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. Chuck

    Two years is enough.

    July 16, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. ed

    I am a voter and it is an issue to me. I am a Republican who voted for Bush which I regretted when he started the Iraq war. I will not make a second mistake, if there is a truth that he is hiding his money overseas then I will be a Republican voting for a Democrat.

    July 16, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Bill

    Not smart Mittens – it only fuels the fire that you have something to hide. Great news for team Obama.

    July 16, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Viltor

    I meant now he has to show his cards.

    July 16, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Matt

    What are you hiding??? Cayman Island corporations, Swiss bank accounts, etc???

    July 16, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. glorydays

    Something BIG dwells therein....

    July 16, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. BM

    Smells fishy to me.

    July 16, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Hey, Mittens, got any more of those 100K Bain jobs for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe'?

    Remember McCrypt saw 23 years of Mitten's tax returns during the vetting for VP, and decided to go all "mavricky" with the tag team of Geezer/Gidget in 2008!!!

    You betcha'!

    July 16, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. al

    I believe he should release more. The only reason I can think of that he would not is that he has something to hide. It's pretty bad when even his supporters are urging him to release them and he still refuses. Do we really want someone like this in the white house? Someone who can't be up front with the people? Maybe we should also demand to see his birth certificate since the Republicans have made such an issue over Obama's while we are at it.

    July 16, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. David

    Nancy Pelosi needs to release all her tax returns including her offshore accounts and blind trust(s) as well. Every member of Congress should do the same. They should all be held accountable.

    July 16, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. THX1953

    How about we demand that every sitting member of Congress publish ALL of their tax returns?

    July 16, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. DB in AR

    Got to give him credit. If he were a captain you could conclude he is going down with the ship. I can here the America the Beautiful (sung by Romney) playing in the background as the campaign slowing sinks in a sea of Bain SEC filings and prior years tax returns. He reminds me of the John Edwards 2008 fiasco. Imagine if he had gotten through the primaries?

    July 16, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. mike texoma

    This strategy of holding back the tax returns in the face of demands for disclosure from both conservatives and liberals does not serve the candidate well, and suggests that in his judgment he would likely suffer more from the disclosure than from withholding the information. Of couse, that peaks everyone's curiosity and keeps the pot boiling over Bain Capital, which now becmes an in-your-face issue.

    July 16, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. joe800

    watch how these repugnican snakes use language:
    "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,"
    -OK, how come no mention of Cindy McCain tax returns?...why only mention John Kerry wife?.....and this failure to disclose is exactly what this campagin is about: why the rest of us have to pay taxes and disclose whatever is asked of us but this rich sissy doesnt have to....

    July 16, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. joe800

    transparency??...like offshore account? or holding companies in notorious tax havens?...that's repugnican transparency for ya...

    July 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. John

    Where is Obama's history? He didn't build it....

    July 16, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Four and The Door

    "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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is exactly why Obama/ Biden 2012 is so obsessed with Mitt Romney's tax returns. It's not about transparency for the American people. It's about the Democrat's inability to find negative fluff to spend their campaign dollars on. They have tried to blow up the Bain employment dates and it turns out to be a non-issue. In the eyes of voters, this just makes the sitting president even a little less presidential than he already is.

    July 16, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Slamgrass

    John McCain and John Kerry never became president either. Mitt is that the company your putting yourself with?...Presidential wannabes that neverwillbees. What are you hiding????

    July 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Justin

    The 2009 Voluntary Offshore Account Disclosure Program would be a logical reason why he refuses to release data prior to 2010.

    July 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. maximusvad

    Coward. We don't need this guy to lead us.

    July 16, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. BJ

    I kinda dismissed all this Friday as liberal media trying to distort mistakes in SEC filings. Well reading Forbes's Energy section last night i noticed they posted 35 questions he should answer. With Forbes a republican slanted publication running it i'm beginning to wonder if there is more to all of this. That the damming evidence in Romney's tax returns is that he filed as CEO/President of Bain Capital in 2000-2002. If so it would not be lying to the SEC, it would be lying under oath to run for Governor of Massachusetts. With the RNC coming up in August, he needs to release and counter the Bain attacks before its too late for the RNC to switch candidates.

    July 16, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. laserman59

    What's going on Mitt? "We The People" want to see your tax returns. You are running for President aren't you?

    July 16, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. Harry From Pa

    Rmoney, you can't dodge this. Trying to change the subject wont matter, people want to see your taxes, what are you hiding?

    July 16, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. rosaadriana

    What does Romney know about problems facing most Americans?

    July 16, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. v_mag

    Does he really think he can NOT show his tax returns and have a Mormon's prayer of being elected? Every day he delays, he inspires more speculation about what horrors lurk in those returns.

    It doesn't matter to me what the tax returns have to say. I won't believe they are real anyway. Until I personally have his original, signed IRS returns for the past 50 years in my hot little hands, I won't be satisfied. You've heard of birthers? Call me a net-worther.

    July 16, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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