I seem to remember a time not long ago when this woman's boss was running the country that talk like this would have had the right wingers screaming to the hills that you're an unpatriotic American who doesn't love their country and is on the side of the terrorists. Now, it's apparently perfectly acceptable to bet against America if you're running for president, or so says Lady McCheney, Mary Matalin.
She's not alone either. Here's McCain BFF and Romney supporter, Sen. Lindsey Graham saying the same thing: Lindsey Graham: 'It's Really American' To Avoid Taxes Like Mitt Romney Does .
Good luck with that to both of them with trying to get that to resonate with the general public. And good luck to Mary Matalin with trying to make the argument that people are going to care more about what Romney donated to the Mormon church than him hiding his money overseas so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it.
Transcript of Matalin's hackery on Anderson Cooper's show below the fold.
COOPER: Let's dig deeper into this now with Republican strategist Mary Matalin and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi.
I spoke to them earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) COOPER: So, Ali, what do you make of this? Beyond some potential tax advantages or privacy advantages, is there any legitimate reason to have investments in the Cayman Islands?
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I have been making phone calls on this. And I have been trying to investigate.
Generally speaking, not. There are legitimate reasons why you would have offshore accounts and offshore investments and blind trusts. None of them seem to suit the profile of a guy like Mitt Romney. You can't not declare your holdings. You can't not declare your income.
So it does seem to be that when he established these things, being rich wasn't sort of public enemy number one in America. And this is probably the worst time to have to disclose all this money that he's got. So they have sort of been trying to keep this under the radar. And now it's just floating above the valid, but, no, no valid reason, no real savings of money or payable tax.
COOPER: Well, it's not just floating above the radar, Mary. Obviously, the Obama campaign is trying to paint Mitt Romney as a ruthless rich guy who's got something to hide.
The Romney campaign is saying, look, we don't have anything to hide. If that's true -- and it certainly seems to be -- why not just release more tax returns and short-circuit the Obama attack?
MARY MATALIN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first, let's make it clear that there is no legal requirement.
There's possibly, possibly a political requirement. But I would -- my opinion is it would be very, very bad politics for Mitt Romney to do this. The Obama strategy, which they have made very clear is their strategy, is just to attack, attack, attack, attack.
But what they're also trying to do is just make a distraction. And to the extent that Romney says anything other than, yes, I have been a success, you can be a success in America, he should stay on his message, which is to say, as long as Obama is president, your chances of becoming a success in America are limited.
So, I think it's much ado about nothing, not to mention these trust funds are out of his control and have been for many decades.
COOPER: But it's interesting. I tweeted about this to people, saying, do you think it's relevant or not? Some people said, look, it's absolutely not relevant. It's coming off as an attack against success.
And certainly that's what a lot of Republicans hope it's coming off as. But there are others who say, look, how a person invests their money or spends their money tells about what kind of person that that person is. And if they're hedging bets against the U.S. dollar by investing overseas, people should know that.
MATALIN: I think you would be pretty stupid to not hedge against an American dollar in this Obama economy.
What tells more about a person -- and I would hope the Romney people could get this out somehow -- it's not what he's paying in taxes, which is exponential, and it's the equivalent to the success that he's made, but what he contributes in charity. There's never been a candidate or a governor or anybody in public office that I know of that contributes the percentage of his income to charity and other foundations that he supports. That's unprecedented.
That says more about him...
COOPER: You're talking about tithing through his church.
MATALIN: I'm talking about his -- well, which counts. I'm also talking about his other charitable contributions and foundations that he supports, and far exceeding any tax benefits that would accrue from them. That's what is the measure of a person to me or one of the many measures of a person.
MATALIN: What they pay in legal taxes says to me nothing.
COOPER: Ali, the Romney people are saying, look, he has paid absolutely all the taxes that he is legally expected to pay. There's no evidence that that is not true.
Is it -- I mean, is there any tax advantage really to having these overseas investments? Because somebody -- you still have to pay the taxes.
VELSHI: I would love to have an answer to that. But we don't know enough information to do so.
The issue is, there was a time -- and it was not as -- it was as recently as 10 or 15 years ago when there were specific advantages to having these offshore accounts. Usually, there was secrecy, avoidance of certain types of taxes and avoidance of taxes in the United States. All of that stuff is now not legal.
It may that some of these accounts are legacy, some of these holdings and investments are legacy investments. There are some reasons why you would do it. But the reason this has not gained much traction is because it's highly complicated stuff and the rest of us are not accountants.
Once we actually start talking about this, I think it will become obvious that starts to become more of a distraction than it needs to be. And the best policy would probably be to come forward, because if Mitt Romney is hedging against U.S. dollars, nothing illegal about that. You can actually do that with all your accounts in the United States.
If you would like to invest in Swiss francs because you think they're more stable, you can do that in the United States. So there's no valid reason why this is happening. There's no valid reason why Mitt Romney isn't explaining why it's happening. And in this economic environment, the concept, the idea of secrecy starts to become a little bit hard to deal with.
COOPER: Mary Matalin, appreciate you being on, and Ali Velshi as well. Thanks.