Romney tax return: Why release now?
September 21st, 2012
03:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney tax return: Why release now?

(CNN) - At first glance, Mitt Romney's decision to release his tax return on a Friday afternoon seemed to be a way to bury a story that has dogged the Republican presidential candidate for much of this year.

But was this a case of the "Friday news dump" that's become commonplace in the nation's capital?

Maybe, but maybe not.

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While it's true, a story released on a Friday afternoon or early evening tends to get less attention thanks to the approaching weekend, in this case the attention may be welcomed.

It's already been a rough week for the Romney campaign, thanks to those "47%" secretly recorded videos of Romney at a fundraiser when he cast supporters of President Barack Obama as dependent on government. The release of those clips on Monday has dominated coverage of the race for White House the entire week.

The Romney campaign's release of the long awaited 2011 tax returns may be an attempt to change the conversation.

Romney pays extra taxes to keep his word, and break it too

The campaign calendar may also be forcing Romney's hand. Releasing the tax returns next week would take away from what the Romney campaign hopes is a ramping up on the campaign trail, centered around a three-day swing through the battleground state of Ohio. And the next week the debates begin. Releasing tax returns just prior to or during the three presidential and one vice presidential debate would only accentuate the tax return story.

The Romney campaign says there was no strategy involved in the release. Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the returns were released "because they were ready."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Ross

    What does Mitt do to earn over $1million a month?
    can I get that job?

    September 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. SwingstatePat

    The Romney campaign already had promised to release 2011; he just got them done, as I understand it. So this is NOT news as far as I am concerned.

    September 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. Bill

    Who is advising this clown? Now the tax returns will dominate the news cycle, further taking him off message and resulting in even further declines in the polls. No wonder Republicans are running away from him as fast as they can.

    September 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Yugnok

    Wow how pathetic can this media get? Seriously!? Romney promised to release his 2011 returns long ago. Then when he releases them it must be because "he is trying to cover something up". What is a good day to release them without being criticized?

    Hey CNN, in case you hadn't noticed the middle east is burning in protest of the USA. 17 dead in Pakistan. Not a single headline! But, Romney's returns deserve a leading headline and three critical articles.

    How do you corrupt hacks live with yourselves?

    September 21, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Bill

    The tax returns were ready by the extension deadline. That is a tough one to figure out.

    September 21, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine



    "I think the Donkeys will spin this in numerous roads to help Obama win re-election because at the end of the day most of the people identify with Obama that they too are lazy at work and if you can get away with not working then good for you and they praise that kind of behavior."

    Do you have any idea how magnanimous I am for telling you that what you just said is not helping your case or Mittens?

    Sweetie, bottom line is that you identify with Obama's lack of work and you admire it, why else would you want this guy running our country when our country is falling apart and is facing bankruptcy, thousands of people have no jobs, no hope of it getting better, the middle east is chaos ( today they burned Obama's coffin), our Ambassador is dead plus 3 others and the White House knew it was coming. I appreciate your constant insults, mocking and high horse you have put yourself on, and you think you are so smart but our country needs help, we are falling apart and Obama can't do the job. Sorry Snifit but it's hard for me to see this chaos and I feel nervous of our future.
    Why should burning Obama's coffin offend you? Figured you would be cheering. Honestly, your complete willingness to accept whatever is spun your way is symptomatic of the mindless state the GOP has descended to. You offer no solutions, only attacks on people based solely because of what you THINK they might be, not what they are. I fear for our nation as well, only because a significant protion of it rejects a sane course in favor of ideology. Its too bad that, as an immigrant, you don't really appreciate what you have here.

    September 21, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Username

    Too bad Republicans? more like too bad Americans if Obama wins... Sure you might be ok, but your kids will be paying off 20+ trillion in debt. Vote for Romney, the lesser of two evils. Or write in Ron Paul, the best man who was running. I understand you all being tricked the first time around, but what's the saying? "Fool me once? shame on you. fool me twice? shame on me!" Don't be fooled again.

    September 21, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. kathy/Minnesota

    I'm sure there was a self serving reason for it....only problem, those type of antics usually backfire on him too.

    September 21, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. George

    Remember the politician who would not release his tax returns and had nothing to hide? Me neither. I don't care what he paid in taxes the last two years he knew he would be running for president and under the spot light. What I want to see is tax returns for 4 and 5 years ago when he thought no one would be looking. That will prove how ethical he is.

