Jindal defends Romney on investment slams
POSTED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 4:00am
UPDATED: Monday, July 9, 2012 - 4:14am
CNN — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose name is often floated as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Sunday against attacks over Romney's offshore investments.
"Look, I'm happy he's a successful businessman. We've got a president today who's never run a business, never run anything including a lemonade stand before he was president of the United States," Jindal said.
His comments follow a week full of Democratic-led swipes at Romney for placing his money overseas in so-called tax havens, such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.
Pressed Sunday on whether or not Romney's finances should be an influential factor in this election, Jindal described the attacks as "distractions" but said voters will likely remember them as they head to the polls.
"I think voters will consider all of the distractions thrown out by the Obama campaign," Jindal said on ABC's "This Week."
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign immediately seized on Jindal's comments, pointing out that Jindal declined to directly address questions about Romney's overseas investments and saying the governor "can't explain away" the candidate's accounts.
On the same ABC program, Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland furthered the Democratic attack line against Romney, arguing the candidate is hypocritical when he calls for creating jobs in America yet sends his own money outside the country.
"You want 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," O'Malley said, later adding that "Mitt Romney bets against America."
His comments echo a choir of other Democratic voices Sunday morning pushing the same message.
On CNN's "State of the Union," Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs called on Romney to release more than the two years' worth of tax returns he has so far made public as a way to answer questions about his investments.
"This is a guy whose slogan is 'Believe in America,' and it should be 'business in Bermuda,'" Gibbs said.
Meanwhile, on "Fox News Sunday," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also joined in on the blitz.
"Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" Schultz said.
Romney's campaign has continually insisted that Romney, whose wealth could be worth as much as $250 million, has never been guilty of tax evasion nor broken any laws in his carefully managed finances.
Responding to the Sunday morning bombardment, the campaign described the attacks as "unseemly and disgusting."
"The Obama campaign's latest unfounded character assault on Mitt Romney is unseemly and disgusting," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Mitt Romney had a successful career in the private sector, pays every dime of taxes he owes, has given generously to charitable organizations, and served numerous causes greater than himself. Barack Obama has become what he once ran against - a typical politician willing to use false and dishonest attacks to save his job after failing to do his job. The American people expected more from this president, and he continues to let them down."
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