Obama's Tax Return Slam Re-Emerges
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bring on the tax returns. Again.
President Barack Obama used his first press conference since June -- an impromptu appearance -- to return attention to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax returns.
"When it comes to releasing taxes, that's a precedent that was set decades ago, including by Governor Romney's father," Obama said. "I think people want to know that everybody's been playing by the same rules, including people that are seeking the highest office in the land."
The demands by Democrats for Romney's tax returns faded after the former Massachusetts governor announced Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) as his vice presidential running mate. The debate quickly shifted to the budget as Obama's campaign called Ryan's massive budget proposal an "extreme" plan that would punish senior and the middle class.
Republicans, whose message for most of the campaign season had hung on attacks against the president's record on jobs and the economy, followed up their opponents' budget assaults with a claim that Obamacare would cut some $716 billion from Medicare.
PolitiFact has found the landmark health care legislation wouldn't cut Medicare as it stands, but would reduce the amount of future spending growth in the program. The Obama campaign said Ryan's budget proposal would rely on the same savings from Medicare -- a claim PoliticFact found was true.
Obama's bet to put pressure back on Romney's tax returns could allow the president to continue to avoid larger discussion about the economy.
David DiMartino, a Democratic strategist based in Washington D.C., said last week in an interview that the Medicare talk was just one of many issues that would grab headlines for a brief span of time in the election season, but that voters hadn't heard the last about tax returns.
It appears he was correct.
While Republicans have made Medicare and the president's so-called gutting of welfare reform central to the debate in the past week, Democrats have seemed content with those discussions. Piling on Romney's tax returns may be safe addition to the counter-attacks.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
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