Democrats defend Obama on economy, attack Romney's finances

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Reince Priebus on 'Fox News Sunday'


Democratic leaders hit the TV airwaves Sunday to defend President Obama's economic recovery efforts and to attack Mitt Romney’s public- and private-sector record, while also trying to divert the focus to the Republican challenger’s personal finances.

Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz repeated what Democratic leaders and Obama campaign officials have said for months, amid disappointing federal unemployment reports, that the private sector has added jobs for 28 straight months.

“We need to continue to make more progress obviously,” Schultz, D-Fla., Democratic National Committee chairman, said on "Fox News Sunday." “We haven't (gone) far enough."

Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, responded on the show by saying the country has roughly 500,000 less jobs that it did four years ago.

“I don’t know if (Schultz) is on vacation in New Hampshire or on Mars,” he said. “This president cannot fulfill a promise. (Supporters) are living in a fantasy world.”

Schultz and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley also tried to continue to make Romney’s offshore accounts an election-year issue.

“Why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account?” asked Schultz, who also suggested Romney as Massachusetts governor was not a remarkable jobs creator.

O’Malley, a Democrat, alternately homed in on Romney’s finances and defended Obama, two days after a U.S. jobs report showed the national unemployment rate stuck at 8.2 percent.

“What (Obama) owns is the responsibility for digging us out of a hole,” O’Malley said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He also said Romney wants to “make it even easier” for wealthy Americans to pay less taxes and that he wants to outsource jobs -- as critics have argued Romney did as co-founder of the Bain Capital asset management firm.

O’Malley suggested that electing Romney would be a return to the “record spending” of the Bush administration and said Romney needs to answer to Americans about his overseas finances.

Kevin Madden, a Romney spokesman, rejected the argument that such holdings give Romney a tax advantage.  

“He hasn’t paid a penny less in taxes by virtue of where these funds are domiciled,” Madden said in statement read on "Fox News Sunday." “His liability is exactly the same as if he held the fund investments directly in the U.S. 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.”

Obama strategist Robert Gibbs said on “State of the Union” that Romney’s slogan is “Believe in America,” but it should be “Business in Bermuda.”