EUCLID, Ohio--Mitt Romney sought to stick on Monday to his central theme that the U.S. economy's pace remains sluggish, even as he juggled questions about same-sex marriage, the recent elections in Europe, and the foreign taxes he has paid.
Speaking at a plant that stamps parts for truck manufacturers, Romney continued his attack on President Obama 's economic stewardship, including the April unemployment rate of 8.1 percent--a figure the presumptive GOP nominee has said is double what it should be. He dismissed the drop from March as misleading.
When Romney opened the floor for questions, one man asked why Romney had paid more than $1.5 million in foreign taxes. Such taxes are paid by those who hold income-generating investments in other countries; Obama also has paid the taxes for the past several years. A foreign tax credit is provided so that a single investment isn't taxed twice, and all income is fully reported and taxed in the United States at prevailing rates.
"I'd appreciate your comments on an investing strategy that seems to have resulted in several million dollars of your personal income taxes being paid to foreign countries instead of ours," the man asked while some members of the audience began to boo his question.
Romney responded by saying he did not believe he had paid any foreign taxes but said he would look into it. Romney's assets are in a blind trust and managed by a trustee.
Romney passed up a chance to attack Vice President Joe Biden on the subject of gay marriage, which has reemerged as a hot topic after Biden's comments on Sunday that he is "absolutely comfortable" with such marriages. Avoiding the question appears to reflect Romney’s desire to keep the campaign focused on Obama's handling of the economy.