The Obama campaign is hitting the Pennsylvania airwaves with a new attack ad, targeting Mitt Romney with the now-familiar criticisms over tax havens and withholding tax returns.
Although it doesn't go as far as to say Romney committed a crime, it does at one point suggest that the presumptive Republican nominee might not actually pay taxes.
“Tax havens, offshore accounts, carried interest. Mitt Romney has used every trick in the book,” the narrator says. “Romney admits that over the last two years he’s paid less than 15 percent in taxes on $43 million in income. Makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all.”
The Obama campaign says that Romney might have avoided paying his fair share in taxes, but they aren't sure because he only plans to release two years of returns. He has released his 2010 returns and 2011 is pending.
“We don’t know because Romney has released just one full year of his tax returns,” it continues. “What is Mitt Romney hiding?”
Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, said on Tuesday that Romney's offshore bank accounts and experience at Bain are relevant for this campaign.
"These are legitimate discussions," she said on NBC's Today. "Part of the election process is to give voters a lens into how presidents would make decisions, what judgment and perspective and motivations that presidents would have. I think where Mitt Romney invests his money in an offshore bank account, shell corporations in Bermuda, will affect the types of decisions he makes."
Romney is holding a rally in Irwin, Pa., on Tuesday afternoon. He has called the criticism from the Obama campaign a distraction from the more-important issue of improving the economy and an attack on wealthy Americans.
Amanda Henneberg, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, called the ad a distortion, looping back to the Obama administration's lack of transparency, the campaign's latest hit on the president.
"President Obama has run one of the least transparent administrations in American history," she said in a statement. "Whether hiding lobbyists in coffee shops, cutting back-room deals on Obamacare, or concealing the records of 'Fast and Furious,' President Obama's pledge to be transparent has turned out to be just another broken promise. With no rationale for reelection and no plan to help middle-class Americans, President Obama has resorted to running a campaign of distraction, distortion and dishonesty."
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