Romney firm on tax returns
July 16th, 2012
08:09 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney firm on tax returns

(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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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Core republican Values

    Excellent. This will dog mittens all the way through the election. You know there is something really juicy going on there.

    July 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Dave

    The democrats have shown their true colors with the Bain issue. Gergan and King agree that the assertions are bogus. Maybe something will stick for Obama. He does need a miracle now!

    July 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Nagrad

    Given that you're running on your business experience and saying you will help turn the economy around, releasing your personal financial information doesn't seem terribly unreasonable. The fact that you're refusing to release any more information just screams "I HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE!"

    July 16, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Joe Smith

    "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."

    Worth noting that both John McCain and John Kerry LOST. Have to agree with Bill Kristol, release the returns, take the hit and move forward. A long fight over this is not going to help Mr. Romney's argument for transparency ......

    July 16, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. bks

    Romney should stop complaining. If you are not hiding anything then why to worry. If you are CEO, president and chairman of the company then you are totally responsible for the action of the company. There is no way you can say I did not make any decision. On top of that you were 100% stockholder and no other investor. It is not rocket science to figure out who was responsible for running the company.

    July 16, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Jesus Christ Superstar

    If there's really nothing to hide, as Romney claims, then why is he fighting so hard to not do this? If he really cared about making the American people happy, like Obama does, he would release what is asked of him. If he can't even do this, how can we expect him to run a country?

    July 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Adam L

    He's hiding something obviously. Come on Mitt, we know you're type. You even know blaming it on "picky" voters, is a scapegoat response. Might as well be the bigger person and show your Tax evasion then let the rest of us come to conclusions. You're not folling sane people. only extremist Republicans.

    Adam From Canada.
    Romney is Bad for Our continent and the World.

    July 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. Tea Party

    "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.

    And they both lost.

    July 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  9. Ricky L

    Somebody tell Romney......McCain and Kerry lost.

    July 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. Tea Party

    "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."

    So far one EP by Obama in 4 years in office....Mitt already doing his own personal EP over his tax returns. I don't trust Obama...But I REALLY do not trust Mitt.

    July 16, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Kent

    A full grown American Tax Weasel. We have 19 years olds giving their lives and then we have multi-millionaires who cheat on their taxes. Two completely different kinds of Americans.

    July 16, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. geeky

    I say if the President had to produce his birth certificate, which no other President in history has had to do, Romney should produce his tax returns.

    July 16, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Willard is certainly not like dear old dad. Releasing one or two years of taxes makes it looks like you're hiding something according to George Romney. This is going to be black cloud over Willard's campaign until he releases more tax returns.

    July 16, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. TomNPitt

    This isn't a distraction from the real issues of the election. Romney wants to run on things not controlled by a President.
    What he's running away from ARE the issues of this election. Trillions of dollars sitting off shore hiding from taxation and not being invested in America has helped create the current economy – nobody has any money for investments or enhancements. Rich guys not paying what most Americans feel they should, hiding behind the Bush Tax cuts that were supposed to have been "temporarily" instituted to jump start the economy in 2001. Eleven years later we're getting nothing from that investment. Jobs moving overseas to save labor costs and avoid pensions. Companies being bought up, drained of assets and then liquidated. Others merged or downsized by money people for "efficiencies" or "productivity". Lots of jobs lost from the actions of a group of "people" whose business is what Romney's was. It's not illegal, but who, not in this business, would get any joy of taking this many American jobs. It's all about the money – and that's what Romney's trying to hide. How good did you feel when Richard Gere told the old man in "Pretty Woman" we're going to build boats? How much better would you have felt had he said, we're going to cut you up into a bunch of smaller pieces and sell you off for Millions In Profits!! That is the American dream to make all the money you can, isn't it??

    July 16, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. pookyg

    What a lame dude.

    July 16, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Buckeye

    Willard has not released two years worth. Only one so far. The other for the most current year, may or may not be released by election day. So he needs to stop saying two. Until we can all see the 2011 year, he's released just one. But why the secrecy about 1999 – 2002? What's in there that you don't want us to see. If he was willing to let McCain see all those years just to be Vice President, then we the people should be able to see all the years since he's interviewing with us to be The President. Plus, he was for transparency regarding taxes during other contests, but not now....he's hiding something from us.

    July 16, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. neal

    the air is starting to come out of the big wind-bag.

    July 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  18. Mike

    Good for him-
    I'll be firm with my vote for Obama.

    July 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  19. Lee

    If the President had ro release his birth certificate as proof that he was an americain and not a Kenyan (dispite being born and raised in Hawaii) then Mr. Romney can release his tax returns.

    July 16, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Reggie from LA

    "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."
    --– Now I'm not as smart as that Romney fella, but I kinda suspect that tax related issues are VERY CONSEQUENTIAL. Uhmm. I thought that we are kinda like, broke or somethin'. Ooops. Stupid me, the 1-2% have a whole lotta money. They are gonna share it with us right? Maybe pay some taxes or somethin'?

    July 16, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. ranjan

    move on with the real issues!

    July 16, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. agragr

    Romney has three accomplishments on his resume, Bain, the Olympics, and Romneycare. He's disavowed the last and now he doesn't want us to look too closely at the first. What's next, finding out how much taxpayer's money he spent rescuing the Olympics?

    July 16, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. New Moon Rising

    I'm sorry folks, but even though I gave John McCain 24 YEARS of Tax Returns to be Vice President, I only see fit to give YOU, the American People, 1 Year .. Because O have an AWFUL LOT TO HIDE .... Love, Mittens ~~~

    July 16, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Viltor

    Romney has made his wealth and related experience in the world of finance as his major reason for being president. He made this an issue, not he has to show his cards.

    By the way, John McCain released only 2 tax returns and lost, so did Kerry. A bad comparison to make Mr. Romney.

    July 16, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. New Moon Rising

    Heavens to Mittens !!!! .. What are you hiding in those Tax Returns ... ?????????????????????

    July 16, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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