Facing renewed criticism from the Obama campaign and new questions about his offshore investments in recent reports, Mitt Romney said on Monday that his offshore investments were managed by a blind trust and he had no knowledge of their whereabouts.
"I don’t manage them," he said in an interview with Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson. "I don’t even know where they are. That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There’s nothing hidden there. If, for instance, you own shares in Renault or Fiat, you still have to disclose that in the United States."
Added Romney: "So, you know, I understand the president’s going to try to do anything he can to divert attention from the fact that his jobs record is weak and he has no plan to make things better."
(Listen to the full interview here.)
The assets in Romney's financial disclosures are kept either in blind trusts, with lawyer Bradford Malt serving as a trustee, or retirement accounts, according to a recent Vanity Fair article. The trusts, however, have some investments in firms with ties to the Romneys. The article also investigated Romney's now closed Swiss Bank account and as much as $30 million held in the Cayman Islands, from which the Romney campaign says he derives no tax advantage.
The Associated Press reported last week on Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., a Bermuda investment company that Romney owned and transferred to his wife's trust the day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor.
The Obama campaign and its surrogates have jumped on the reports. "The relevance is this -- that Governor Romney can’t claim that his state actually was great at creating jobs when he was governor, so he’s fallen back and said, 'Look, vote for me. I was a businessman. I created jobs,'" Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "You want to talk about going the way of Europe -- what went the way of Europe were the Swiss bank accounts and the American dollars that Mitt Romney stuffed in that offshore Swiss bank account."