(CNN) – Mitt Romney remained steadfast in his pledge to release only two years of his personal income tax returns Monday following a weekend of increased pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to disclose more of his financial information.
Romney, appearing on Fox News, said his rivals wanted to "make a mountain" out of an issue he regards as inconsequential compared to problems facing many Americans.
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"John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president and his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn't an issue," Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, said in the interview.
"The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more, more things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and distort and to be dishonest about," Romney continued, reissuing his pledge to release two years worth of returns.
Over the weekend, Democrats and some Republicans hit Romney for not releasing more tax information, saying having further documentation of Romney's financial holdings would shed light on any offshore investments. Romney released tax returns from 2010, and put out an estimate of his 2011 information in April. He filed an extension with the Internal Revenue Service to file after the April deadline, and has vowed to release the official documents when they're completed by his accountant.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union" such limited disclosure only raised more questions about Romney's financial situation.
"His father said if you release one year, it could be a fluke, it could be just for show," Axelrod said, referring to George Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 1968 election.
Axelrod continued, "I can only conclude, with all these Republicans asking him to release these returns, that whatever is in those returns would be more damaging to his campaign than simply not releasing them."
Some Republicans also began pushing Romney to release for tax information over the weekend, saying it would be politically savvy to release the information to avoid a drawn-out fight with Democrats.
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," conservative columnist Bill Kristol said on "Fox News Sunday." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."
On ABC, former George W. Bush aide Matthew Dowd made similar remarks, saying of Romney's tax returns, "There's obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, 'Have at it.'"
All of this, Romney said Monday, was a distraction from the real issues of the campaign. He said his own campaign was happy to compare itself with Obama's administration on transparency, citing president's use of executive privilege to withhold documents related to the botched Fast and Furious program.
"The administration has shown a serious departure from the transparency from which they suggested we had," Romney said. "And the American people should be calling for that kind transparency."
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In an election where voters are weary of "status quo" Washington DC politicians, it would seem that any candidate with reluctance to being transparent would be looked on skeptically by many. Mr. Romney would be better to disclose and discuss than to stonewall. This will not just go away, despite calling it trivial and political by Mr. Romney.
Mr Romney has made his experience at Bain the central point of his campaign. He claims that the 'business experience' makes him a job creator. Now he is disavowing any contact with Bain since 1999, in spite of numerous Bain filings saying he was sole owner, CEO and President of Bain until at least 2002. WE the POEPLE want to know how many jobs Mr Romney created, how many jobs he destroyed, and where those jobs went. WE THE PEOPLE want to know if Mr Romney is using tax shelters in Switzerland and Cayman islands to avoid paying taxes. If he is using these shelters, he is not fit to be President. There are too many unanswered questions, too much squirming, lying and obfuscation, some of which might be cleared when he releases his taxes since 1999.
A man with a secret he cannot share. I'll have to pass.
Closing your eyes will not make it go away
I don't want to show when and how I hid all my money overseas. Waaaaah.
Even though I'm a Republican and have voted that way for years I just can't vote for Romney What is it about this guy that is just NOT likeable? Am I the only one feels this way?
McCain released 23 years of tax returns.. not 2 years, Mittens.
The COVERUP is worse than the information he's hiding.. we all know this in many past scandals.. If you can't trust him, don't vote for him. Simple.
After 4+ years of "show us your birth certificate," Republicans should expect that the more Romney whines about this the worse it's going to get.
If the truth were not worse that peoples' suspicions, Romney would have release his tax returns by now.
This is the first thing he's ever been firm on. What ya hiding Robmey??? Isn't that what your treasonous party kept screaming at President Obama about a stupid birth certificate??? Tax forms are a lot more important than a silly birth certificate. Show us your papers Robmey!!
It is quite obvious that he has something to hide.
The underhandedness of Republican politicians is comming back to bite them. There is something in those returns that Romney DOES NOT want the public to discover. The standard for adequate disclosure is FOUR YEARS PRiOR to his 1st elective office so that we can see how he manipulated [or not] his finances for political purposes.
Mitt Romney`s taxes are far more pertinent than that sideshow put on my the Tea Party bigots and "carnival barkers" [aka Donald Trump] around the presidents birth certificate.
I`l expect real journalists to stay focused on Romney`s secretive taxes and offshore bank accounts.
How can Romney say, "the American people should be calling for this type of transparancy" when refering to Obama, but not to himself and his tax returns? Romney, show us your tax returns... What are you hiding?
That is the problem people want all kind of Government service but wont tell the American people what have done same as everybody..else.
Ever notice how Romney speakers always keep talking over everyone else. They don't even stop for a breath. Yap yap yap yap blah blah Obam Bad.
Romney trying to hide behind the old Bait and switch tactics . . . ""The administration has shown a serious departure from the transparency from which they suggested we had," Romney said. "And the American people should be calling for that kind transparency."
Ah, Romney, we still can see you! Romney, your mess is too big to try and hide it behind The Presidents right to evoke Executive Privilege. Next!
Mitt is done!
Stay firm Mitt! we are behind you!!
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Why is he hiding them? It is damaging to his campaign, unless there is some really bad thing in those returns that would kill his run for president. But even so, it is pretty stupid to wait until October or worse, if he gets elected, once he's president... This stubbornness is really not good for him and it wouldn't be good to have a President so recalcitrant at being transparent...
I think is time for the Obama campaign to stop this witch-hunt and start talking about the economy and jobs and what plans Obama has for the next 4 years, if he has any plans besides becoming a storyteller. Romney will turn over I am sure what ever is expected of him to turn over in taxes, he's more than explained Bain and it has been proven he was not involved with Bain after 1999.
Romney is becoming a real liability to the Republican party. I wonder if they will dump him at their convention?
The man is hiding something and it must be horrible.
It's pretty obvious that if he released 8, 10 or 12 years returns (like his father did) HE believes that his campaign would be over. Sounds to me like the GOP Convention better figure out a way to DUMP MITT and start over.
It would be real shame and tragedy if someone out there hacked into Romney's tax returns for the past 15 years and put it all out on the internet for the workd to see, now wouldn't it?
Mitty Boy's tax returns are his most closely and tightly held secrets. He knows if Americans saw his tax returns that it would instantly end his little game he likes to call "Running for Prersident."
Whoever unlocks and exposes those records would forever be immortalized in the Cyber Hacker Wall of Fame,
Come on everybody out there in the world . . . . show us what you got.
In Jesus name, amen.
How about last TEN Years??????? Steal????