Democratic activists from New Hampshire called on presidential candidate , R-Mass., to release more extensive financial disclosure forms and past tax returns to prove he paid adequate taxes during the years that he was governor and prior to deciding to run for president again in 2011.
, a veteran and former Obama state campaign co-chairman, and , the head of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, lashed out at Romney, saying he was not equipped to fix the American economy and would take country in the wrong direction.
Buckley pointed to recent press reports from Vanity Fair and the Associated Press, which purport to show that Romney failed to report interest in accounts he had in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland in filings with the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. Helms said Romney would use “top-down” tactics if he became president and had made millions at Bain and Company while harming middle-class families, shipping jobs overseas, dismantling companies, and firing workers.
“President Obama is working to ensure that the next generation of jobs are created here in America,” Helms said. “The president has a vision for the economy and that is, that the economy will be built to last … President Obama is betting on America; not against it.”
Helms said Romney has traveled the country saying he would create jobs in America but when he was governor, he vetoed a bill to keep Massachusetts jobs from moving overseas and outsourced call center jobs to India.
Buckley surmised that Romney created “a mysterious corporation” in Bermuda to escape paying taxes, a corporation that he reportedly failed to disclose on seven different personal financial disclosure statements since 2001.
“The question remains, What was he doing? … Was he trying to avoid paying his fair share of taxes?,” asked Buckley. “Since Mitt Romney is in New Hampshire this week, I challenge him to release additional tax years of tax returns or the public will never know if he created a shell corporation to avoid taxes.”
Buckley called Romney’s economic plan “the same reckless failed Bush philosophy,” blowing a hole in the deficit and cutting education. He said Romney’s personal economics was about maximizing profits for him, at the expense of workers. Buckley said Romney raised taxes and fees by $750 million annually when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Obama, Buckley said, would be unveiling the specifics of his economic plan for the second term that will show “a clear choice” between Romney and the president.
Both Buckley and Helms were asked what percentage rate of taxes Romney should have paid on his income but they wouldn’t comment on specifics. Helms said, “I think the only thing we’re talking about is fairness, across the board, there has to be equity. I’m simply saying it’s going in the wrong direction. When you get enough money, you shouldn’t be rewarded by paying lower and lower taxes as a percentage of the whole.”
Buckley said one of his relatives is a single mom living in a trailer in Ashland with three teenagers and pays a higher rate than the 15 percent Romney pays.
When asked why none of the financial issues of Romney’s “obscene wealth” have seemed to be gaining traction with voters, Buckley said no one really knows exactly what is going on with Romney’s finances.
“What the Vanity Fair story reveals is that we don’t know all of the facts,” he said. “His dad, when he ran for president in 1968, revealed 12 years prior. Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?”