Does tax return issue still hurt Romney?
August 17th, 2012
05:33 PM ET
6 years ago

Does tax return issue still hurt Romney?

Washington (CNN) - A top Mitt Romney strategist insisted Friday the debate over whether the GOP contender should release more of his tax information has "stopped hurting." But a new report from a recent Wisconsin focus group comes to a different conclusion – suggesting his refusal to shed more light on his finances raises trust issues with pivotal voters.

"It's not new information," was the case made by the senior Romney strategist, who discussed the issue only on condition of anonymity. His take: that voters who are going to be moved by the tax debate have already moved to the Obama column.

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But veteran Democratic pollster Peter Hart's take on his latest Annenberg Center focus group suggest there are still potential downsides for Governor Romney.

Hart's discussion was with 12 suburban women in the Milwaukee area; eight of the 12 were undecided voters, the others split evenly between President Obama and Governor Romney.

Interestingly, Hart said the women had deep respect for the tough choices made by their Republican Gov. Scott Walker – even if they didn't necessarily agree with all of his solutions. Hart wrote most of the women felt Walker "is providing strong leadership and hard choices that these women feel President Obama is failing to make."

But he also said they were not big personal fans of Romney - "suffers from John Kerryitis: he is distant, rich, elite and somebody who makes people feel uncomfortable."

On the tax issue, Romney's refusal to release more information "creates a sense of suspicion and doubt," Hart wrote. "For most of these women the question is, 'what is he hiding, why is he not more forthcoming?"

Other responses: "I look at a president as a leader. This is not how I view a leader.' Others are unconcerned and say, "I don't care.' "

Hart's conclusion on the tax debate: "If voters knew or related to him, this might be less of an issue."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Romney says "trust me... come on... you can trust me... Our company is called Bain Capital and we're going to help you... I promise..."

    August 18, 2012 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  2. Marry

    @four and the door
    … This man had led an exemplary life of values, accomplishment and public service…
    How do you know??? Explain!
    He has certainly not convinced me of that! Why? I look at his past and present and because of what I see, I do not want him in our future!!!

    August 18, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  3. 21bejay

    They talk about God and Jesus, But at what they do to the people in there community. The country is trillions of dollars in debt and they are the people who benifited from getting the country in the wars. The money that they have should be given back to pay the national debt. The amount of miney a person has should be taxed.

    August 18, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  4. 21bejay

    they talk about God and about Jesus, but look at what have done to the people in the communities they live in. Thousends of men and women died in combat, while other thousends are confused at the subject of there wars. The national debt was result of there wars. they overcharged, remember the $600.00 toilet seat? The government is to protect the welth, not the people. The welth should pay for the expense of goverment. Romney should pay 13% of his welth for the priveledge of being a citizen of this country.

    August 18, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |

    Keep stalling Twit,right into the convention in Tampa.

    August 18, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  6. Jeff

    He will real ease his tax returns when Obama releases his college transcripts how about that

    August 18, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. Eddie The Barber

    We all know that he's hiding the truth about his finances. So let's start off a Romney presidency with his unwillingness to come clean – and then should we expect him to be honest with us after he's elected?

    August 18, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  8. Indy

    Retroactive Romney thinks he can get away with anything because he is above the standard rules and laws. He has something in his tax returns that he does not want the public to see. The job of being President requires full disclosure on every aspect of your finances and there are no exceptions, just look at Romneys fathers example.

    August 18, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Does tax return issue still hurt Romney?◄

    YES – Because the American people want to know!! It has NOTHING to do with POLITICS!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 18, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Marie MD

    Of course it hurts the flip flopper. Then he has the audacity to tell us that he looked at his taxes and he paid 13%. He didn't mention on what either.
    If you can see your taxes you can show US your taxes! His wife has come out again to tell "you people" that they are not going to release any more taxes.
    If you are NOT hiding anything then come clean. If not, maybe you can give Ron Paul a chance at the presidency and you can step out of the way and go back to your fourth or fifth house in La Jolla and start construction of your mansion with elevators for cars.

    August 18, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  11. enuff

    Next time I allply for a loan and the lender tells me I need to show tax returns, I will just say "I decided to look at my tax filings just the other day. YUP, i filed them, This is what it said. You're just gonna have to take my word for it." Do you think that will work? I think the bank would laugh me out of town and I would be denied. That's what should happen to Romney... he should be denied.

    August 18, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  12. Bren

    In newspapers across the country yesterday--it was reported that the unemployment rate went up in 44 states!!! And, of those 44 states--9 of them are battleground states!! The majority of voters are not concerned about what Romney did with his OWN money--they want to know what Obama did with THEIR money!!! Real hope and change is coming in less then (3) months-when Obama will be sent back to Chicago!!

    August 18, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Anonymous

    "This man had led an exemplary life of values, accomplishment and public service."

    This man lied to get on the Massachuetis ballot when running for Govenor due
    to a tax issue of residency. He refused to show his taxes then too.
    He knows he's lying and continues to keep lying.
    Strange value system you got going in your own little head.

    August 18, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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