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. Chris jolley

    Obamas and his people are hipocrits they do the say thing his on people in office have numwous accounts in other countries. If u look at history he doing the same thing russia and china has done with there country. Open yalls eyes before its to late

    July 20, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  2. tammyk tammy

    Good for Bill for telling Mitt how it is. Words of wisdom from one our greatest political leaders to a small minded, bullying, snobbish Vulture Capitalist and presidential wanna be. Hope Hilary will run again in 2016.

    July 20, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  3. Common Sense 2012

    And President Clinton has spoken with truth & much clarity! The end and good night Republicans...

    July 20, 2012 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  4. WeR4Freedom

    Clinton is a joke and should have been impeached for lying under oath!!! He is an adultrist liar and he thinks just because Romney was successful he should spell it out for all Americans to see. Get over yourself Clinton. Just remember America: MONICA...MONICA... MONICA... "I did not have ...... Relations with her."

    July 20, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  5. WeR4Freedom

    Clinton played by a different set of rules when he was president of the united states. It was called "sleep with your intern, cheat on your wife and hurt your family in the meanwhile an then lie under oath". A different set of rules for the highest and most respected office in the country. Go back home to your wife who forgave you and enjoy the last few months of a failed dem in office.

    July 20, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  6. lies from obama (and mabye his father)

    The left are like five year olds who just broke a vase as you walked into the room. "Oh, um, ah, hi! you don't see a broken economy here! There is a good explination for... Hey look! Mitt Romney didn't show more than two years of tax returns! Look! Look look look! He's naughty! He didn't file his tax returns! This is bad in some inexplicibale way! WAAAH! WA WA WA WAAAH..."

    July 20, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  7. Chris jolley

    Under bush for 8 years debt 4.7 trillon dollars. Under obama 3 1/2 years 9.4 trillon dollars. Let the govt take care of u will give u food, health care, jobs and anything else u need. China did that and there ruled by comminsum, russia did the same thing. If ure a drug user a lazy person who dosent work u should not get anything from anyone. Its time for americans to wake up and show everyone in washington that american citizens are the boss and not them and do what we tell them to do or we will fire there ass.

    July 20, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  8. Republicangrandma

    If you got nothing to hide? Why not releasing your tax return Romney?

    I bet he still claimed his passed away dog as one of his dependent! LOL

    July 20, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  9. John Tighe

    Do you think that Romney doesn't want to release his returns because if he did...his church might realize that he hasn't been giving them 10% after all????

    July 20, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  10. More Respect

    Mr. Romney if you want to run with the BIG boys, Stop Hiding Behind your Wife skirt.

    RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS. I think 10 Plus Years will Suffice. After all if you want the job as POTUS it's a reasonable request, Tansparency is not Too Much to ask for from YOU.

    If you want your Finances to remain private, Then STAY IN the PRIVATE SECTOR.

    July 20, 2012 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  11. WEC4104

    After Bill Clinton's disgraceful conduct in the oval office, and his blatent lies to the American people denying his actions, who is he to be judging what somebody else should or shouldn't do? Can't believe he is pointing to Romney and spouting advice about "mistakes that could hurt his image".

    July 20, 2012 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  12. eDollar

    Looks Like Queen Ann has spoken. No new Tax Returns!!! She can't wait 'til Mitt gets his 'mittens' on our U.S. Treasury dollars. 10% will go to the 'church of latt..blah..blah..blah' and the rest will go to Queen Ann. With the GOP anxious to loot that same Treasury all over again, it should be quite a 'blood bath' over who gets the lion share. King Mitt is already acting as though he doesn't need votes to seize control; We better OBEY Queen Ann, for she has 'Spoken'. I think Virginia's State Motto applies in this case. The GOP is getting beat at its own game. The Mormon religion has been 'at odds' with the U.S. Gov't since its creation; to the point of Mitt's granddad being driven from this country. They claim to have 'changed their stripes', but you know about 'tigers and their stripes'. To experience this vengeance yourself, just visit Utah and it will be readily apparent. Can't imagine U.S. voters, even the GOP, electing a person to President that has such an 'ax to grind' with the U.S. The GOP will lie and cheat and 'skim off the top', as will the Dems, but these 'People' have deadly, vengeful, malicious intent for the U.S.

