July 19th, 2012
08:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Clinton: Romney playing by a different set of rules?

(CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton reiterated Thursday his belief that Mitt Romney should release 12 years of tax returns as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee faces questions over his financial portfolio.

“Whatever it is, it couldn't be as bad as not doing it,” Clinton said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

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Clinton joins President Barack Obama’s campaign and other top Democrats in calling for Romney to make public more information about his personal wealth. Romney has already released his return for 2010 and an estimate for 2011, with a pledge to release the completed version for 2011 once it’s ready after the extension filing deadline in October.

The Republican, however, has maintained he will release nothing further, saying it would only give Democrats more material to “distort” and turn against him.

“I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about," Romney said Tuesday in an interview with National Review Online.

Some Republicans also have said Romney should release the information.

Meanwhile, Clinton argued Thursday that Romney’s ongoing resistance is a “mistake” and hurting his image.

“With everyone else being so much more forthcoming, it raises the question of whether he thinks it should be a different set of rules for him and everybody else,” Clinton said. “And that's a problem for him.”

A new USA Today/Gallup survey released Thursday showed a majority of Americans agree with Clinton, with 54% of those surveyed saying Romney should release tax returns from additional years, compared to 37% who said Romney should not release more returns.

Also in the interview Thursday, Clinton defended Obama against critics who say the president has engaged in class warfare by calling for tax increases on the very wealthy. The former president argued Obama “hasn’t done anything to hurt upper income people.”

“We don’t care about how many millionaires and billionaires there are, as long as a middle class person can support his or her family and believe that they’ll be rewarded for work and as long poor people who work have a chance to become middle-class people,” he said.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Clinton
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. 2hheels2

    It is time for willard to take responsibly for what ever action he used with his taxe. Let Americans the chance to choose if this is the kind of president they want. Can we relate to someone who with their taxes and business practices. Did or does he support our country. Most of us don't understand when we have to pay taxes. what did he do with his.

    July 19, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. CorruptUS

    “I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about,"

    numbers don't lie or distort the truth. they are what they are. maybe it is the unscrupulous nature of how you made your money that you are afraid to showcase???

    July 19, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Wake up people

    Well he and Queen Anne do think they are better than "you people."

    Show us your taxes Robmey and please don't forget your long form birth certificate.

    OBAMA 2012!

    July 19, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Myviewis

    I disagree. If our government doesn't care to look into Huma Abedin's family connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and make sure we have not suffered any kind of espionage, GSA employee abuses of taxdollars then why should we care so much to see Romney's tax returns.

    July 19, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. anagram_kid

    At this point even if Gov. Romney released his taxes they would be suspect as he has stalled for so long.

    July 19, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. zago

    1- Keep the returns, lose the election
    2- Release the returns, go to jail
    3- Withdraw before the convention, go down to history as a crook
    The governor appears to be between a rock and a hard place

    July 19, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. anagram_kid

    Of course he lives by different rules, which is one of the MANY reasons he would not make an even adequate president. Gov. Romney is used to being an unquestioned authority. Just watching him the debates was all the evidence I needed to see that he is someone who does not like to be questioned or proved wrong. Eight years of that show under President Bush was more than ecnough for this American.

    July 19, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Dan

    "Clinton: Romney playing by a different set of rules?"

    Let's hope so.

    July 19, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    The messiah's followers are sure they will find something in Romney's tax returns that will be a plus for the Obama campaign. Romney should agree to release his returns right after Obama releases all of his private papers that he spent lillions to seal and hide.

    July 19, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I think the “We don’t care about how many millionaires and billionaires there are, as long as a middle class person can support his or her family and believe that they’ll be rewarded for work and as long poor people who work have a chance to become middle-class people,” quote by Clinton is what Obama wants to have done. What does Romney want for the middle class? I haven't heard about that.

    July 19, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. SayWhat

    The only ones who yell "class warfare" are Republicans. They just want the working people of the country to feel sorry for the top 1%. I, for one, do not.

    July 19, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. Ed R

    As opposed to Obama's rules. We all know what those were. Lie about your past and hide every record. Get away with as much as you can, while you can. Change the rules when the established ones aren't working your way. Claim credit for anything good, no matter how implausible. Blame someone else for everything that goes wrong, even when it is clearly your fault. Refuse to enforce established law you don't like. Offer payoffs and bribes to assemble a coalition of takers and layabouts. Hog every photo op and press conference. Answer no questions. Send family on repeated vacations on the public's dime. Have I left out any rules?

    July 19, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. Grow up already...

    Maybe it could (be that bad...)

    July 19, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Ed1

    When all of the Senate and Congress releases their tax returns then Mitt should too but that isn't going to happen how about Reid and Nancy first.

    July 19, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. Thomas

    One thing I like about Bill Clinton and Obama. They had very bad Father roll modals growing up , yes they have issues like us all , yet the don't have Daddy issues based on false ego.

    I just find Romney trying so hard to prove something . He is a made man , yet he must prove to something higher of his achievements.

    Dose anybody else think he is on a mission of self serving ego ?

    July 19, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. People Speak

    Except that maybe disclosure IS worse for Romney. Maybe there is a lot more in there about his secret Swiss bank account. There is no investment you can get at a Swiss bank that you can't get through an American bank. Rich Americans only have a Swiss bank account for one reason, and if true, that would be very very bad for Mr. Romney.

    July 19, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  17. MaryM

    Mitt, does that stone that sits on the mountion think it is more important than the Millons and Millions of stones that form the base. Evidentially you do. Release your tax returns.

    July 19, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. 1twinsfan

    Hasn't Pres. Clinton heard? "We people" have gotten all we're going to get per Ann Romney. So nice of her to talk to us little people,.

    July 19, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. CBR

    The "rich" have always and will continue to play by different rules and they have made sure that the playing field is not level.

    July 19, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  20. donnie

    if mittens releases his returns we will see that he paid little or no taxes. He will not release them. How do you think he got rich? off the backs of the middle class that does pay taxes. THe man is a lier and the stupid repos love hm.

    July 19, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Romney for Prez

    Like Romney said...giving them more tax returns only takes the attention off the real issues to discuss...a great diversion. let's discuss Obama's failures to get jobs going. let's discuss Michelle Obama's exotic and taxpayer funded vacations. how about Obama's close ties with The Muslim Power Brokers...etc etc?

    July 19, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. chuck weidemann

    Sums it up pretty well....makes you wonder how anyone would disagree!!! Yet the anger and hate builds from the party of obstruction.....what are they so angry about anyway,they have plenty of money and no one is going to take it all away from them !!! Paranoia will destroy ya.

    July 19, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  23. still waiting on moderation

    Well said on both topics, mr. President.

    July 20, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. NameRobert Lesser

    Romney shows a complete misunderstanding of the average american. By not releasing his returns the reasonable inferance is that he is hiding something. Since he is willing to take heat and not release the returns the average american can only assume that it is real bad.
    But Romney dose not thInk like the average person. He itotally out of touch!

    July 20, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  25. Name Richard

    Word up Mr. Clinton

    July 20, 2012 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
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