Queen Ann Lays Down the Law on Mitt’s Taxes as Obama Opens a New Campaign Front

Thanks to Delphyne, who posted this link on the morning thread: Ann Romney: We’ve Given ‘All You People Need To Know’ About Family Finances

Mitt Romney’s wife is reinforcing her husband’s refusal to make public several years of tax returns, telling ABC News “we’ve given all you people need to know” about the family’s finances.

“You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially,” she said in her interview with Robin Roberts. “He’s a very generous person. We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary in the four years.”

Roberts pressed: “Why not show that, then?” and reasoned that people could “move on” if her husband released his returns.

Romney responded, “Because there are so many things that will be open again for more attack… and that’s really, that’s just the answer. And we’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life. And so, the election, again, will not be decided on that. It will be decided on who is gonna turn the economy around and how are jobs gonna come back to America.”

Queen Ann has spoken, and that’s that, you people. Ann’s attitude puts me in mind of this famous quote from Leona Helmsley: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes…”

Meanwhile, President Obama is opening a new campaign front today in Florida. The Bain attacks were just a warm-up for an even more lethal attack in which the consequences of Mitt Romney’s stated support of the Ryan budget will spelled out in detail. From MSNBC’s First Thoughts:

Here comes Medicare: The past few weeks on the presidential campaign trail have featured aggressive attacks and counterattacks. On outsourcing by Bain Capital. On Mitt Romney’s post-1999 association with that firm, as well has his tax returns. On charges of “crony capitalism” in the Obama administration. And on President Obama’s views about business. And today when Obama begins a two-day swing through the crucial state of Florida — with all of its seniors — he’ll introduce another attack: hitting Romney on Medicare and the Ryan budget. Per the campaign, the president “will discuss his commitment to strengthening Medicare, and a new report tomorrow that highlights the devastating impact Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan could have on the 3.4 million Floridians that rely on Medicare.” Bottom line, per the campaign’s guidance: Obama will argue that Romney — through his support for the Ryan budget plan — advocates ending Medicare “as we know it.” Obama starts his Florida swing with a 1:25 pm ET event in Jacksonville, and then he heads to West Palm Beach at 6:20 pm. Tomorrow in the Sunshine State, he hits Ft. Myers and Winter Park.

As Ed Kilgore wrote this morning, Jonathan Chait predicted this two-front strategy last month.

I strongly suspect that Obama is currently in the first stage of a two-part assault on Romney. The first is to define his motives and perspective: a rich man who sees the world from the perspective of the CEO suite and blithely assumes what is good for people like himself is good for everybody.

This is the essential predicate for part two, which I would guess (I have no inside information) will dominate the last half of the campaign. Part two is Romney’s fealty to the Bush-era low-tax, anti-regulatory ideology and the radical Paul Ryan plan. The average undecided voter pays little attention to politics and might not understand why a candidate would return to failed Bush-era policies or slash the social safety net in order to clear budgetary headroom for keeping taxes on the rich low. Defining Romney’s business career is a way of making sense of those choices.

This morning, Chait announced that phase two begins today.

Greg Sargent explains why stage two is necessary:

Keep in mind: A focus group convened by the pro-Obama Priorities U.S.A. found that voters simply refused to believe that Romney or Ryan would really transform Medicare into a quasi-voucher program while also cutting taxes for the rich. This is what the assault on Romney’s Bain years is really about. It’s an effort to establish an image of Romney that will make it easier for voters to accept that this is indeed the agenda Romney has embraced and would carry out as president.

As the Obama campaign will point out, Republicans expect Romney to essentially rubber-stamp the Ryan’s agenda. ”We want the Ryan budget,” Grover Norquist recently said. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.”

The attacks on Romney’s business background and core rationale for running for president may enable the Obama campaign to fight Romney to a draw on the economy — by persuading swing voters who are unhappy with Obama’s performance that Romney certainly doesn’t have the answers to their economic problems, and could even make things worse.

