ABC Reporter: ‘Isn’t it Hypocritical’ for Obama to Criticize Corporate Inversions When He ‘Has Profited Himself’?

August 14, 2014 - 11:18 AM

ABC reporter Jon Karl has clashed with the White House Press Secretary before - this time, he asked deputy White House spokesman Eric Schultz if President Obama "is going to be asking Democrats to return money contributed" by "corporate inversions" after Obama publicly criticized them as "unpatriotic?"

"No," said Schultz simply.

"Why not?" Karl asked incredulously. "I mean, this is, these guys are profiting off the very practice the president's condemned, and wants to see stopped."

"As you know, Jon, we are not privy to the details and have no role in any company's plans," Schultz said. "What the President is focused on is stopping the problem. And stopping companies from renouncing their citizenship just to get out of paying their fair share of taxes is why the President called on Congress to do this..."

And in a now-familiar administration line, Schultz added: "We are going to further explore whether there's steps we can take with or without Congress..."

"Is the president going to be asking Democrats to return money contributed, or seek to return money contribution, by some these corporate inversions?" Karl asked Schultz at a Martha's Vineyard press conference.

"But isn't it hypocritical?" Karl asked. "I mean, essentially the president has profited himself, his political apparatus profited by taking contributions from people that have made money doing exactly this."

"I guess I would understand the skepticism more if we weren't doing something to tackle the problem," Schultz said. "But instead, we are going after, umm, any company that renounces it's U.S. citizenship in order to pay less in taxes?"

"But why not renounce those donations?" Karl asked.

"What we're renouncing is the practice of of um," Schultz said hesitatingly "...using shifty accounting in order to avoid umm paying their fair share, and which subsequently uhm passes on to middle class families," Schultz finally spat out.

Karl's question came as a result of a Bloomberg report that top Democratic donors, including Blair Effron an investment banker who hosted a May fundraiser for the president, Jim Rogers, co-chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention and Roger Altman, former senior Treasury Department official and a bundler who raised $200,000 for Obama's reelection, and Shantanu Narayen, currently on Obama's management advisory board, all use the "corporate inversions"  offshore merger tax deals that Obama called "unpatriotic."