President Barack Obama kept up his offensive on Mitt Romney’s business background and wealth as the Republican presidential candidate sought to deflect the attacks by accusing the White House of steering federal money to supporters.
Obama’s campaign released an ad titled “Makes You Wonder” that questions whether Romney, stumping today in the swing state of Pennsylvania, is hiding something because he released only one full year of tax returns. It includes clips of Republicans suggesting Romney may have concluded there are risks in releasing tax details earlier than 2010.
“This is a call that’s not just being made by us; it’s being made by many people, including people from Mitt Romney’s own party,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One, as the president traveled to Texas for four fundraising events in Austin and San Antonio.
Romney stepped up efforts to refocus his campaign on Obama’s record, accusing him of ignoring the plight of middle-income Americans while rewarding campaign donors with taxpayer funded aid that led to the outsourcing of U.S. jobs.
While Obama is raising money in Texas today, Romney is scheduled to hold a rally outside Pittsburgh and to campaign at a town hall event tomorrow in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Republican is seeking to refocus the race from Obama’s attacks to economic hardships voters have experienced during Obama’s term.
Romney yesterday twice branded Obama the “outsourcer in chief,” and the president returned the charge, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of advocating policies that would create more jobs overseas than in the U.S.
Campaigning yesterday in a part of southwestern Ohio traditionally dominated by Republicans, Obama accused Romney of supporting corporate tax policies that would create more jobs overseas than in the U.S. and investing as head of the private- equity firm Bain Capital LLC in companies that outsourced jobs.
“We don’t need a president who wants to ship more jobs overseas,” Obama told about 1,200 supporters at the Cincinnati Music Hall.
The Democratic campaign is making a pitch for middle-income voters on the issue of tax fairness — raising rates for the top earners in the U.S. The attacks targeting Romney’s tax returns are intended to fit in that theme.
Romney has released a 2010 return that shows $21.66 million in income from capital gains, ordinary dividends, taxable interest and other business-related income. He paid an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent, primarily because of preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends.
Romney says he also will release his 2011 returns, for which he sought an extension, once his accountants have finished preparing them.
The latest Obama campaign ad, scheduled to run while Romney is in Pennsylvania today, asks, “What is Mitt Romney hiding?”
Psaki said it’s intended to raise “the question of whether Mitt Romney paid his fair share in taxes.”
Obama plans to raise about $4 million at fundraisers in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, today, according to his campaign.
The Obama campaign has been out-raised by Romney in recent months. Romney’s joint fundraising committee said it collected $106 million in June, compared with Obama and the Democrats reporting $71 million.
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