Growing conservative voice: Romney should release taxes
July 16th, 2012
04:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Growing conservative voice: Romney should release taxes

(CNN) – While Democratic opponents have been pounding Mitt Romney to provide a greater window into his personal finances, a smattering of conservative Republicans have recently joined the chorus calling for the presumptive GOP nominee to release more years of his tax returns.

Former speechwriter to President George W. Bush Matthew Dowd and conservative columnist George Will have joined the new-found conservative refrain.

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On ABC’s This Week Will said that the campaign “must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

Dowd, who is also a commentator on ABC’s This Week, agreed.

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” Dowd said Sunday.

“I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that [John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest,” said Will.

Appearing on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” last week, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said he’d go further than the financial disclosures required by law – and further than Romney has gone in releasing his taxes.

So far, Romney has released tax returns from 2010 and promises to provide the following year once prepared. Romney did release an estimate of his 2011 tax returns in April after filing for an extension with the IRS.

Democrats, led by Obama’s campaign, have pushed for Romney to release more years of returns. On Sunday, Bill Kristol had a similar message, saying Romney is “crazy” not to release more tax returns as soon as possible.

"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "Fox News Sunday." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."

Romney, appearing on Fox News, said the Obama campaign wants to “make a mountain” out of the issue and distract from the economic failures of his administration, pointing to prior candidates, like Sen. John McCain, who released only two years of returns in 2008.

Former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Alabama governor Robert Bentley have agreed with the small, but growing gaggle of Republicans urging Romney to action in releasing his taxes.

“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong,” Bentley said of Romney’s taxes at the National Governor’s Association last week. Bentley later clarified his remarks, saying he was not insinuating that Romney was hiding anything.

The tax debate became a thorn in Romney’s side in January during the Republican primary when fellow presidential contenders called on the former businessman to release more returns as April’s tax filing deadline was fast-approaching.

Former contender Rick Santorum released four years of tax returns as he, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Romney were in a heated primary battle earlier this year. Both have since endorsed Romney and not commented on state of his taxes.

The news media, hungry for transparency, has relentlessly hounded Romney to release his tax returns since the issue arose during the primary.

Romney’s father, George Romney, set the precedent for presidential candidates, releasing 12 years of tax returns during his unsuccessful run for the White House in 1968.

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. 4merRepubCT

    Just a question of time now. Only a few weeks left before the convention in August, better get those tax returns out soon, or they will become quite the 'distraction'.

    July 16, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  2. Max

    Hiding Something?????

    There's something absolutely fishy here, just like the Bain Capital issue. Romney is digging himself deeper and deeper in a ditch. Even if something's not right...the earlier he releases it, the better...It would probably be just a part of the 24 hour news cycle...then go away (doubtful). Whatever the drawback he should release more years than two years.

    Sorry Romney! You're the one causing the issue to be bubbling, and you bet st some point you'll release it and by then it might be too late...the bubble would have already burst.

    Here is where Romney is definitely losing his grips on the presidency...Obama now has the handle, the momentum and seemingly is in the driver's seat.

    Stop hiding whatever you're hiding, and let loose on releasing a decade of tax return Romney. If you don't you might as well throw the towel in.

    July 16, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Larry L

    @tellin it like it is

    romney will be releasing two years of tax retruns. that is fine. all the democrats want to do is use this stuff to attack romney
    You are correct. Democrats want to show Romney's true colors as a vulture capitalist and expose his slimy methods of hiding his money offshore. Romney knows he has something to hide. Did you just figure this out?

    July 16, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. 2012liberal

    Mccain saw them and picked palin. What does that tell u!?

    July 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. New Moon Rising

    I hope that Mitt continues to be the COWARD his father hoped his offspring wouldn't devolve into ... that way, the AMERICAN Public, whose trust is spposed to be honored, can continue to have doubts for months and months about just what Romney is Hiding ... But the real question to be asked is ... JUST WHAT IS MITTENS HIDING ???? like the duplicitous slimey snake ...

