimed Mr. Romney is hiding his tax records because he probably paid no taxes in some years.