Romney: Dems would 'distort' tax returns
July 17th, 2012
01:56 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney: Dems would 'distort' tax returns

(CNN) – Mitt Romney continued to stress Tuesday that he has no interest in releasing more tax returns, saying it would provide "hundreds of pages" for opponents to "distort" and turn into attacks against his candidacy.

"In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy," Romney said in an interview with conservative news outlet National Review Online.

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He continued: "And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about."

Romney has already released his 2010 tax returns and an estimate for 2011, with a pledge to release his full returns for last year once they're ready. He filed an extension with the Internal Revenue Service, meaning he may not put out his returns until the October filing deadline.

President Barack Obama's re-election team and top Democrats have been pounding Romney over his tax documents, calling on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to make public more returns in order to answer questions about offshore accounts and overseas investments.

Defending Romney on a conference call earlier Tuesday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said each year of Romney's tax returns is about six inches thick. He added if Romney released a dozen years of documents, as some Democrats have would like, then "that'd be about six feet of returns in which they could find whatever...they want to use as a distraction."

Asked why he has not disposed of his offshore accounts, Romney reiterated Tuesday his portfolio is managed in a blind trust that makes it impossible for him to know where his money is invested.

But the former Massachusetts governor did not hesitate to defend offshore investments, specifically naming accounts in the Cayman Islands, one of the countries in which Romney is reported to hold money.

The Republican candidate said the account is established by a U.S. firm to allow "foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction."

He added: "So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts."

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Bruce Eder

    He might be hiding nothing more than the fact that he took advantage of the law - as he is allowed to - and paid no taxes whatsoever for certain years. But these excuses and obfuscations are starting to sound ridiculous . . . and beyond how badly he's dealing with the issue, if we take him at his word that he's afraid of what the Obama re-election team or the Washington press corps might "distort" about his record, how is he ever going to lead from strength in dealing with Congress, or the country, or leaders of other countries. He should go back to his country club cronies - and this comes from someone who was completely NEUTRAL in this race until last weekend, when Romney started stumbling.

    July 17, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. The Voice of Reason

    The Obamas have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a mutual fund that has large holdings in corporations that outsource jobs.

    July 17, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Rationalintn

    "...saying it would provide "hundreds of pages" for opponents to "distort" and turn into attacks against his candidacy." In other words, I HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE!!!

    July 17, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney just threw Republicans under the bus by saying Democrats would distort the truth and Republicans wouldn't care about the truth. This guy is taking them down the mud hole with him and they're letting him.

    July 17, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There is always the possibility, however remote, that there is NOTHING to be found in his previous tax records.
    It could well be that Mittens is building up the momentum, with us and the rest of the civilized world calling him all kinds of names, and accusing him of whatnot, only to release them and......nothing! Just another uber-millionaire raking in the dough.
    Or.....he's stalling for time while some fancy "photoshopping" and asset re-distribution is taking place in the old homestead.
    The truth is I couldn't care less.
    Not voting for this idiot.

    July 17, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "The Obamas have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a mutual fund that has large holdings in corporations that outsource jobs."

    Wow. You should maybe make that even less specific so nobody can even tell what you're talking about. That way, you can't be accused ot lying.

    July 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Bill from GA

    " Sen. John McCain released only two years of tax returns "

    Sen. McCain was in the Senate for a hundred years or so and Americans knew mostly what he was up to those years..

    July 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. ABCD

    Romney doesn't sound as a bold person and presidential material. He is now afraid of Dems, how will he deal with people like, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Putin. By the way, he mentioned earlier that he could also had ordered to get rid of bin Laden!! This man?? Really??? I doubt.

    July 17, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. JohnM

    I thing Rahm is right. McCain looked at 23 years of Romney's tax returns and then chose Sarah Palin! Releasing his tax returns to McCain probably cost him the '08 VP nomination; not releasing them in '12 will cost him the Presidency. The man is in a no win situation. The best thing for the Dems as he is now turning the REPs into the party of whiners and crybabies.

    July 17, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. CanadaONE

    Oh OH

    "hundreds of pages" for opponents to "distort" and turn into attacks against his candidacy

    NOW we really need to look at his tax returns – he should have said his opponents would not find annything

    CNN you need to get on this right away the mitt has some deep dark closets

    July 17, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. SamR

    Its good to see the Democrats playing hard ball, finally. Let him squirm. I'm sure the "not fair!" argument is coming very soon. Only problem is you have Carl Rove on your team, so that argument is invalid automatically.

