Barbour: If in Romney’s position, I would release tax docs
July 9th, 2012
09:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Barbour: If in Romney’s position, I would release tax docs

(CNN) - Were he in presidential candidate Mitt Romney's shoes, former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour said he would release more than two years’ tax documents, something Democrats have repeatedly called on Romney to do.

"I would," Barbour said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly."

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Democrats have criticized Romney for not releasing more than one year’s returns and an estimate of his liability for tax year 2011, which he released in late January.

Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates to ever seek the presidency, has drawn particular scrutiny, interest and criticism over his finances. And the pressure is yet greater because his father released a dozen years’ returns when seeking the presidency in the 1960s.

Federal campaign law does not require candidates to release tax returns, but it does require candidates to file annual financial disclosure paperwork.

Obama's campaign recently seized on a report in the magazine "Vanity Fair," which called Romney a "remarkable financial acrobat," with accounts and investments in several places considered tax havens for Americans - Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

Barbour, who served as chairman of the RNC in the 1990s and was most recently governor of Mississippi, appeared in the CNN interview alongside former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

McAuliffe argued in favor of the tax proposal that President Barack Obama advocated on Monday: extending Bush-era tax cuts for families making up to $250,000 and individuals earning up to $200,000, while letting the tax cuts for earners above that benchmark expire at the end of this year.

Republicans have advocated extending the tax cuts for all, but Democrats say that is too expensive.

"While I disagree on extending tax cuts for the wealthy, because we just can't afford them, I recognize that not everybody agrees with me on this," Obama said Monday. "On the other hand, we all say we agree that we should extend the tax cuts for 98% of the American people. Everybody says that."

"Let's agree to do what we agree on, right?" he continued.

McAuliffe said the president's position is one of compromise.

"The point is, let’s get those who are making $250,000 or less - which are 98% of the population - let's go ahead. Republicans, Democrats agree that they ought to keep the tax cuts," he said. "Let's just do that; get it off the table. The issue of the top 2% is much more contentious. It's probably not going to be done before the election. It's going to be a big fight, but let's take care of the 98%."

Barbour said that sort of compromise "didn't seem logical to President Obama during the Obamacare debate."

"It's always easy to say, 'Let's do what we agree on.' He didn't do what they agreed on" in the health care debate, Barbour said.

Filed under: 2012 • Haley Barbour • Terry McAuliffe
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. 333maxwell

    While I am sure most Americans agree with Haley Barbour's premise, I doubt most Americans believe Mr Barbour when he says he himself would be more 'forthcoming'.

    July 9, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  2. drake mallard

    It is quite possible to violate US tax laws with off shore accounts. Not properly reporting international trust gains and taxes land quite a few "smart" people in trouble. Could this be a reason why Romney won't release his tax records? My bet is ye

    July 9, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    Put some gross in that animals mouth. GOP is a cult. Bain capital evaded taxes, stashed money in cayman island, Swiss etc,.

    July 9, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |

    Wow. Texas has Gov. Oops and Mississippi has Gov. Diddly.

    July 9, 2012 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    if you were a millionaire with possible things to hide I think you Mr. Haley would not release yours forms either. Just saying......

    July 9, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. chuck weidemann

    So our country won't operate until either democrats or republicans control the white house and both houses? WOW!!!! That's UN American.....

    July 9, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I would have suggested a slow roll back to normal tax rates. That would start with rates for those earning over a 1 million and work it down to those earning 250k. The point is that the Bush tax cuts were never paid for and need to be removed to start to get things paid down. The fact that the GOP can't point to many (if any) examples of these taxes keeping employers from hiring people isn't surprising. There are far too many unpaid projects that Congress passed.

    July 9, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  8. rsp

    Fact Check: Barbour seems to be having a senior moment ... ObamCare is a primary example of compromise - Obama and Congress accepted the GOP proposals, thereby weakening the final legislation, but the GOP then refused to support the revisions they insisted on!

    As for Romney, all I can say to the GOP is "Really - is he the best you got?" This guy would have to do an "Eni, meni, myni, moe ..." to decide whether to push the "launch" or "don't launch" button - then the next day he would say "Sorry, I really meant to push the other one."

    July 9, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Steve

    We has WAY to much to hide! Wake up people, M.R. is not a good or honest person!

    July 9, 2012 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  10. Larry

    The real issue is the tax break for 98% of Americans. Will Republicans hold us hostage until the richest 2% get the same breaks that didn't produce any jobs? Job "creators"? Really? Where are the jobs? You're richer than ever but where are the jobs?

    July 9, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  11. Larry

    How did this pork belly get control of the Republican National Committee? His state is a model of failure and his comments are so localized he looks like a character from the Dukes of Hazzard.

    July 9, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  12. aaahhhchooo

    excuse me

    July 9, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  13. Boris B

    I really fail to see how any Democrat , leftist , lib whatever you want to call them can with a straight face ask the Romney campaign for anything..

    Their own liar in chief has spent millions PREVENTING the release of most of his personal records..

    July 10, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  14. Thomas

    Thats the difference between Barbour and Romney. With Romney's money one is above the law !

    And Romney's is Mormon , they don't volinter for military device and the don't volunteer there tax returns.

    July 10, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Mittens knows that if the average American saw what a conniving tax cheat he was, he'd lose in a landslide.

    BTW, please answer me how Mittens' dad could run for POTUS when he was born in Mexico?

    July 10, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Keep the pressure on Mittens to release his records! Ad after ad after ad should mention his refusal to release his taxes – and cite the "Vanity Fair" article until every voter in the nation knows about it!

    Hammer him!!!!

    July 10, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |

    The unhinged GOBP love debt and deficits for America. Mitt (I have nothing to offer)McCain is hiding his tax returns for a reason.

    July 10, 2012 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  18. Marie MD

    Finally, the fog has lifted. The bishop is going to have to do it before November.
    This is worse than the birther bs.
    This is a man who is running for president telling us that he relates to us. Oops, never mind, he likes to fire people and doesn't care about the poor and sends American jobs overseas.

    July 10, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |