Updated 4:18 p.m. Eastern Time
(CBS News) Mitt Romney on Friday released his full 2011 tax returns, which show that he and his wife paid $1,935,708 that year on $13,696,951 of income - a 14.1 percent tax rate.
His campaign also released a notarized letter from the Romneys' tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, stating that from 1990 through 2009, Romney paid an average annual effective federal tax rate of 20.2 percent.
In 2011, the couple donated 30 percent of their income - more than $4 million - to charity. They claimed a deduction for $2.25 million of those charitable contributions.
The returns were posted online Friday afternoon, shortly after Brad Malt, the trustee of the Romney's blind trust, announced in a blog post that they were forthcoming.
(CBS News) President Obama hit back at Mitt Romney on Friday by suggesting his rival may be planning an "inside job" if he is elected president.
On Thursday, Romney criticized President Obama for saying "you can't change Washington from the inside," saying Mr. Obama "threw in the white flag of surrender again."
"He said he can't change Washington from inside, he can only change it from outside," Romney said in Florida.
In Woodbridge, Virginia on Friday, Mr. Obama stood by his earlier comments, saying, "I said you change it from the outside. You change it because people are mobilized."
The president then mocked Romney for seizing on the comments, saying, "for some reason my opponent got really excited" and wrote a new speech about them.
"He proudly declared I'll get the job done from the inside," Mr. Obama said. "What kind of inside job is he talking about? Is it the job of rubber-stamping the top-down, you're-on-your-own agenda of this Republican Congress? Because if it is, we don't want it."
The phrase "inside job" is usually used to describe a crime in which someone inside the organization being targeted is involved.Continue »
"He really believes in what I'll call a government-centered society. I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others, then we'll all be better off. It's known as redistribution," Romney said in Atlanta Wednesday. "It's never been a characteristic of America. ... I believe the way to lift people and help people have higher incomes is not to take from some and give to others, but to create wealth for all of us."
Whether redistribution is a "characteristic of America" is potentially up for debate, but one thing is clear: It has long been built into the American system of government. The progressive tax code, for example, is a clear example of income redistribution. Under a progressive tax system, the more money you make, the higher tax rate you are expected to pay - at least in theory. (As the Buffett Rule debate has illustrated, it doesn't always play out that way.) You can also find redistribution in means-tested entitlement programs like welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps, which are funded by all taxpayers but available primarily to the poor.
"There's plenty of redistribution in the system already," said economist Dan Mitchell, senior fellow at the Libertarian CATO Institute. "We have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world."Continue »
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who is battling Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkeley to keep his Senate seat, told reporters on Capitol Hill that he has a "very different view of the world" than the one articulated by Romney, The Washington Post reports.
"I have five brothers and sisters. My father was an auto mechanic, my mother was a school cook," Heller said Wednesday. "I have a very different view of the world and as a United States senator I think I represent everybody. And every vote is important. Every vote is important in this race. I don't write off anything."
In the leaked comments, Romney said his job is "not to worry about" the 47 percent, since they won't vote for him. "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." After the comments came out, Romney said he is trying to "get as many [votes] as I can from every single cohort in this country."
On Tuesday, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, said Romney's comments are "not the way I view the world."Continue »
Updated: Sept. 19, 2012, 4:11 p.m.
(CBS News) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday sought to shift the focus from a leaked video of controversial comments he made at a fundraiser earlier this year to comments President Obama made in 1998 about the "redistribution" of wealth in America.
Romney, speaking on Fox News, did not back down from his controversial statements, in which he can be seen at a private fundraiser describing the majority of President Obama's supporters as people who are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are victims."
"We were of course talking about a campaign and how he's going to get close to half the vote, I'm going to get half the vote, approximately, I hope," Romney told Fox News' Neil Cavuto. "I want to get 50.1 percent or more. Frankly we have two very different views about America. The president's view is one of larger government, there's a tape that came out today where the president's saying he likes redistribution. I disagree."
Romney acknowledged that many of the "47 percent" he criticized for not paying income taxes are retirees and members of the military, adding, "and that's as it should be." He then went on to say that the problem in the country is "so many people have fallen into poverty that they're not paying taxes." Pointing to the record number of Americans on food stamps, Romney said "the right course to help them is not to just have government handing out, it's instead government helping people to get back to good jobs."
