10:47 am Jul. 9, 2012
Following coordinated criticism by Obama surrogates of Mitt Romney's personal finances on Sunday, the Democratic National Committee convened a trio of New Yorkers to continue the push this morning.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn and her rival for the mayoralty, former comptroller Bill Thompson, were joined on the City Hall Steps by East Side congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
"What we are criticizing today is secrecy," said Maloney, referring to Romney's offshore investments, Swiss bank account and refusal to release a year of tax returns. "And we are wondering why there is shadows on areas where there should be sunshine."
Romney's campaign has defended his holdings, which include accounts in some noted tax havens like the Caribbean and Switzerland, by noting that they are entirely within the law. The Obama surrogates said that wasn't the point.
"We're not saying here, to be clear, that he's done anything illegal," Quinn said. "This is a qustion of transparency. This is a question of why wouldn't you want to behave in a way that every other modern, as the comptroller said, era presidential nominee or sitting president has behaved, by disclosing your finances fully to the American people. What are in those, what those show, we can't answer that question, because they're not out."
Maloney suggested the investments contradict Romney's campaign slogan, "Believe in America."
"We all believe in America," she said. "I would say 'invest in America.'"
Asked how many years' worth of tax returns they would release if they were running for president—"or mayor," the reporter added—Quinn started to laugh.
"A sufficient number," said Thompson.
"It ain't one, it ain't one, that's a fact," said Quinn.
"I don't know that there is a magic number, I think the American people would like to know as much as possible," said Quinn.