President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns — more of them — to find out more about the former Bain Capital exec’s unusual pension plan, the Wall Street Journal reports today.
According to the paper, the request stems from yesterday’s WSJ report detailing how Bain Capital allowed its employees to invest their retirement money in Bain acquisitions through a special class of shares whose values could go through if the deal was successful.
The “report raises additional questions about Gov. Romney’s manipulation of the tax laws” including whether Romney “may have engaged in questionable maneuvers to drive up the value of his IRA,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt told the WSJ.
While Romney’s financial disclosure forms show that he invested his IRA in Bain deals, they do not indicate whether or not he took advantage of the special share class. The IRA was valued at between $20.7 and $101.6 million as of August 2011.
Tax returns usually don’t include details on IRA investment returns, but the Obama campaign hopes that past returns might provide more insight into their opponent’s retirement investments.
In a statement to Business Insider, Romney’s campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul accused the Obama campaign of “playing politics” by asking for more tax returns:
“The Obama campaign is playing politics, just as he’s doing in his conduct of foreign policy,” Saul wrote in an email to BI. “Obama should release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders so the American people can be satisfied that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.”
Romney released his 2010 and preliminary 2011 tax returns earlier this year, bowing to pressure from his primary opponents, but he has so far refused to release any earlier returns.
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