I heard on the Morning Joe show today that Obama’s Bain attacks aren’t working because polls still show Obama and Romney deadlocked after weeks of the Obama campaign pounding Romney on Bain, outsourcing, and tax evasion. But I agree with Jamelle Bouie that it’s way too early to know for sure whether the attacks will work.

In the summer of 2004 it seemed that the Swiftboat attacks weren’t hurting Kerry, but only political junkies like us are really paying attention right now. The real tests will come after the conventions and during the debates. Bouie writes:

Given the extent to which commentators have analogized this controversy to the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry, it’s worth looking back at how the former nominee fared during the period in which he absorbed withering attacks on his military record. The Swift Boat ads aired from the beginning of May until the end of August. During this period, according to Gallup, Kerry held a small lead among likely voters.

Kerry’s position began to decline in August, but even then, he ended the month with only a small deficit. George W. Bush didn’t begin to build a large lead until the fall. The growth in Bush’s lead corresponded with a decline in Kerry’s net favorability. It’s possible Kerry was unaffected by the Swift Boat attacks. But it’s also possible that they didn’t begin to have an impact until later. It’s also too early to say whether the attacks on Bain will work. But there’s a chance they’ll have the most effect after the conventions, as undecided voters begin to make a choice, and draw on overall impressions built up over months as they make their decision. Given the new $8 million ad buy from Crossroads — meant to deflect Obama’s attacks on Bain — it’s clear Republicans see long-term danger here.

I have to say, this campaign is getting a lot more interesting. I’m not thrilled with either of the candidates, but I have no problem saying that Romney is much much more horrible than Obama. I probably won’t end up voting for either of these candidates, but as a true political junkie I love watching a hard fought campaign.

39 Comments on “Queen Ann Lays Down the Law on Mitt’s Taxes as Obama Opens a New Campaign Front”

  1. northwestrain says:

    Agreed with comment above — we have a long way to go until November. Most people don’t even think about politics until after labor day. But some of the news does start people thinking.

    “You people” type remarks will be heard and remembered. Annie aka Queen Ann is the loose canon — I hope she keeps talking — especially when she wears her “rich bitch” face.

    And I do believe that someone other than her cleans all her homes — paid for by the corporation funds and perhaps written off on their taxes. That’s my guess and I’m sticking to it.

    Huff Po keeps a tally of the likely electoral college vote — and at this point 0bama holds the lead.

    • Fannie says:

      I heard Queenie…………………you ignorant stupid people wouldn’t understand anyway.

  2. northwestrain says:

    Global Corporations don’t give a damn.

    The core problem isn’t outsourcing. It’s that the prosperity of America’s big businesses – which are really global networks that happen to be headquartered here – has become disconnected from the well-being of most Americans.

    Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital is no different from any other global corporation — which is exactly why Romney’s so-called “business experience” is irrelevant to the real problems facing most Americans.

    Without a government that’s focused on more and better jobs, we’re left with global corporations that don’t give a damn.


    Annie’s idea of charity is giving 10% to her church LDS. Basically she doesn’t give a damn.

    • bostonboomer says:

      They’re required to tithe to their church, so that’s not really charity. But why should they donate to any group that helps the “little people?” They have no reason to live.

      • northwestrain says:

        A whole lot of fundamentalist really believe that giving money to their church counts as charity. Even if the church uses all the money on church buildings, and a lavish life style for the church elite. I’m thinking most of those deluded folk have never bothered to read what Christ is to have said about helping the poor etc.

      • Fannie says:

        I took the grands to Baptist church foe bible study…………huge, bowling, gym, baseball field, education center and computers, up and down stairs, kitchens (2), big old shady trees, and well landscaped.
        I bet you ten to one nobody knows what they are doing with all their donations……………they don’t have to answer to nobody, but nobody.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Digby: The lower classes have the right to contemplate the splendor of the higher classes and to be inspired by it

    Dear me, it appears that Lady Romney has lost her patience with the riff raff and their unseemly questioning about money. One simply doesn’t respond when the lower orders begin to believe they’re better than they ought to be:

    “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life,” she said.

