Barack Obama's campaign has been putting the screws to Hillary Clinton on the issue of her finances recently, pressuring Clinton to release her tax returns in the wake of news that she lent her campaign $5 million in January.
Monday night, at a candidate forum on local television in Virginia and Washington, D.C., Clinton was asked about the issue. In response, she said she will not be releasing the returns during primary season, but only if she becomes the nominee, and used the opportunity to hit back at Obama. First, she suggested that the question -- which was submitted by a reader of Politico, which cosponsored the debate -- had only been submitted because the Obama campaign had been asking supporters to do so. Then she said,
I've said that I'm going to release my tax returns when I'm the nominee. My entire ethics statement is on record at the Senate.
I have liquidated all of my holdings. I'm holding everything in cash so that there's not even a question of conflict.
But transparency is an important issue, and it doesn't only go to your personal finances.
But, you know, Senator Obama has some questions to answer about his dealings with one of his largest contributors, Exelon, a big nuclear power company. Apparently he cut some deals behind closed doors to protect them from full disclosure in the nuclear industry ... I mean, all of our sources of income are public information. The $5 million that I gave as a loan to my campaign comes out of my money. There isn't any surprises here.
And, in fact, you know, our financial situation has probably been more investigated than anybody who's ever been in public life in America. We still don't have a lot of answers about Senator Obama and his dealings with Mr. Rezko.
So I don't mind answering questions, but I find it only fair that we have questions going to the other side, as well, and I don't see that happening.