Elections 2012: Mitt Romney on Offshore Investments: ‘I Don’t Even Know Where They Are’

Mitt Romney denies the knowledge of his offshore investments, saying that because they are in a blind trust, he doesn’t know anything about them.

In response to waves of criticism from the Obama campaign referring to his offshore investments, Mitt Romney said on Monday that his offshore investments were managed by a blind trust and he had no knowledge of their circulation. Photo: Mitt Romney/Flickr

“I don’t manage them,” the candidate said in a phone interview with Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson.

“I don’t even know where they are. That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There’s nothing hidden there. If, for instance, you own shares in Renault or Fiat, you still have to disclose that in the United States.”

The Republican nominee, who made a vast fortune as founder and head of the private investment firm Bain Capital before becoming governor of Massachusetts, has released his 2010 returns and an estimate for 2011, writes The Telegraph.

Mr Romney told Radio Iowa that Barack Obama made an attempt to shift the campaign discussion away from his presidential record and onto subjects that show his rival in a poor light.

“I understand the president’s going to try to do anything he can to divert attention from the fact that his jobs record is weak and he has no plan to make things better,” Mr Romney said in the interview.

The governor’s fortune, estimated to be around $250 million, came to light during the presidential campaign after Obama tries to demonstrate that Romney is out of touch with ordinary Americans before the November 6 vote.

Last week saw reports that the major part of Romney’s fortune is thoroughly hidden in a network of offshore investments including some $30 million in the Cayman Islands, as well as in a corporation established in the 1990s in Bermuda.

So, Mr Romney faced a coordinated assault of Democrats which referred to the use of offshore tax havens, and President Obama also mentioned the issue on Monday evening in an interview with the New Hampshire television station WMUR.

“What’s important is if you are running for president is that the American people know who you are and what you’ve done and that you’re an open book,” Mr Obama said.

“And that’s been true of every presidential candidate dating all the way back to Mitt Romney’s father,” he added, meaning George Romney, who lost the 1968 Republican nomination battle to Richard Nixon.

CBS News wrote last week about Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., a Bermuda investment company which owner, Mitt Romney, transferred it to his wife’s trust just the day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor.

“The relevance is this — that Governor Romney can’t claim that his state actually was great at creating jobs when he was governor, so he’s fallen back and said, ‘Look, vote for me. I was a businessman. I created jobs,'” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Sunday.

“You want to talk about going the way of Europe — what went the way of Europe were the Swiss bank accounts and the American dollars that Mitt Romney stuffed in that offshore Swiss bank account.”

 

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