Obama campaign makes tax offer to Romney team

Photo by Howard Reed 

Photo by Howard Reed 

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Barack Obama's re-election campaign kept up pressure against Republican rival Mitt Romney on two fronts Friday, launching a new ad defending the president's record on Medicare while challenging Romney to release at least five years of tax returns.

The TV advertisement — accusing Romney and running mate Paul Ryan of undermining the health care program critical to millions of seniors, came as Romney made plans to spend his time raising money in non-battleground states. That remains a top priority even with the election less than 12 weeks away and Obama making extended visits to toss-up states such as Iowa and Ohio.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made the tax-disclosure offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a letter Friday morning. Messina said he was taking the step because Romney "apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide."Romney's wife, Ann, has repeatedly stated that concern in interviews, arguing that the more the couple releases, the more questions are asked.

Romney released his 2010 taxes and has pledged to release his 2011 returns. Messina said in letter that he wants Romney to provide three more years of returns.

Obama's campaign has questioned whether there are years when Romney paid no taxes. Romney defended his record Thursday, saying he has paid at least 13 percent of his income in federal taxes every year for the past decade.

"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 after he landed in South Carolina for a fundraising event Thursday. "I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year."

Aides later said Romney meant to say 13.9 percent, the amount he already disclosed for his 2010 federal return.

On average, middle income families, those making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year, pay 12.8 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. In 2010 and 2011, Romney made about $21 million a year.

Romney is able to keep his tax rate low because most of his income is from investments, which are generally taxed at a lower rate than wages. That type of legal tax figuring is something Obama has proposed changing, although his campaign notably said nothing about Romney's self-described tax rate itself.

In the new Medicare ad, Obama's campaign pointed to the AARP, an organization that represents senior citizens and which said in a letter to lawmakers earlier this year that Ryan's plan to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system would lead to higher costs for seniors.

The AARP said that Obama's approach would strengthen the program. Romney has criticized Obama for taking more than $700 billion in Medicare funds to help pay for the president's health care law.

Obama's campaign is running the ad in eight states: New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.


ittybittyme 3 years, 3 months ago

Everybody, including senior citizens, needs to get over the rising costs of medicare....it is what it is...you can thank the federal government's wastefulness and ambulance chasing lawyers for the rising costs..these are just two groups that I blame for this...I pay over $500.00 a month for my own health care insurance(no dental, eye coverage) and I am under 50 years of age...I am not even figuring medicare or social security into my finanical planning for my future. I am sure I will never be able to retire either...that's just the way it goes...


VSU 3 years, 3 months ago

When is Obama going to release all his records?


Sister_Ruby 3 years, 3 months ago

Obama and His team are doing everything they can to keep from talking about His non-accomplishments and non-keeping of His campaign promises and the still-languishing economical situation the country is in and oh by the way, the fact that the Democrat-majority United States Senate is ignoring their Primary Reason for Being which is passing a Budget for the country. Never mind that we are borrowing $3 Billion Dollars EACH AND EVERY DAY which means that before the two Conventions, the United States will owe over $17 TRILLION IN DEBT.

Well done, Obama Campaign!


Citizen_A 3 years, 3 months ago

Does Obama really think that someone could actually run for President if their taxes weren't paid? How long do you think it would be before someone at the IRS would blow the whistle on them? 'Cause you know some IRS "nosey rosey" looked at them the minute they set in on Romney's tax returns....


gotanyfacts 3 years, 3 months ago

"Obama's campaign has questioned whether there are years when Romney paid no taxes." Typical AP spin. Actually the administration, through Sen. Reid, accused Romney of not paying income taxes for the past ten years. Since Romney has released his 2010 tax info and a summary for 2011, it is obvious that Reid lied. AP's rephrasing is an attempt to make the charge believable. Apparently, Romney's income has been totally from investments for several years. Because investment income is taxed at a lower rate, the Dems would like to imply that he is not "paying his fair share". It is even possible that due to the decline of the ecomomy Romney may have had a year where his net income was zero or negative. If that happened and he had not owed any taxes, the media would spin it to imply that he had cheated. If the we had a balanced media... ahhh, just dreaming!


ObjectiveEyes 3 years, 3 months ago

Obama and the Democrats are obviously desperate. And, like others have mentioned, Obama has no (positive) record to run on, so, they are simply slinging as mud as possible, in hopes that some of it will stick. For him to question the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan when he the FACT that he stole over $700 Billion from the trust fund to fund the ill-conceived Obama care is ludicrous!


Sister_Ruby 3 years, 3 months ago

I have an offer for the Obama campaign but it is not appropriate for a Family Newspaper to print.


LuLu 3 years, 3 months ago

Since Harry Reid is the one who made this wishy-washy claim in the first place, let's talk about HIS finances. He makes $193,000 a year and has $10 million in personal assets. How does that happen?


Sign in to comment