Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pushed back Tuesday against President Barack Obama’s calls for Romney to be transparent with his tax returns by calling on the president to cease using executive order to block documents related to Operation Fast and Furious.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s conservative radio program Tuesday afternoon, Romney ripped Obama for his lack of transparency after the conservative media personality walked his listeners through the series of attacks the Obama campaign has launched against his Republican rival.
“The war on how you traveled with your dog, Bain Capital,” Hannity said. “The latest attack is to go out there and put out this suggestion that you have these off-shore accounts. Now I understand the President doesn’t want to talk about the bad economic news because he himself said if he didn’t fix it, it would be a one-term proposition. What is your reaction to the continual negative campaigning and, more specifically, the insinuation that you’ve been doing something illegal and using tax shelters in the Caymans and the Bahamas etc.?”
Romney responded that Obama has failed to follow through on a promise he made after it was clear Romney would be the GOP nominee.
“Isn’t it amazing that the President of the United States, who by the way called me and congratulated me when I locked, or got a pretty good lock on the nomination,” Romney said. “He called me and said you know the country is going to benefit by an honest and important debate on the future direction of the country. That’s what he said. And yet, what he has done, has been one attack after the other on items that deflect interest from a real debate of the issues that the nation faces. This most recent one, suggesting that I would engage in something that is illegal, that is criminal. That I would hide assets and not pay fair taxes, not pay the taxes that are owed. I mean it’s unbelievable. And now he says well, this is a matter of transparency.”
Romney then whacked Obama for hiding Fast and Furious documents via executive privilege. Attorney General Eric Holder is now in criminal and civil contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa served him last October. Obama didn’t assert privilege over the documents until the last minute, right before Issa’s committee formally began contempt proceedings against Holder.
“Well how about the transparency of a President who through executive privilege is preventing the American people from finding out what happened in the Fast and Furious program,” Romney said. “If there is transparency that needs to be considered here, it’s the lack of transparency in his administration to let the American people know what has happened in a scandalous activity known as Fast and Furious. So Sean, I can assure you this. I have followed the law. I have paid my taxes as due. I have also disclosed through all of the requirements of the government, every asset which I own, fairly and honestly, recognizing, of course, not to do so would be not only wrong but illegal and criminal.”