    July 20, 2012 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  13. don

    Romney is not running for President. He is running for CEO. No one questions what the CEO does. He has no intention of being a public servant

    July 20, 2012 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    No one will with BRAIN will ever vote for GOP cult. Why not Mitt show 12 years of taxes and his hidden money in Cayman Island, Bermuda, Swiss????????

    July 20, 2012 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  15. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Release the tax returns.

    July 20, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  16. PMorgan

    Romney claimed owning a dancing dressage horse as a business investment and declared a passive loss of $77,731 on his 2010 tax returns for the care and feeding of his dressage horse Rafalca which is owned in an LLC. The loss allowed Romney to take a $49 tax deduction after netting against other passive losses.

    It is very sad that Romney who has been in the public eye for at least a decade and after choosing to make himself the subject of even more scrutiny as a presidential candidate could not resist taking such a minute deduction relative to his income and net worth even though he should be smart enough to know how bad it would look and the obvious political problems it would generate...even it was perfectly legal.

    The Romney dressage horse deduction shows that a very, very, very, rich man could not resist trying to get just a tiny, little bit more by taking a deduction that would let him keep a measly $49 instead of giving the $49 to the country he supposedly wants to unite, improve, and lead as its President.

    Clearly the issue is not whether the deduction was legal. The issues are that the deduction illustrates flaws in the tax code, Romney's lack of political awareness, his insensitivity to the common man, his obnoxious greed, his selfishness, and his indeed a lack of patriotism...yes lack of patriotism.

    The kind of patriotism asked of all Americans, Democrats and Republicans, by President Kennedy when he said "My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country."

    Mitt Romney is worth over $250 million but when faced with the choice to claim a dressage horse business loss or not to claim it Romney choose to claim the loss and take the deduction because he could not spare $49 bucks for America.

    July 20, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  17. ron

    If romney doesn't want the American people to know what's going on with his taxes, he needs to "suspend" his campaign for the presidency immediately. He's acting like a spoiled, little rich kid. You know...the one everyone hates to be around and can't wait for him to crawl back under his rock.

    July 20, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  18. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    So true. But what he do not know is that what is good for the goose is good for the sauce. Release the dam tax returns.

    July 20, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  19. wgf

    We all play by the same set of rules, it's just that the rules are set-up to favor the wealthy. Romney has not only taken advantage of that, he wants to perpetuate it.

    I particularly like the $77,000 dancing horse deduction - an amount that most people don't earn in a year. But if you're a "job creator" you get to take advantage of that. We need to keep the tax rates low for the wealthy or else the dancing horse jobs might go away. Or maybe the wealthy could just start stashing their money in foreign banks rather than investing it in new business. No, wait, that can't be right - because we are already have the Bush tax cuts stimulating all that job creation by giving more money to the wealthy.

    Bush-I have it right - voodoo ecomonics, and Romney's for it.

    July 20, 2012 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Out Of Touch with reality

    Hey Bill, go see Monica and lets see how much you paid her to go away.

    July 20, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. Marie MD

    The rich seemed to live by different standards because they have money to hide things that go bump in the night.
    In the bishop's case, bullying, animal abuse, fetish with state trooper uniforms, lying, cheating, flip flopping like a weather wave in the wind.

    July 20, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. curious

    Romney's refusal to release his tax returns probably has something to do with the Mormon Church. I believe Romney's love of America comes in third behind his love for the Mormon Church and his money.

    July 20, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  23. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    I guess that 37%of the republican party that would vote for a common crook like romney the clown are just brain dead and stupid and would vote for anybody the republican bafoons party put out there ,even the likes of BACHMANN the goof who's district contains the dummest voters in Americal.put your tax returns out there or go home and take queen Ann with you .

    July 20, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. v_mag

    Well, Bill, I hate to disagree, but it likely WOULD be worse for Rob-money to release his tax returns. There is absolutely no other explanation for why he hasn't done so. Rob-money's history is one of self-promotion and self-preservation. He absolutely knows he is limiting his chances of winning the presidency by not showing tax returns, and he is willing to do that to protect whatever financial horrors are hidden there.

    And as for that long form birth certificate, well, what can I say? Must be some explosive secret there, too!

    July 20, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Romney the clown and queen Ann should release their tax returns and she could be his vp pick ,there's plenty of rich people out there that pay no taxes and turn out to be crooks and go to jail,especially when they trash all their records and disk drives from mass ,and won't show their tax returns .I'm not voting for these fools !!!

    July 20, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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