Soaked from a torrential downpour in Glen Allen, Virginia, Obama was feisty and confident as he addressed a crowd packed with African-American supporters—in the middle of conservative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district.
Obama told the crowd, with its help, “we’re going to win this election. We’re going to win Virginia. Were going to put this country on the right track.”
It was the president’s fourth campaign stop during a two-day swing through Virginia, a crucial battleground state that Obama won easily in 2008 by 6 points over John McCain. The airwaves in Virginia are filled with Obama’s new ad, portraying Mitt Romney as “the problem,” not the solution, because of his role as a venture capitalist sending jobs overseas and a multi-millionaire establishing accounts off-shore to avoid paying taxes. The ad make the case against Romney while he sings “America the Beautiful”—off-key—in the background. (See ad below)
Obama has kept Romney on the defensive all week, as pressure is mounting on Romney to release his tax records. All he has released are his taxes for 2010 and estimated taxes for 2011. But it is the records in the early 2000s that will prove more interesting—and more potentially damaging to Romney—as they will cover details of his finances during and immediately after he stepped down from Bain Capital and put his accounts into a blind trust, which means he was no longer aware of how it was being managed, so that he could run for office and have deniability if any of the investments proved to be embarrassing. But somehow in the process of creating blind trusts, Romney didn’t think it would be a problem for him to have offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland—all famous for being tax havens for wealthy people around the world.
At the National Governors Association meeting in Williamsburg, even Alabama’s Republican governor, Robert Bentley, one of the most conservative governors in the country, called on Romney to release all the documents requested of him.
“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley said. “I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people.”
During his remarks in Virginia, Obama made a reference to slavery, which drew cheers from the overwhelmingly black crowd.
“That’s the promise that our parents and our grandparents and our great-grandparents made to future generations,” Obama said after describing his version of the middle-class ethos. “You know, some of ‘em came here as immigrants. Some came here, not wanting to come.”
The reference to slavery drew a delayed, but knowing laugh before the president continued his remarks.