Romney also referenced "a tape that just came out today where the President is saying he likes redistribution."Continue »
And then, on Monday, what many are treating as the biggest unforced error yet: Video showing Romney at a high-dollar fundraiser attacking 47 percent of the country for seeing themselves as "victims" who depend on the government to provide for them.
Within 24 hours, some pundits were already arguing the video marked the end of Romney's presidential aspirations. "Today, Mitt Romney lost the election," blared a headline on Bloomberg News. The Telegraph proclaimed that "The spectacular implosion of Mitt Romney means a no-choice US election." Talking Points Memo said that "It's rare when the impact of some gaffe or embarrassment or revelation isn't overstated on first blush. But this may just be that rare exception. This tape strikes me as absolutely devastating."
Maybe. But it's worth taking a step back to consider just how much impact other ostensibly devastating moments have had in the past. For context, John Sides, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University, took a look at similar moments from the past - including a number tied to Mr. Obama - and found that, in the end, they didn't end up mattering all that much.
Updated 10 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Mitt Romney's campaign has responded to a video in which the Republican presidential nominee appears to be shown describing the majority of President Obama's supporters as people who are "dependent on government" and "believe that they are victims."
Video of the comments at a private fundraiser earlier this year., from an anonymous source, was given to a pair of left-leaning media outlets, Mother Jones and the Huffington Post. You can see the relevant portion at left.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney is heard saying in the video. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That, that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what."
Romney goes on to say that "these are people who pay no income tax. 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect." He says his job "is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Romney says he has to convince the "five to ten percent in the center" to vote for him, adding that members of this group vote sometimes based on "emotion, whether they like the guy or not."
The Obama campaign pounced on the comments, which are already being compared to then-candidate Barack Obama's 2008 comments in which Mr. Obama said that Americans in rural communities "cling to guns or religion" because of a lack of jobs. Those comments also leaked from a private event and outraged many in the Republican base.
Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the campaign, told reporters on a conference call Monday morning that after a successful convention that introduced Romney as a person, people are ready "to know even more about policies."
Gillespie said the campaign was shifting to a "new emphasis, and renewed emphasis" on why electing Romney would have a positive impact on their lives. Romney's campaign has thus far been focused largely on making the case that Mr. Obama has failed as a steward of the economy. The Obama campaign, meanwhile, has sought to frame the race as a choice between the two candidates, not a referendum on the president.
Gillespie did not unveil significant specific new policies, and did not address a question on whether Romney will get more specific about an area where he has been hammered in recent weeks - what loopholes and deductions he would eliminate as part of his tax plan. Gillespie said that while there will be some new policies discussed, "most of this is reinforcing."Continue »
(CBS News) Kansas' Republican Secretary of State and two other Republican officials have determined that they do not have enough evidence to determine whether President Obama can appear on the Kansas ballot, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer said they need to review the president's birth certificate and other documents before they can respond to a complaint alleging that Mr. Obama is not a "natural born citizen."
The State Objections Board, which the trio serve on, is seeking more information from three states -- Hawaii, Arizona, and Mississippi. (Hawaii holds the president's birth certificate; government officials in Arizona and Mississippi have conducted similar investigations.) "The State Objections Board is asking other states for evidence presented to them on this same issue of eligibility," Kay Curtis, spokeswoman for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, told CBS News.
"Given the cursory response from President Obama, the Board is merely attempting to obtain additional information before making a decision," said Curtis. Neither office of the Kansas Attorney General Schmidt or Kansas Lieutenant Governor Colyer returned calls for comment.
Mr. Obama has released his long-form birth certificate showing that he was born in Hawaii, but so-called "birthers" persist with a variety of arguments that he is ineligible for the presidency. Generally, they claim that the birth certificate as released by the president is a forgery or that he is not eligible for the presidency despite being born in Hawaii.
There is substantial evidence, including birth announcements in Hawaiian newspapers, to support the president's claims about his birthplace. The 14th amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Sasha Issenberg stopped into CBS News this week to discuss his new book "The Victory Lab," which describes how political campaigns are increasingly using sophisticated statistical analysis to target voters. Think of "Moneyball" - but for politics.
In our interview, Sasha discusses how campaigns use "thousands" of data points to decide which voters to target, how a letter spotlighting the voting history of the neighbors can drive up voter turnout, and which campaign has the edge in 2012. Check it out above.
(CBS News) In response to Mitt Romney's criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of recent violence in Egypt and Libya, President Obama told CBS News on Wednesday that Romney "seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later."
