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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'