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Romney deflects business questions

US Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is trying to deflect questions about his record as a businessman who has kept part of his vast fortune in overseas accounts.

This comes as president Barack Obama seeks more funding for a November election that will be the most expensive, and one of the most closely contested, in American history.

The top issue among voters remains the struggling economy and 8.2% unemployment, but Mr Obama has managed to distract Mr Romney's campaign from that message through recent attacks on the challenger's business record.

The president will be in Texas, hoping to raise at least five million dollars (£3.2 million) from gay, Latino and more affluent donors.

Mr Romney's campaign will reach Pennsylvania, one of the 10 or so states that will most likely determine the outcome of the election.

Mr Obama is travelling to a state that has not voted Democratic in a presidential contest since 1976. But Texas ranks among the states with the largest concentrations of wealth, along with New York, California, Florida and Illinois.

The Obama camp is also airing an ad taking issue with Mr Romney's decision to release only two years of his personal tax returns. The ad questions whether the Republican has avoided paying his share of taxes in certain years.

Mr Romney has released his 2010 tax return and has said he will release his 2011 return. He has said he will not release other returns, breaking with the custom of past candidates dating to his father, George Romney. He set the standard a generation ago by releasing tax returns for 12 years.

The Romney camp is fighting the Obama campaign's attacks by contending that the president's Energy Department has steered loans and grants to several companies connected to Mr Obama's political supporters.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the Energy Department's decisions "were made without regard to political connections".

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