"There's a broader lesson to be learned here," Mr. Obama told "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft at the White House. "And I -- you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I've learned is you can't do that. That, you know, it's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts. And that you've thought through the ramifications before you make 'em."
Asked if Romney's attacks were irresponsible, the president replied, "I'll let the American people judge that."Continue »
"Over the past four years, we have had a president who has committed himself and his administration to the values that made America great -- economic fairness, equal opportunity, and the belief that if each of us gives back to this country we love, and all of us work together, there is no challenge we cannot overcome," Kennedy said before adding: "Those are the ideals my father and my uncles fought for. Those are the ideals I believe in."
"Like my father's election in 1960, this is one of those elections where the future of our country is at stake," Caroline Kennedy said Thursday night, two hours before Mr. Obama was scheduled to speak. She called Mr. Obama a champion for women's rights on health care and equal pay and said Mr. Obama is the only candidate who is "on our side."
Updated 3:15 p.m. ET
(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, NC -- In the wake of Bill Clinton's Democratic National Committee speech last night, Mitt Romney's campaign wants Americans to remember when Mr. Clinton wasn't such a big fan of Barack Obama.
"He's a good soldier--helping his party's president," a narrator says in the spot, referencing Mr. Clinton's remarks Wednesday night. "But what did Bill Clinton say about Barack Obama in 2008?"
The spot then shows January 2008 video of the former president, who at the time was campaigning on behalf of his wife for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying, "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."Continue »
(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Republican National Committee on Thursday released an ad featuring a woman explaining to a cardboard cutout of President Obama - over dinner - why she is breaking up with him.
"Listen, this just isn't working," says the woman. She is not identified in the spot, but the RNC confirms that she is Bettina Inclan, its director of Hispanic outreach. "It's been four years," she says. "You've changed."
Inclan goes on to complain that the man she is speaking to - who has not yet been revealed - is "always on the golf course," is spending too much money and always hanging out with celebrities.
"You're just not the person I thought you were," she says as the Obama cutout is revealed. "It's not me, it's you."Continue »
Updated 6:40 p.m. ET
(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After sharp criticism from Mitt Romney and Republicans, the Democrats have reinstated language into their party platform that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as the words "God-given" in a passage about employment, both of which were removed in this year's platform.
The platform released by Democrats Monday evening dropped a clause included in the 2008 platform that read: "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel." That platform went on to say, however, that "[t]he parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."
CBS News has confirmed that President Obama personally intervened to have the platform language changed.
"The platform is being amended to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008," Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths."Israel maintains that its capital is Jerusalem, but the United States and other nations maintain embassies in Tel Aviv because East Jerusalem is contested by the Palestinians, who see it as a potential capital for their state.
Romney called Jerusalem "the capital of Israel" in July, prompting criticism from the Palestinians as well as China. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the comment "absolutely unacceptable."
But as a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said in 2008 that "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided," though he later softened his stance and said he is not trying to "predetermine" the final status of the city. As president, he has maintained that, as his campaign put it to CBS News, "the capital is something that should be determined in final status negotiations between the parties."
Romney said in a statement Tuesday that it's "unfortunate that the entire Democratic Party has embraced President Obama's shameful refusal to acknowledge that Jerusalem is Israel's capital."
"Four years of President Obama's repeated attempts to create distance between the United States and our cherished ally have led the Democratic Party to remove from their platform an unequivocal acknowledgment of a simple reality," he said. "As president, I will restore our relationship with Israel and stand shoulder to shoulder with our close ally."
Meantime, the word "God" was dropped from a paragraph that, in 2008, spoke of giving those willing to work the opportunity to "make the most of their God-given potential." In this year's platform a similar paragraph reads "the simple principle that in America, hard work should pay off, responsibility should be rewarded, and each one of us should be able to go as far as our talent and drive take us."
In an interview with Fox News Correspondent Carl Cameron, Romney voiced his disappointment.
"I think their having removed purposefully God from their platform suggests a party that is increasingly out of touch with the mainstream of American people," Romney said in the televised interview. "I think this party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don't recognize."
The convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had to take a voice vote three times, as the number of "nays" shouted was unexpected. After declaring the changes passed, a chorus of boos could be heard from delegates in the Time Warner Center Arena.
CBS News' Caroline Horn contributed to this report.
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