Transcript for Mitt Romney: The Wealth Factor
Brian Ross investigates. -- now -- ABC news chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross. Thank you for joining us. Mitt Romney has gone on the attack against his rival of Newt Gingrich raising questions. But Gingrich is now in from the spending at Tiffany's the New York jewelry store but the fact is Romney is by far the wealthiest of the candidates for president this year. -- the net worth estimated at over a quarter billion dollars with a B. And as we found his -- can be every bit as lavish as those of game. Romney owns at least three homes including this twelve million dollar oceanfront spread in La Jolla, California. As big as it is Romney and his wife van have filed plans to quadruple the square footage they say so their large family can all of this. In addition the Romney's own a lake front -- stated New Hampshire where he has hosted journalists and supporters for summer barbecues. Before the campaign began Romney started the kind of downsizing in -- real estate holdings. He sold off this mansion outside Boston and bought a nearby condominium. A -- the same time he also sold off a gigantic ski chalet in Utah are rustic yet elegant seven bedroom get away. Seen in these photos posted in an online real estate sales -- His lifestyle has raised questions about how in touch she is with the average American. Put into sharp focus with his offer of a 101000 dollars -- during this month's ABC news sponsored debate. -- -- -- 101000 box. 101000 dollar back. I'm not in -- business -- okay. Romney has not made public his latest federal tax returns but financial disclosure forms required of all candidates reveal that he and his wife. Have had millions of dollars in offshore funds in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. Places that offer huge tax advantages to investors. -- the primary advantage tense setting. Those -- happened on an offshore jurisdiction like the Cayman Islands -- Bermuda is that it helps the investors avoid attacks. The Romney campaign says he has paid taxes on all of -- -- including the offshore investments. And the investments are now held in the blind trust. But tax experts say the fact that Romney's company Bain Capital under his leadership established investment funds offshore in the first place. Help them to attract business from people looking to avoid US taxes. In -- from the himself as an envoy gained. Taxes on his income he's helping other people avoid -- -- on there income and he'd. Benefits fat from that and directly. Because more people will invest in us funds because they're getting a higher return -- -- -- says he may eventually make his tax returns public. But he declined our request to -- -- by not disclosing its tax returns we're not seeing how much he has earnings or where he has investments. And how much taxis pain on. What -- earnings he happens. Romney's wealth is clearly already an issue. The Democratic Party arrange for an airplane to fly a sign over New York City poking fun at his 101000 dollar -- line. But his Wall Street support. Who raised an estimated ten million dollars. The very same day told us they think Romney's wealth will be a positive in his presidential campaign. He made in America what's better than that he represents America Europe since the American -- I don't think it's gonna work against. And they were while he was successful. And I think people like to be session it was something it has had success. Campaign insiders say it's no big surprise that run these wells will be an issue. And to help counter that the campaign makes every effort to describe him as a frugal man. Let's not let his money go to us.
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