McCain says 'nothing disqualifying' in Romney's tax records
July 17th, 2012
05:46 PM ET
2 years ago

McCain says 'nothing disqualifying' in Romney's tax records

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain, whose 2008 presidential campaign reviewed Mitt Romney's tax records as they considered him to be the vice presidential running mate, said Tuesday he can "personally vouch" that there was "nothing disqualifying" in the tax returns of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Asked by CNN if he could vouch for the fact that Romney had paid taxes and didn't hide his money from taxes offshore, as some Democrats have suggested, McCain reacted strongly but didn't directly answer the question.

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"I can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax return that would in anyway be disqualifying for him to be a candidate. Okay?" McCain said.

"We're getting into areas now that are improper for me to talk about," McCain added. "Because when people gave us all those records we agreed to confidentiality. The only reason I'm saying what I'm saying now is because of the scurrilous, scurrilous Chicago style sleaze intimations with no basis in fact that there might have been something wrong with his tax returns, which is disgraceful."

Asked again if he knew if Romney had in fact paid taxes over the years, McCain responded, "Oh please. I am not going to get into that kind of conversation. All I can tell you, and I will tell you again, there was nothing disqualifying in his tax returns. And that is a fact."

McCain didn't say how many years of tax records he reviewed.

McCain initially stopped to talk to reporters as he left the Senate floor because he wanted to clarify an earlier news report that suggested McCain picked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate because she was the better candidate than Romney.

"It wasn't a matter of who had better or worse qualities it was who we felt would help the campaign the most not that anyone who was under consideration didn't have outstanding qualities," he said.

McCain then criticized Politico for "twisting" his words.

"It's really getting a little disgraceful, twisting someone's words when clearly I said and meant she was the best fit for the campaign. Had nothing to do with the qualities of Mitt Romney or any of the other people we were considering," he said.


Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Nothing disqualifying: he broke no laws. That wouldn't suprise me at all. The question is whether the laws themselves are broken and whether Mittens took full advantage of that....such that he's unlikely to want to fix them.

    But that's ok...let's just take McPampers word for it. Now that he's promised everything is dandy AND used the code words "Chicago style," then we can all rest easy that everything really is just dandy.

    July 17, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Bill

    This is like a Keystone Kop comedy. Now McCain is commenting on what is in Mittens' tax returns. Too rich.

    July 17, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Thomas

    So McLame says everything is A-Ok then it must be...right? LOL!!!

    July 17, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Logic N LA

    Well if McCain says so- it must be true! Look at the brain trust he picked!
    There is a difference between illegal and unethical. Romney siad he was not with Bain from 1999. We now know he was in fact CEO until 2002. We have also heard that they kept hoping for his return but he could not fit it in his schedule, so he did not "completely remove" himself. Further, under his name and stockholdings, companies were torn apart, sold off and jobs sent overseas. And the very questionalbe company that dealt with fetus disposal was also still in his portfolio. there are way too many quesiton for a simple- "he's OK in my book" form McCain.

    July 17, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    How would McCain know, coming from a man that picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. She ruined him and the Republican party.

    July 17, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. Melo-D

    McCain should just be quiet wihle he's ahead. So he wasn't looking for the best candidate when he picked Palin. Well buddy there was your first problem.

    July 17, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. sane

    McCain still says Palin was a good choice for VP. He has lost all credibility with regard to judging the qualifications of a running mate. I was at a point of considering voting for him but when he chose Palin, I lost confidence in him.

    July 17, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. John

    Now what do you think a Republican would say. Let three Democrats go over them and see If they said the same thing.

    July 17, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. charmed4sr

    My guess is he didn't tithe properly and he can't let his church see those forms.

    July 17, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Wake up people

    Oh McCain sit your old, sore loser, senile butt down. Like we're supposed to believe you?? This vulture wants to be POTUS, we need to see those taxes. Now.

    No one took President Obama's word that he was a U.S. citizen. He had to show his birth certificate, Mittens needs to run those taxes.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 17, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Romney,
    If you believe in America, release your tax returns like every other presidential candidate. Stop lying about Kerry. Kerry released 5 years of tax returns before 2004 and released earlier returns during his senate races.

    July 17, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    "I can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax return that would in anyway be disqualifying for him to be a candidate.

    Translation: what he did was legal, unAmerican and disgusting and I chose Sarah Palin instead.

    July 17, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Hank

    Oh yes, John! We will take YOUR WORD FOR IT that alexithymic Mitt has no reason to hide his tax forms.

    July 17, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Asked by CNN if he could vouch for the fact that Romney had paid taxes and didn't hide his money from taxes offshore

    McCain reacted strongly but didn't directly answer the question

    Thanks again senator for providing us with the truth.

    July 17, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Phil Thomas

    You got to love this guy take advantage of every chance to get on Camera, he is a war hero and I love him for it but he is one camera hungry guy

    July 17, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Tell Us How You Really Feel

    John McCain on Mitt Romney:

    "Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it." –to reporters in New Hampshire after being asked about Mitt Romney

    July 17, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. rs

    The GOP must be the only political party that wants voters to show ID to vote, but keeps their candidates tax records secret; they want opponents to produce endless and ridiculous records (or else they are "un-American"), but anyone asking anything of them is beneath contempt.

    July 17, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. Just the FACTS please......

    He'll show you 15 years of tax record if Obama can show an "undoctored" cert of live birth in the U.S!

    July 17, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Leftcoastrocky

    "nothing disqualifying" - what a meaningless statement, McCain. Either support it with details or be quiet. What I do remember you saying on 7/17/12 is that "We thought that Sara Palin was the better candidate than Romney" and this was after you had seen Romney's tax returns.

    July 17, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Saleem Kazmi

    I agree with MaCain. Thus, Romney should release the tax returns ASAP.

    July 17, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Milton K. Wiah

    Mccain, you should the one to tell him to show them since you are the only one that saw them.

    July 17, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. therealtrickjames

    We'd like to make that call for ourselves John, but thanks for your input.
    -The American voter.

    July 17, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. sick of republican phonies

    Just answer the question, McCain. Stop dancing.

    July 17, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Bob

    Sez the guy who thought Failin' Palin woud make a good VP!

    Shut up, John, you've lost your mind.

    July 17, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. W.G.

    2008 wasn´t the year in question it was 99´. There is proof he was still on the payroll at Bain .
    I want the F.B.I. and the I.R.S. to look in to romny´s tax records . If he has nothing to hide then
    why not show them ? McCain is double talking and covering up for Romney . He should be
    charged as aiding and abetting a criminal if it comes to light that Romney is guilty of a federal
    crime .

    July 17, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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