    July 16, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Willard is just like the guy you went to high school with who bragged in the halls everyday about being with the prettiest girl, but could never prove it. Does Bain and 100,000 jobs come to mind?

    July 16, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Quoting Romney

    According to Romney himself:

    "The Obama campaign people keep on wanting more and more and more, more things for their opposition research to pick through and make a mountain out of."

    Sounds to me like there's the real reason why he won't release his tax returns, right from the man himself. He thinks releasing them would be a political gift for the Obama campaign. He must know what's in there that would be such a gift that they could use against him.

    Thanks for your explanation, Mitt, now we really, really must insist on seeing those tax returns.

    July 16, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. New Moon Rising

    Dear "Poor Libtards" /// you really think Mittens is going to release EVERYTHING ??? LMAO ... he's a coward that has a LOT to Hide !!! and you are sitting naked at your computer.. pretending to be relevant in you comments.. but the heatis getting to you and you should really take a nice slow long walk into some heavy traffic...

    July 16, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    Sometimes people on my side make the mistake of confusing conservative with dumb. Just because you don't agree with them does not make them stupid and we should remember that here. They want Romney to release them now so they can either say 1. We told you so clean as a whistle or 2. His ideas are great but he is a liar who else can we get?

    July 16, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Steve- Illinois

    Romney's father lost!

    July 16, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. curious

    John McCain has seen how Romney's tax returns look though 2007. Somebody call up McCain and ask him.

    July 16, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    @ @Myviewis

    Since you've posted the same comment over and over today, may I suggest you remember that the late Ted Kennedy NEVER became president. History will repeat itself regarding Willard on this subject also.

    July 16, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Independent Voter

    The funny thing about Romney campaign is..they called Obama campaign is dishonest and liar campaign..if I remember long time ago...his support named Dump Trump called Obama to release his birth certi. then Obama did...You can see the different...between Obama and Romney...I can say that all Romney campaign trying to paint Obama is dishonest or liar is the failure statement ..No one want to hear that.....because it is just what the Romney doing now. they lie to Americans......Americans (Republicans + Democrats + Independents – some of Romney's team) distrust Romney now......"Go to Vote for Obama"

    July 16, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. CanadaONE

    The Tax bebate – will get LARGER

    When he picks his VP and the VP only releases only two years – Romney will get blamed for choosing another secret investor – however if the VP releases everything Romney will be further prest on why he does not do the same – either way this TAX issue will escalate

    July 16, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Bill in Florida

    The weakest presidential candidate in decades continues his fall to defeat...

    July 16, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Milton K. Wiah

    My advice to Romney, just release those tax information to save that October surprise. The only way you will be able to
    run effective campaign is to release those now not tomorrow.

    July 16, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. New Moon Rising

    yes, they want to be able to say ... "he is a liar, ... who else can we get .. in a real HURRY !!!!!! The real problem that no one want to talk about is that the republican party is TOOOO divided to come up with a concensus choice.... so they pick someone like "Mittens the Shape-Shifter" .. who decided that he can acutally represent both factions of the republicans party ... the extremists who control the presidency ... the massive center .. who has been censored and neutered into quiet submission... I thank GOD every day that I never fell intot he trap of becoming a republican .. because then I would have to sit here defending the indefensible and pretty much ignoring the increasig amount of Slime and CHRISTIAN HATE that courses thru the veins of Most Elected republicans...

    July 16, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Jon Anderson

    If he has nothing to hide why not post them?

    July 16, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Dixie Normous

    So many comments from the paid obama shills. Fortunately they can be ignored as irrelevant.

    July 16, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. New Moon Rising

    HEAVENS TO MITTENS !!! Whats Hiding in those Tax Returns Shape-Shifter ?????????????????????

    July 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Woman In California

    @ Poor Libt@rds

    Libs don't see it, Romney is luring BO and all his cronies into a trap. He's going to release everything and then there won't be anything in there and say "See that's what BO did in 3.5 years, instead of focusing on fixing the economy he went on wild goose chases"

    An honest man would do this, but Willard is neither a man or honest so this will never happen.

    July 16, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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