By Tim Mak
July 9, 2012
Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs and Romney adviser Dan Senor faced off Monday in a lively confrontation about Romney’s tax returns and offshore bank accounts.
“It was reported that Mitt Romney has taken pretty extraordinary steps to hide the fact that he has a shell corporation in Bermuda. We know as a result of good investigative reporting that he’s had a bank account in Switzerland and he’s got investments in the Cayman [Islands],” said Gibbs on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“We need to know why he’s got that money there. The American people deserve to know if he’s sheltering this money somewhere, or quite frankly if he’s not paying the taxes that he owes and the only way to do that, quite honestly, is to release more tax returns,” the former White House spokesperson continued.
Senor, representing the Romney campaign, responded that the information about the former Massachusetts governor’s offshore bank accounts was gleaned from Romney’s own public disclosure forms.
“It’s stunningly dishonest,” said Senor. “There’s nothing secretive about these accounts.”
“The reason we know about these accounts, as Robert knows, is because they are in the tax returns that Mitt Romney released… we know this because he submitted this information,” the Romney adviser said.
“I’ve watched the Dan Senor infomercial and I would like to be Factcheck.org and bring truth into this discussion,” shot back Gibbs.
Senor, in return, cited a Factcheck.org article which deemed an Obama campaign commercial hitting Romney for being an “outsourcer” as an “overreach.”
“Release the tax returns. Put all this to rest. If Mitt Romney is not hiding something in Bermuda and Switzerland and the Caymans, it will be in the tax returns,” said Gibbs.
“The tax returns you are criticizing, the accounts come out of tax returns that he released,” responded Senor.
“This is a distraction. Can we get back to talking about the economy?” he continued.
The banter was cut, at times, by humor.
“It’s lovely this time of year, I understand,” Gibbs jokingly said of Bermuda.