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Democrats assail Romney's hidden tax returns

world Updated: Jul 11, 2012 01:55 IST
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Mitt Romney privately raised millions of dollars from New York's elite on Sunday, as Democrats launched coordinated attacks against the presumptive Republican presidential contender, intensifying calls for him to explain his offshore bank accounts and release several years of tax returns.

The line of attack, dismissed by the Romney campaign as an "unfounded character assault," follows new reports that raise questions about Romney's personal wealth, which could exceed $250 million. President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is expected to push the strategy throughout the coming week, underscoring their desire to portray Romney as disconnected from the middle-class voters he needs to win the presidency.

"He's the first and only candidate for the president of the US with a Swiss bank account, tax shelters, tax avoidance schemes that involve so many foreign countries," Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Romney may have unintentionally helped the Obama campaign.

Republican donors driving Mercedes, Bentleys crowded into a series of closed-door Romney fundraisers in the Hamptons, New York's exclusive string of waterfront communities on Long Island's South Shore. Wall Street bankers and brokerage house chiefs, among others, make the area their weekend playground. Romney's Hamptons swing follows a weeklong family vacation at his lakeside vacation home in New Hampshire.

Voters are split on whom to trust, Romney or Obama, to run the US economy, but majority say Obama understands their concerns better.