Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has slammed GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for his use of Swiss bank accounts and refusal to release more personal financial data at this time.
"When is the last time a presidential candidate for the United States had a Swiss bank account? I think the answer is never," Durbin said during a conference call organized by the Obama campaign.
The call, which also featured campaign manager Jim Messina and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), started out as a defense of the Buffett Rule, a tax plan proposed by President Obama in 2011 and based on billionaire investor Warren Buffett's views that the wealthiest Americans should pay a higher portion of their income to taxes.
But the call quickly moved into a criticism of the former Massachusetts governor's financial history and unwillingness to disclose more details.
Romney currently holds accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Senator Durbin had two explanations for why Romney would have such accounts.
"One, you believe the Swiss Franc is a stronger currency than the United States dollar. And that is apparently the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency," he began.
"And secondly, you want to conceal something. You want to hide something. Why would you have a Swiss bank account instead of one in the United States?"
Durbin also added Buffet himself, named the third wealthiest person in the world in 2011, doesn't have a Swiss bank account, quoting the investor as saying, "there are plenty of good banks in the United States."
Although the Romney campaign had not fired back at the remarks by Tuesday midday, the presidential hopeful did post a criticism of the President's tax plan on his campaign website just the night before.
News of the Swiss account broke in January after the Romney campaign amended the financial disclosure form he filed in 2011 to acknowledge the presence of the account.
"President Obama is the first president in history to openly campaign for re-election on a platform of higher taxes. He has already raised taxes on millions of Americans, but he won't stop there. He wants to raise taxes on millions more by taxing small businesses and job creators," Romney Communications Director Gail Gitcho's statement read.
The President is pushing the Buffett Rule today while on the campaign trail in Florida.
by RTT Staff Writer
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