    July 17, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    He's not worried about the Democrats. He's worried about the GOP convention and the possibility that there is something in those returns that could upset some of the GOP factions and potentially replace him as the nominee through fiat at the convention. I'm sure he knows that no matter how sleazy and unethical and opportunistic and greedy he is shown up to be by those returns, if he has cleared the convention hurdle, all his racist, religious idiot and robber baron party faithful will rally around him against the Black Guy, no matter what. But they'd be equally happy to rally around literally any other GOP nominee, so he can't afford to have these records released until after that's sewn up. Of course what he risks is having the firestorm hit him even closer to Novemeber. Does he really think that all that information hasn't already been found out? If he doesn't release it early, the Dems will do so, for preference sometime in mid-October when he can least afford such a distraction. Oh, he's in a bind, is our Mittens..... LOL!

    July 17, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    " I still think obama should just run on his record. Oh, wait. "

    If you REALLY look at his record, while his policies were in place (first year and a half, before repugs got 41 votes in Senate), the record is AWESOME.

    July 17, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. MIttens Rmoney

    Those bad, nasty, widdle Democrats will pick on me. Waaaaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaaaaaa.
    How dare they question me? I'm Bishop Rmoney, King of Kolob. All hail me, I'm rich.

    July 17, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    citizenvetus wrote:

    Sen. John McCain released only two years of tax returns when he ran against Obama four years ago – and "somehow this wasn't an issue."
    -----------–
    Stop listening to right wing media. This is a textbook example of how they lead you by the nose and teach what to think.

    True, McCain released two years of records during the campaign. What they are not telling you is that McCain's previous some 25 or so years had already been released during his time of service to the US Congress.

    See? They lie to you by telling you half-truths and cherry picking the facts.

    July 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Paul

    "The Obamas have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a mutual fund that has large holdings in corporations that outsource jobs."

    Right... and Obama once bought a Slurpee from a guy in a 7-11 who once worked at Kinkos, where he shared a locker with a guy who had an uncle who burned a flag once. That means Obama hates America.

    July 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Siara

    Obviously, releasing them will be worse for his campaign than not releasing them. We can all see that NOT releasing them is pretty awful. Kind of makes you wonder just how bad the situation is, doesn't it?

    July 17, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Media BIAS

    Romney is correct. There is zero benefit in releasing more than two years.

    Only people interested in damaging ROmney's chances (ie, Democrats and the media) are interested in Romney's returns.

    Releasing more returns won't create one single job.

    July 17, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. JohnM

    "The Republican candidate said the account is established by a U.S. firm to allow "foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction."

    AAAhhhh! Now I get it. The off shore accounts are where foreigners cangive him money to "invest" for them, not a place where he could put his own money to shield it from US taxes. I wonder what all of these foreigners are buying by putting their money in Romnney's off shore accounts?

    July 17, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Dean

    Very true. The issue is not Romney's tax returns, but how bad Obama sucks as president.

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. NameMick

    Sounds like Romneys not releasing them because he's scared. A Oresident needs yo be string. Not weak and scared of controversy over tax returns and distortion a.

    What a weak, scared baby hiding behind his campaign. A real leader would just release them all and stand up to the choices he's made. The good and the bad. Sounds like he can't take the heat that might come from being Prez.

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Jesus Christ Superstar

    The Voice of Reason
    The Obamas have hundreds of thousands of dollars in a mutual fund that has large holdings in corporations that outsource jobs.

    The Voice of Reason. Brought to you by, a load of SHlT!

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. America is Asking

    Would you please stop using the lame excuse that the Obama campaign wants to see the tax returns? Let me spell it out for you.

    Dear Mitt Romney: Your father had no problem whatsoever releasing 12 years of his tax returns to the American people so that they could look and see what kind of person they were voting for. Be a man like your father, step up to the plate, and release your tax returns so the American people can decide.

    Forget about the Obama campaign. You want America's votes, and America wants to see your credentials first. It's just that simple. You may have put your financial matters in a blind trust, but the American people are not so blind and are not so trusting.

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Yacob

    ghostriter

    Romney: The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, which is to say, you can always tell a blind trust what it can and can not do. You give a blind trust rules.
    ________________________________________________
    Jon

    Ghostriter ... and you know this because you have blind trusts ... or you have read a liberal blog ... and cust and pasted the comments?
    ________________________________________________

    Actually Jon, Mitt Romney said those exact words in an interview a few years back. The video is available everywhere online. Can we say flip flop??

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  25. Ray E. (Georgia)

    The Movers and Shakers have told enough "Lies" over the last 75 years and we have a 16 Trillion Dolllar Federal to show for it. There is High unemployment to show for it, there is 48 Million on Food Stamps. The Liberal's and Democrats never mention those dirty little facts. They just continue to try to sell you more Snake Oil. There is an Election coming in November. You can decide what kind of country you want. Obama want's more of your money. What do you want??

    July 17, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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