    September 21, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. mathematica

    I will be very scared if Romney becomes the president because he is simply NOT ready for the job. He even looks like a wimp... lol

    September 21, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Dee

    Could CNN show any more of its liberal bias with this post? Like any taxpayer in the U.S., he has until 10/15 to file his 2011 tax return, and given that he simply can't fill out a 1040EZ like most of us, he filed an extension. If you go to$file/M_Romney_2011.pdf you will find his tax return for 2011; it looks like his preparer signed it on 9/17/12, just four days ago. So when, exactly, WAS he supposed to release them? Next week? He'd be accused of holding back. The day they were finished? Then he'd be trying to "change the conversation." It's ridiculous. He has done as he was obligated to do, now let it go.

    September 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  12. Ed1

    I guess because he said he would so shut up and start talking about the economy and unemployment what you stupid people should be concerned with. Obama has done nothing but spend money we don't have and forced Obamacare down our throats when his party had control of both houses.

    Congress did what they were elected to do in 2010 stop the out of control spending the Democrats were doing to this Country why can't you see this.

    Remeber Obama is not the first Black President he is the first half Black and half White President and not from Africa either.

    September 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Pat

    Still don't trust him. He and his staff told MA that he paid property taxes and MA and to just trust them. Come to find out he did not and only paid in Utah. Once a liar, crook, = always one. At this point don't believe a words out of his mouth or his running mate – lyin Ryan!

    September 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Mark

    His 2011 return is irrelevant because it was finalized after he decided to run for President. It's the returns from prior to his decision to run that show the true character of his tax paying record. Instead he says let them eat cake and throws 2011 returns out. He is hiding something that will absolutely torpedo his already sinking ship. If he wasn't this would not be an issue and everyone knows it.

    September 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Bad Dog

    How bad does Romney have to be doing to think that raising this issue again is an improvement? I like Peggy Noonan's characterization of the Romney campaign as a "rolling calamity". Nailed it. Romney's essential message is that he is running for KIng of the USA and shouldn't have to explain anything to "you people". This is a guy who tans up his face when he talks to a Latino audience. Maybe he should head over to the National Clown Convention, no need for make-up.

    September 21, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. ljmoon

    This return was one of the two that he said he would release (the other was last year's), I believe the American people deserve to see returns from the last 5-10 years, in other words, before he was running for president and not adjusted for his benefit...The fact that he is still reluctant to release them only suggests that he could be part of the 47% of non-tax paying "victims."

    September 21, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Ed1

    Hey Ross it's called investments and everyone can do the same thing if you are smart enough guess you didn't know that.

    September 21, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Polopoint

    Why now? Because he said he would. Have you not been paying attention this campaign? And you're supposed to be a political writer?!

    September 21, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Namekathleen morton

    Gloria why dont u keep your spin on romneys taxes to your self. Its clear hes paid his taxes, maybe u & harry reid should hang out & share your hateful opions to your selfs

    September 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. WDinDallas

    Why now?....because it makes Harry Reid and the Obama administration look like fools. Had to be after the DNC.

    September 21, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Lagos

    Why now? Because it benefited him the most politically now, closer to the election but before the presidential debate, and after his opponents made claims he knew he could refute later. Exactly why Obama waited so long to release his birth certificate, then the long-form.

    September 21, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. PAUL

    Like i have said in all my posts. Mitt Romney, won't become President of These United States!!

    September 21, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. us_1776

    That's a nice downpayment Mitt.

    Now where's the rest of your tax returns?


    September 21, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. BigTBone

    Capital gains is one of the biggest scams the wealthy have perpetrated on the average joe. Congress legalizes the tax code which is written by lobbyists for the benefit of the wealthy.

    When you have money- making more money by sitting- than you do with a human doing extraordinary things with huge effort, that money should be taxes at a much higher rate than 15%.

    Anyone who thinks that wealth isn't an advantage in this country is gravely mistaken. The biggest challenge to making money is HAVING money.

    September 21, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Namekathleen morton

    Left wing haters! Romney paid hid taxes & prooved it yet u cant handle the facts so here we go, lie after lie from the left

    September 21, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
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