The political campaigns of U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican
challenger Mitt Romney have sharpened their attacks against each other
with heated discussions on taxes. Romney's decision to limit disclosures
about his personal wealth to his 2010 federal tax return and estimates
for 2011 drew more fire from the Obama campaign on Sunday.
The Obama campaign, on Friday, had urged Romney to release five years of
tax returns. The Romney campaign dismissed the proposal.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs
defended the call and said it was a relevant issue.
"Look, Mitt Romney is a highly educated man and he has clearly made a
decision that what is in those tax returns is far more damaging to him
than to do what every presidential candidate has done which is show the
American people your personal finances," he said.
Romney senior campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie responded by
questioning why tax disclosures were not an issue during Obama's first
presidential race. "It was not an issue in 2008 because President Obama
was not trying to distract from a four-year-long record of failed
policies," he said.
Obama released eight years of tax returns when running for office in
Meanwhile, Gillespie did indicate Romney would make public his 2011 tax
return by mid-October.
He also suggested the Obama campaign was trying to avoid focusing on the
big issues. "We want a serious campaign about real issues that are
facing this country. It is time for that. We will win that debate and
that is why they are trying to avoid that debate," he said.
Earlier in the program, Gibbs dismissed criticism from Romney's team
about running a negative campaign. "The notion that we're going to get
lectured by Mitt Romney and his campaign about running a positive
campaign, that's a pill far too big to swallow," he said.
On ABC's 'This Week,' the debate turned to tax plans to help Americans
and grow the U.S. economy.
have accused Romney of putting forth economic proposals that would
mostly benefit the wealthy.
Campaign adviser Kevin Madden said Romney and his running mate,
Congressman Paul Ryan, had a more broad-based plan. "This is a campaign
that is very focused on the middle class. Governor Romney has made it
very clear that what he is doing is putting forth an economic vision, an
economic plan along with Congressman Ryan, that is focusing on the
middle class so that we have more jobs and more take-home pay and, that
is the focus," he said.
Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter disagreed. "I find that
statement slightly incredulous because the tax plan that is on the
table, even if Congressman Ryan is now agreeing with Mitt Romney on his
tax plan, is a five trillion dollar tax cut, mostly geared toward the
wealthy," she said.
Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, will face Democratic
President Obama in the November 6 election.