    Indeed they have. The very idea that a man of Mitt Romney’s obvious superiority could be questioned about his finances is utterly offensive. Enough.

    • HT says:

      Money really does buy most things – including silence. Who knew? (that who knew was sarc)

  4. Hey, what do you mean “you people!”

    • northwestrain says:

      Here’s what an internet search “you people” came up with

      Urban dictionary ==

      You People! 7 up, 8 down
      referring to others that are not of your race.
      The meaning of You People!”Right You People, follow me.” “Wait what do you mean by You People?”

      “you people” as far as I can tell is never used in a positive way.

      I’m saying that Queen Ann used “you people” as a class reference. She has no idea how the 99.9 % live and she is NOT Eleanor Roosevelt

      What Jon Stewart said about sending her HORSES to the fricking prom — is on target.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Jon also noted that Romney took a tax deduction for the care of Ann’s prize horses. Wish I knew how that was done – I’d love to take tax deductions for my thousands of dollars spent annually on vet care, food & litter for my RESCUED from the streets cats & dogs. The only way I’ve found would be to register as a non-profit. That certainly isn’t what Romney has done. Oh, probably “medical costs” since the horses are treatment for Ann’s MS. Anyone have Romney’s accountant’s phone number?

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Oops – it was a $77,000 tax deduction for the horses.

      • Fannie says:

        that was a tax credit – not deduction, for the Retro Horse Corporation, he lost $77,000, maybe the reason he will not released tax info is because of the “profits” from those other years.

      • List of X says:

        So it appears we know more about the finances of the Romney’s horse than about the finances of it’s owners.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Josh Marshall suggests that Romney may have taken the IRS tax amnesty in 2009. That could be why he closed his Swiss bank account (with UBS) and why he didn’t release the FBAR form from 2010. I wondered about that when I first heard about the Swiss account with UBS.

    Back in 2009, the IRS instituted a major tax amnesty program for folks who had previously secreted money

    in Swiss and other offshore banks. The amnesty stemmed from a settlement the US government had reached with UBS that year. Those who came forward voluntarily in the prescribed period of time could pay their back taxes, pay their fines but avoid any criminal penalties.

    So, did Romney or anyone acting on his behalf or for some entity he controlled take advantage of the 2009 UBS amnesty program? You’ll note the reporter’s question flagged above asked if all FBARs were filed “in a timely fashion.” Malt didn’t address that part of the question. He just said all had been filed. So in addition to the question of the amnesty, were FBARs retroactively filed?

    Given the radioactive-ness of the whole Swiss bank account issue I’m a little surprised that this whole thing hasn’t gotten more attention. And I’m also surprised since to the best of my knowledge — hard to prove a negative — Romney or his representatives have never been asked whether he took advantage of the amnesty program.

    • northwestrain says:

      Interesting little detail.

      Your dislike and knowledge of Romney is as strong as my dislike and knowledge of Raygun as Governor. Raygun was a train wreck I could see coming — and I’m guessing you feel the same way about Romney.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I hated Reagan’s guts. When he was Governor of CA, most of us laughed at the suggestion he could be elected President. But we were wrong. I blame Reagan for what has happened to our economy and our country’s culture. I think Reagan was a lot worse than Romney, because many Americans liked him, but Romney would continue the destruction that Romney began in the ’80s.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    More dog whistling from Romney:

    “I just don’t think the president, by his comments, suggests an understanding of what it is that makes America such a unique nation,” Romney said. “Why people have come here for hundreds of years. It’s because this is the land of opportunity. We welcome people here with dreams and say to them, ‘Come build it.’ Not, ‘Come here because government will give it to you.’”

    Romney’s line of attack originated from a line in a speech Obama made Friday, which has snowballed into a rallying cry for the Romney campaign and the GOP. But it’s not an entirely new idea for Romney. Back in December 2011 Romney was fond of saying Obama favors an “entitlement society,” where merit means nothing and everyone receives the same results.

    “That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others,” Romney said at the time, “and the only people to enjoy truly disproportionate rewards are the people who do the redistributing—the government.”

