Leaked documents on $250m Mitt Romney fortune fuel Republican crisis

 

The Presidential campaign of Mitt Romney was rocked again yesterday as his private wealth came under fresh and unfriendly scrutiny in the media even as Democrats continued to exploit embarrassment created by comments from a conservative congressman in Missouri on rape and abortion.

The publication by the website Gawker of some 950 pages of documents offering glimpses into Mr Romney's web of holdings, some in overseas territories like Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, was a reminder of the candidate's reticence fully to describe a fortune estimated at $250m and the taxes he pays on his income. The papers, some of which have been seen before, included letters and audits.

They are likely to fuel demands by Democrats that Mr Romney release tax filings far beyond the two years worth (one provisional) that he has made public so far. Some of what the papers detail also appears to cast fresh doubt on claims he has made that he left Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, in 1999 before it embarked on a firm-shuttering spree that cost thousands of American jobs.

The Romney campaign is still straining meanwhile to contain the abortion controversy created when Todd Akin, a conservative Missouri representative now running for the US Senate, told an interviewer that in cases of "legitimate rape", a woman's body can "shut that whole thing down" to avoid pregnancy.

President Barack Obama weighed in during a fundraiser in New York late Wednesday. "The interesting thing here is that this is an individual who sits on the House Committee on Science and Technology but somehow missed science class," the President said. "But it's representative of a desire to go backwards instead of forwards. And fights that we thought were settled 20, 30 years ago."

Mr Akin's words continue to dominate conversation because his staunch anti-abortion stance, however clumsily expressed, has the support of the Tea Party rump of the party. Moreover, he and Paul Ryan, the number two on the ticket, have in the past co-sponsored legislation to restrict abortion rights. The furore has so far been a gift to Democrats who were already trying to paint Mr Romney as the leader of a party that is deaf to women's reproductive rights and to their interests in general. Most polls show Mr Obama with a double-digit lead over Mr Romney among women voters.

Already, the roll-out of Mr Ryan as the vice presidential nominee has been marred because of his voting record of siding with those Republicans on Capitol Hill who are looking to narrow abortion rights even to the point of not making exceptions in cases of rape or of incest. This week he has found himself obliged to distance himself from those positions and to embrace Mr Romney's more moderate stance.

"I'm proud of my pro-life record," he told reporters in the Midwest. "And I stand by my pro-life record. It's something I'm proud of. But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket, and Mitt Romney will be President and he will set the policy of the Romney administration."

Isaac angst: Will it rain on the parade?

Organisers of the Republican Party convention are nervously watching Tropical Storm Isaac, which will move northeast through the Caribbean today on a track that could take it to the host city of Tampa right on cue for Monday's kick-off of the proceedings. Forecasters said Isaac had all the signs of strengthening into a hurricane as early as today. The convention site is a hockey arena in Tampa and officials say they will consider postponement or even relocation if they have to. A full evacuation of the area would create chaos and leave best-laid plans to burnish Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan in tatters.

Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn