Mitchell Reports | August 17, 2012
>>> speaking of florida , does mitt romney 's 13% solution settle the tax debate once and for all? joining me now, florida congresswoman and democratic chair, debbie wasserman-schultz from florida . thanks so much. is it over? the tax debate? we have explained it's 13% and we're going to release the second set of returns in october.
>> no. of course it's not over, because mitt romney is asking the american people to just trust him on the tax rate that he's paid for the last ten years, trust him on that he's paid all the taxes that he's owed, trust him on why he has a swiss bank account with $3 million in it and multiple investments in the cayman islands and a shell corporation in bermuda. he is running for president of the united states , and he needs to hold to the precedent of recent presidential candidates in modern times who have released multiple years of tax returns , because --
>> what they say -- what they say --
>> not when you're running for president.
>> the most recent example is john mccain , with two sets of tax returns . yes, he did his congressional filings, his senate filings for 25 years, but those are very broad categories. those aren't specific tax returns . let me just share with you matt rhoades . if governor romney 's tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for president obama to discuss them over the next 81 days. in the meantime, governor romney will continue to lay out his plans for a stronger middle class , to save medicare , work back in welfare and help put 23 million americans struggling to find work in the obama economy. so there point is jobs and the economy should be the central message.
>> mitt romney could settle this question mark over his tax returns and whether he's paid his fair share and make sure that we have a chance to take a close look at that, because he's running for president of the united states and when you're running for president of the united states , the precedent in modern times is that multiple years of tax returns are released by a candidate for president. now, they have made it clear that the reason they're not releasing them is that they don't want us to get a close look at it because they don't want to potentially be subject to criticism. i mean, that's something that the campaign said over the last few days. well, you know what, you don't get to make -- i guess you get to make that decision, but if you're making it, then you are opening yourself up to legitimate criticism about what are you trying to hide. that's the bottom line. the romney campaign hasn't had such a good week if they want to focus on jobs and the economy. the rollout of paul ryan as his vice presidential pick has forced them to first defend their extreme medicare plan that would end medicare as we know it, and now caught paul ryan lying about whether or not he actually asked for stimulus funds for his district from the stimulus plan. so it's not been a very good week for the romney campaign, particularly with their rollout of paul ryan .
>> well, they of course would clearly dispute that characterization. we'll have more on that in a moment with kevin madden. but let me ask you about the president of the united states . he's running for re-election, he has not had a formal news conference since march 6th . he did talk to the media, six questions asked and answered, in mexico in june at the g-20 on foreign soil. but his accessibility, let me play a little bit from his latest interview. this was with pop radio , station kob in albuquerque, new mexico.
>> our big question is red or green?
>> i think you've got to go with the classic red. although every once in awhile, green is solid. take care, guys.
>> take care.
>> all right. bye-bye.
>> i just flirted with the president of the united states of america .
>> this is right after doing " entertainment tonight ." i know what the white house is saying. they're saying well, he does interviews all the time with local, i mean, this is what ben lebolt tells us yesterday. doing this kind of radio interview occasionally is fine, i'm sure, but what about answering the really tough questions that experienced political journalists who cover him all the time, who are members of the white house press corps , are going to ask him?
>> andrea, casual chit-chat aside, the president does do local interviews across the country, as he is traveling around the nation, and it's important for local reporters to be able to get a chance to ask him questions.
>> sure, but it shouldn't be a replacement --
>> -- about how good the local food is.
>> we could all put it on the air and share with all the viewers around the country.
>> and we fully expect president obama will submit himself to questions from the d.c. press corps but it is important that local press have a chance to ask the president of the united states questions, not just idle casual questions about local food preferences, but the questions that are important regionally and specifically locally, and so the d.c. press corps gets plenty of opportunities to grill president obama and also to grill jay carney , his spokesperson --
>> not lately.
>> it's an important thing for local reporters, local press, and local folks to be able to get a closer look at president obama . not everyone is obsessing over d.c. press and d.c. news. we need to make sure the president is exposed to everyone and that everyone has a chance to see him up close. but he will be getting himself in front of the d.c. press corps again, i'm confident of that.
>> i'm not talking about the d.c. press corps. i'm talking about campaign reporters who are traveling with him.
>> i know.
>> enough said.
>> you will have an opportunity for sure.
>> thanks a lot. debbie wasserman-schultz.