The 2012 presidential campaign returned to the subject of tax returns once again, with President Barack Obama’s campaign manager asking in an open letter for Mitt Romney to release five years of tax returns and Romney’s team firing back, calling the request a political ploy designed to distract voters, USA Today reported.
The exchange of volleys follows yesterday’s comments by Romney, who said he had paid 13 percent or more in taxes every year over the past decade.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made an offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a letter Friday morning. In the letter, Messina said that "if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more — neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign."
Messina calls the request for returns from 2007-2012 “not unreasonable.” He said it would address questions about foreign accounts, investments, and tax shelters.
Romney’s campaign fired back, with Rhoades saying, "Hey Jim, thanks for the note. It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending." He added: "If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days."
Referring to the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, Rhoades told Messina: "See you in Denver."
Romney released his 2010 taxes and has pledged to release his 2011 returns.
"I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent," Romney told reporters Thursday. "I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year."
Meanwhile, Obama's campaign launched an ad today attacking Romney and Paul Ryan on Medicare, using the AARP as a voice of support in saying that Obama's approach would strengthen the program, USA Today reported.
Romney is campaigning and fundraising in Alabama, South Carolina, Massachusetts and New York. He plans visits next week to Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.
But the news of the weekend could be vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s speech. Last weekend, his selection to be Romney’s running mate dominated news cycles for most of the entire week. And this weekend, according to Fox News, it will be Ryan's highly anticipated debut in the crucial swing state of Florida, where he will take on the subject of Medicare reform with senior citizens at The Villages retirement community. Ryan’s 78-year-old mother Betty Douglas will also be there.
Since the announcement of Ryan last Saturday, $10.1 million has been raised from over 124,800 donations — 68 percent of them from new donors, Fox News reported.
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