Republicans call Romney tax return squabble a distraction
April 15th, 2012
12:38 PM ET
3 years ago

Republicans call Romney tax return squabble a distraction

(CNN) - Democrats pressuring likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney to release 10 years of his personal tax returns are creating a political diversion, two leading Republicans said Sunday.

The claim came two days after the White House released Obama's own tax returns, an annual disclosure Democrats turned into a political event by pairing the release with a call for Romney to disclose the same information. Late Friday, Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor had filed for a tax filing extension from the Internal Revenue Service.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"First of all, Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

Priebus continued, saying Romney's tax information was far from the minds of voters.

"We have bigger issues to talk about," Priebus said. "This election won't come down to the timing of a tax return. This election will come down to the state of this economy and how Barack Obama failed this country."

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who endorsed Romney in January, said releasing a decade's worth of personal tax information wasn't necessary for a presidential candidate. Democrats often point out Romney disclosed several years of returns to McCain's own presidential campaign in 2008 during the vice presidential vetting process.

"He gave that to me and it was confidential, and so did a lot of other people," McCain said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."

"We agreed with everybody we considered that would remain confidential. John Kerry only introduced two years, Mitt Romney did, I did, two years is sufficient. And frankly, I'm not sure that's the key issue Americans are worried about," McCain said.

Priebus also pointed to presidential campaigns of the past, saying Romney would eventually follow the same precedent.

"The type of the rigorous financial disclosure requirements when running for president are so expansive and vast that if you were to look at what John Kerry, John McCain, all of these other presidential candidates have revealed, Mitt Romney is going to do the same thing," Priebus said.

In 2008, McCain released his tax information by mid-April, by which time he had virtually wrapped up the GOP nomination. Obama released his 2000-2006 tax returns in late March; his main rival, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, released hers in mid-April.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Logic N LA

    This is no more ridiculous than making a big dealout of Hillary Rosen's comment. How Mitt made his money is more important than how she stayed home to direct servants.

    April 15, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. Core republican Values

    It is a distraction, a distraction that will dog Romney all the way through November. Its super to see hypocritical republicans get bashed for lying and in general being creepy.

    April 15, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. TJeff1776

    As long as his tax report is made public between now and 60 days before election time- then what difference ??? Much to do about nothing. AND comparing with Rosen's comments OR the moon OR with a butt.....makes no sense.

    April 15, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. king

    The big repubs are mad at mitten because he's likely to expose what all of them been doing over the years, and that is raping our country of needed tax revenues, and hiding it in over seas bank.

    April 15, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Joan

    If you want to run the economy and finances of a huge country then surely to goodness you should be able to have your own taxes completed on time. Can't he hire scores of accountants to do this? What would happen if millions of other people asked to wait to pay their taxes for six months? Fat chance. This does look as if he is stalling, trying to sanitize the books and doesn't want the truth to come out during the Buffet Rule debate. Some transparency!

    April 15, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. larrylinn

    If Romney cannot file his tax returns on time, why does anyone think that he is capable of resolving the problems in our economy soon?

    April 15, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Ozzie

    End the distraction, Mitt. Release 10 years of returns. The Caymon Islands thank you.

    April 15, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. CarmenSo

    This isn't a distraction. What is a distraction are Republicans demanding to see a birth certificate of a US citizen for 3 years. And after he bends over backwards to get this long form birth certificate, which no other president has EVER had to do, they demand to see his school records. Now that is a distraction

    April 15, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. ArabellaC

    Not only is it NOT a distraction, in Romney's case there are significant issues re his tax returns that voters have a right to review & compare with the current & previous presidents – tax dodging & whether they've been lied to by Gov Romney and what he's hiding.

    In 2007, last time he was running, he claimed a net worth of $190-$250,000,000. Five years later, he's claiming a net worth of $150-250,000,000, but we know he receives approx $22,000,000 a year in investment income....that would be an additional $100,000,000 since 2007. Plus, there are the Swiss & Cayman Is bank accounts.

    It comes down to a question of trust & respect. Romney has flip-flopped on 32 key issues recently. So he's shown that he'll tell voters whatever he thinks the specific demographic segment wants to hear & plays fast and loose with the truth...to the point where we have to fact check everything he says.

    We want to know if he respects us enough as voters to be truthful about his wealth and tax conduct. After all, as president, he would be responsible for tax governance – and he has endorsed the Ryan Budget which raises taxes on low-income & middle-class but heavily cuts them for the Top 1%. It matters to me if he's dodging & lowering his own taxes but asking me to pay more on my small income.

