(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.