After a couple weeks of playing defense, the Obama campaign is attempting to rewrite the narrative back in the President’s favor by going on the offense against Mitt Romney. At issue the continued pounding for Romney’s tax returns and allegations regarding the Romney/Ryan plan for health care.
Report from the Associated Press:
Barack Obama’s re-election campaign kept up pressure against Republican rival Mitt Romney on two fronts Friday, launching a new ad defending the president’s record on Medicare while challenging Romney to release at least five years of tax returns.
The TV advertisement – accusing Romney and running mate Paul Ryan of undermining the health care program critical to millions of seniors, came as Romney made plans to spend his time raising money in non-battleground states. That remains a top priority even with the election less than 12 weeks away and Obama making extended visits to toss-up states such as Iowa and Ohio.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made the tax-disclosure offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a letter Friday morning. Messina said he was taking the step because Romney “apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide.”Romney’s wife, Ann, has repeatedly stated that concern in interviews, arguing that the more the couple releases, the more questions are asked.
Romney released his 2010 taxes and has pledged to release his 2011 returns. Messina said in letter that he wants Romney to provide three more years of returns.
Obama’s campaign has questioned whether there are years when Romney paid no taxes. Romney defended his record Thursday, saying he has paid at least 13 percent of his income in federal taxes every year for the past decade.
“I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent,” Romney told reporters after he landed in South Carolina for a fundraising event Thursday. “I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year.”
Aides later said Romney meant to say 13.9 percent, the amount he already disclosed for his 2010 federal return
There must be the belief that Romney is vulnerable on this topic or the Obama campaign would not keep hammering it. However, it does fit with the Obama campaign rhetoric that the wealthy are making off quite well, paying tax rates down to 13.9% thanks to the capital gains tax rate while the majority of the country pays much higher rates simply through income tax.