(MAUMEE, Ohio) — At the kick-off rally for President Obama’s first campaign bus tour of the election season, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a co-chair of the Obama 2012 campaign, assailed presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s off-shore accounts.
“Oh, what a contrast, my friends, between these two men who would be president!” Strickland said, standing outside the Wolcott House Museum. “President Obama is betting on America and American workers, and Mitt Romney is betting his resources in the Cayman Islands, in Bermuda, in Switzerland and God only knows where else he is putting his resources.”
Strickland was referring to media-led investigations into legal – but politically controversial — off shore accounts Romney has held, in apparent efforts to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Romney had not disclosed some of these accounts in previous public filings.
“Think about it, think of this, a man who wants to be the president of the United States took his great wealth, and instead of investing that great wealth in America, the country he hopes to lead, he somehow chose to find the tax haven, Switzerland, where he opened up a bank account,” Strickland said. “He invested in the Cayman islands, has a corporation in Bermuda, and he took money from shadowy south American investors when he started Bain Capital and now my friends, he conveniently has decided that he will not release his income tax returns. Doesn’t it make you wonder what Mitt Romney is trying to hide from the American people?”
The Obama campaign earlier today released a web video assailing Romney on the issue, with senior campaign officials emailing and tweeting the stories to reporters.
“President Obama is the in-sourcer of jobs and Mitt Romney is the outsourcer of jobs,” Strickland added, referring to a June 21 Washington Post report suggesting the private equity firm Romney once helmed was an innovator in the technique of sending jobs overseas – a story the Romney campaign hotly disputes.
In a statement, Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said, “President Obama once said, ‘If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.’ Now it’s President Obama who doesn’t have a record to run on, so he and his campaign have resorted to false and ridiculous attacks. His policies have failed to fix the economy and create jobs for the middle class. Mitt Romney has the record and plan to create jobs and turn around the economy.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Maeve Reston, CNN
Ruth Brown and Lis Stewart, Idaho Press-Tribune