WASHINGTON -- Democrats have entered the go-for-the-jugular stage of the presidential race, with President Barack Obama's campaign, the Democratic National Committee and an allied opposition research group all releasing videos Tuesday attacking Mitt Romney for his refusal to release more tax returns.
The videos are distinct. The Obama campaign clip will air on television in Pennsylvania, where Mitt Romney is campaigning today. The DNC's version craftily uses Sarah Palin to suggest that John McCain was so nervous about Romney's taxes that he made a historic roll of the dice with his running mate pick in 2008. The video put together by American Bridge 21st Century is a sharp edit job of clips of all the prominent GOP officials and pundits who have begun groaning about Romney's handling of the matter.
All three videos hit at the same theme: Romney's obstinacy on tax returns has become a crippling problem for his campaign and one that Democrats are intent on compounding. Romney has released his completed return for 2010 and his estimated return for 2011, showing an effective 2010 tax rate of 13.9 percent and financial accounts in Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.
"Until he releases additional years of tax returns, the American people won't know why he kept his finances offshore in the Cayman Islands and set up a shell corporation in Bermuda," emailed Ben LaBolt, Obama's campaign press secretary. "Romney would be the first nominee in decades to release only one full year of tax returns. He recently said that his campaign has “put out as much as we’re going to put out” -– which makes you wonder: What is Mitt Romney hiding?"
The use of Palin by the DNC seems designed specifically to get the web video some cable news attention and free publicity. But the suggestion that the 23 years of tax returns that Romney provided to McCain campaign doomed his prospects as a potential 2008 VP pick was disputed by the Arizona Republican's campaign manager, Steve Schmidt.
WATCH THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN VIDEO
WATCH THE DNC VIDEO
WATCH THE AMERICAN BRIDGE VIDEO