    Now, as the “you didn’t build that” attack takes center stage, Romney is reaching back to his suggestion that Obama doesn’t favor free-market capitalist system — and edging ever closer to the idea that the president doesn’t really relate to the way things are done in America.

  7. pdgrey says:

    Huffington all day as had on the front page “we’ve given all people need to know” headline leaving out “you”.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yes, they issued a correction this afternoon. New York Newsday left out the “you” at first also and then corrected the quote.

      • pdgrey says:

        But not on the front page

      • northwestrain says:

        The “you” is significant. The context of the “you” is important. My guess — her face screw up a bit when she said “you people”.

        Which is why we are jumping on the words. Those words are like a red flag — to all of us.

  8. pdgrey says:

    Maybe I did not make that clear, when you “go” to Huffington: It lost the word you, corrected it in the article but on the in the title.

    • northwestrain says:

      I see what you mean — the headline on Huff Po leaves out the “you” — but the first paragraph includes the you in the quote. (I’m looking at Huff Po for Android).

      • northwestrain says:

        The correction notes that in the Android version “people” was omitted.

        “you people” as a unit carried an extremely negative meaning.

  9. pdgrey says:

    exactly, northwestrain, the you in the headline as been left out all day.

  10. pdgrey says:

    Just as an aside, I wrote Huffington post about the title.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Charlie Pierce on why Romney can’t be bothered to release his tax returns:

    The Help has no right to go pawing through the family books, giggling at the obvious loopholes and tax dodges, running amok through all the tax shelters, and probably getting their chocolate-y fingerprints all over the pages of the Romney family ledger. And, certainly, those members of The Help in the employ of the president of the United States, who is also part of The Help, have no right to use the nearly comically ostentatious wealth of the Romney as some sort of scrimey political weapon. He does not have to answer to The Help. I mean, jeepers, he’s running for office.
    This isn’t stubbornness. That’s often an acquired trait. What this is, fundamentally, is contempt. Contempt for the process, and contempt for the people who make their living in that process, and contempt for the people whose lives depend on that process. There are rules for The Help with which Willard Romney never has had to abide, and he has no intention of starting now. My dear young fellow, this simply is not done.

    • northwestrain says:

      How many women has this a-hole raped? Tortured and raped is more like it and threatened them with his gun. The darling of the Utah GOP.

    • RalphB says:

      Holy shit, a serial sex offender and GOP fundraiser. War on women, hell yes!!!!!

      Gregory Nathan Peterson, 37, of Orem, was charged in 3rd District Court with 23 felonies and two misdemeanors, including nine counts of forcible sexual abuse, seven counts of rape, three counts of object rape, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, assault, burglary and sexual battery.

      Peterson is also a GOP fundraiser who allegedly held an event in 2011 at his cabin in Heber where he allegedly kidnapped and assaulted women, one of them just one day after a fundraising event.

      Investigators have identified at least four victims dating back to March of 2011. Peterson met three of the victims on an online dating site and another at a church function, according to the charges.

  12. Beata says:

    While the focus today has been on Ann Romney’s “you people” remark, her comment that no further tax returns will be released “because there are so many things that will be open again for more attack… and that’s really, that’s just the answer” is even more telling.

    What is Mitt Shady hiding? We the people want to know.

  13. pdgrey says:

    i hope I’m not posting too much.But Charles Pierce last post is what I’m afraid of too. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/presidential-polls-tied-10821942 But what a wonderful post on George McGovern to make us remember. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/george-mcgovern-birthday-10818938

  14. Allie says:

    “You people” are more forgiving than me (that’s a joke BTW). I can’t stand Arianna Huffington or Josh Marshall and don’t bother with their blogs. Huffington has turned back into a Republican and she’s an unprincipled opportunist. That headline is not an accident. Marshall is just another mysoginist frat-boy blowhard.

    Anyway I hope the “you people” thing takes the shine off Ms. Romney’s halo. It’s really an unbelievably crass thing to say. Was she wearing her $800 snake/bird-head t-shirt when she said it?