Democrats opened a new line of attack against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Sunday by raising questions about his off shore bank accounts.
"There's been disturbing reports recently that he's got a ... secretive Bermuda corporation that nobody knows anything about, investments in the Caymans, he's got a Swiss bank account. Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, on Fox News Sunday.
The news about the Bermuda corporation was reported in a recent Vanity Fair article. The report said that Romney had corporation in Bermuda that he transferred to his wife's blind trust the day before he became governor of Massachusetts.
The article was also mentioned in a video posted to the Obama campaign website. In the video, Press Secretary Ben Labolt suggests that the accounts may have been set up to avoid paying taxes.
"Did he put his money there to avoid paying taxes? We don't know, because he won't follow precedent and release his tax returns," Labolt says.
Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs also made the accusation on CNN's "State of the Union." As he was mentioning Romney's off shore accounts, host Candy Crowley interrupted to ask Gibbs if the campaign is charging Romney with doing something illegal.
"Well, no," Gibbs answered, "Candy, nobody knows why he has a corporation in Bermuda, why he failed to disclose that on seven different financial disclosures, why he transferred it to somebody else's purview the day before became governor of Massachusetts."
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley tied the new line of attack to the campaign's previous line of attack accusing Romney of being a "pioneer" of sending jobs overseas.
Romney "has a penchant, a talent," O'Malley said, "for off-shore American jobs, sending them overseas. And also maintaining off-shore bank accounts in Bermuda, Swiss bank accounts."
The Romney campaign sent a response to Fox News, saying that he has paid the same amount of American taxes on his overseas accounts as he would if they were held in domestic banks.
"As a U.S. citizen, he is accountable for U.S. taxes. Some investments in some foreign countries can be tax havens. But Mitt Romney does not hold any such investments," Romney Spokesman Kevin Madden said.