    April 15, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Jerubbaal

    Romney has to be the most flawed candidate that I have ever seen in all my 48 years. He cannot stand for anything because he stood against everything. He's been on both sides of the fence on woman's issues, social policies, healthcare, gun laws, and economic policies. In 1994 he is seen on video stating that women have to work outside of the home due to necessity, in a statement where he was making a case for strong, affordable childcare. There goes the faux outrage inre the Hilary Rosen factval statement.

    April 15, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Money laundering and tax evasion will dog the Cayman Kid.

    April 15, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. PJ/TX

    I don't care when he releases his tax forms or if he ever does. The question will always be "what is he hiding"?

    April 15, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mr. Caterpillar under your leadership GOP will lose congress
    Thursday republicans went after Hillary Rosen Friday more women supported Hillary Rosen why
    Many republican women works 60 hours a week average out side the home, what they are saying “Ann Romney never worked like us , Ann Romney can’t be our voice”
    Again GOP picked a wrong fight War on Mommy because many mothers worked out side the home

    April 15, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. David

    Release the 15 years of returns you gathered for McCain that caused him to not consider you for his VP.

    April 15, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. ArabellaC

    LOGIC N LA –

    On 'Rosengate'...did you see the video showed on MSNBC this morning? Now we've just had Mitt & Ann Romney talking about how he wants all moms to have the opportunity to make choices, because they work hard, and Mrs Romney has told us of how Mitt wanted her to stay home look after their five sons and "she was delighted". It was Hollywood & drama about stay-at-home moms right to stay there (if, of course, they still have a home!).

    Well, three months ago Gov Romney declared that he would essentially "force" poor moms on welfare to "work outside of the home or lose their benefits" and the Government would provide day care for their children, images of British poorhouses!

    So, after all the brouhaha of Romney Camp, overnight "Moms Do Work" mugs, militant RW defenders of the wounded Ann Romney & stay-at-home moms' rights, ... it turns out Mitt & Ann Romney DO believe moms should be allowed to "choose" to stay at home & care for their children, if they're RICH

    April 15, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. atteloc716

    How many of those candidates had Off Shore/ Bank accts?? Swiss,Cayman,Dutch??
    He has always refused to show returns 2000-2009..... and that is a issue that will not go away!!! never went away even up here in Mass where both Bain+ trustee are located.

    He had no plans to show 2010 until the media storm that would have derailed him... so there is plenty of questions on past years that will come out at some point that will expose what people in the know have and public will learn after.

    April 15, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. gpop

    Republicans can say this is a distraction, but once again Romney has given every cause for the people of the United States to not trust him. They know their supporters will blindly follow without even questioning the fact that, the man from their party aspiring for the office of Commander In Chief of the U.S., has set a terrible example by not filing his federal taxes ON TIME! The rest of do...so he should play by the same rules. Thank God the Obamas and Bidens has continued to set the ADULT example!
    Once again, the Romneys living by a different set of rules!

    April 15, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. CBR

    We all have to pay our taxes in a timely manner. I cannot believe that Mr. Romney now needs an extension. Dragging our feet a little.

    April 15, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Dave Harris

    What is it that Romney's hiding? How much money he was paid to put other people out of work so his rich bosses could get even richer? We already pretty much know that.

    April 15, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Larry L

    The Republican fat-cats have a challenge... Their new Tea Party base is now comprised of under-educated and highly emotional radicals – yet their leaders are elitists far-removed for the experience of the working-class Americans. They must constantly issue sound-bites about guns, gays and god and avoid any acceptance of responsibility for America's economic situation. They must rely on their base remaining too delusional, bigoted and fearful to logically consider the situation. They've got the Koch brother's money and Karl Rove's dishonesty to guide them through the "swift boat" attack.

    April 15, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. edpeters101

    Mitt is proud to say he's rich, just not so proud to show how he got that way (and continues to dodge paying his share of running the government). Got to keep the Caviar Hole of his operating to keep the late night comedians in business..

    April 15, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Tim

    If he's got nothing to hide, why not release them?

    April 15, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. basky

    Mitt is out of touch with average Americans, with the gaint skeleton in his closet, mitt really don't know how to come up/out with his baggage. This guy does not have a clue how to fix the economy but only to give away free food to the top 1%. God save us all from Mitt.

    April 15, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. bear

    Trying to get some more money in the Cayman Islands.

    April 15, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Southern

    Mitt should release his college records and ask that Obama do the same........

    April 15, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
1 2