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. Abbie

    Where there's smoke, there's fire. Romney can run but he can't hide.

    July 16, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |

    Don't tell the American voter what your going to release ,we are telling you we want ten years of your returns or kiss the white house good by ,ill say good by in advance romney the clown ,the worst ever Gop cancer on America bafoon party pres.canadate!!!

    July 16, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Mitt Romney operates by a different set of rules from the rest of us. He doesn't follow the rules made by others, he sets the rules to be followed by others.

    I wish I could ask Romney if he was prepared to release tax returns in 2008. He wasn't prepared to do so this time, at least not until his fellows hammered him on his refusal to release anything. His claim that he has done everything required by law is disengenuous. There is nothing in the law that requires him to release tax returns.

    Releasing returns is a RULE that people have come to expect the candidates to follow. I wish Romney holds onto to his returns. No one has won the office in the past 40 years who did not.

    July 16, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. 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 no matter what is there. it is all just nonsense all because obama has nothing positive to run on after 4 years. it is pretty sad really. even sadder for the millions he has kept unemployed over these years. far sadder for those he will keep unemployed for 4 more years is he is re-elected.

    July 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. 1twinsfan

    It's reaching the point now that even if Romney does release additional returns, he's blown it with some voters. It looks deceptive.

    July 16, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. 2020

    woop, GOP spring rising.

    how to hide those offshore accounts?

    Romney, hire an army of tax accountant and lawyer to do amendments.

    IRS, take notice, standby to catch a thief. slap him with 100M tax penalty and lied.

    July 16, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Andy

    Somewhere Rick Santorum is laughing at Mitt. He may have outspent his way through but did he really think it through is the question. What are you hiding Mitt and did you really say you didnt have to show your returns because JOhn Kerrys wife didn't show hers? Republicans- This is what you are bringing to the highest office in the land.

    July 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Kate

    Come Clean or Get Out!

    July 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. sad4willis

    I'm still waiting for Romney to release his birth certificate.

    July 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |

    Romney should get on his clown bus and go home ,he is going to take the whole Gop bafoon party down the toilet with him in Nov ,have a nice boat ride !!!!

    July 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. n

    Yeah Romney . . . Show us the money trail!

    July 16, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    If people were okay with Ted Kennedy refusing to turn over his tax returns back in 1994 then it should be okay for Romney to not turn in more than he is supposed to turn in. People back in 1994 did not think that Ted Kennedy was hiding offshore bank accounts, investments in foreign companies, investments in companies that practiced outsourcing of jobs or that Kennedy was hiding the tax bracket he was paying. Kennedy proved there was no need and he did win the election. Based on Ted Kennedy's action I think Romney is just doing the same as Kennedy.

    July 16, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    Mitt likes to have it both ways; he plays hard ball politics but doesn't like it when the other side does the same. He's got the back bone of an under cooked souffle'.

    July 16, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Jules

    There has to be something in his financial records that will turn off swing voters and maybe even conservatives. Obviously, he is not worried about the people already voting for the president. Maybe he made millions and paid no taxes – maybe he got a refund from our government while his money is parked off shore. We already know he was getting paid by Bain for 3 years after he took a leave of absence which turned into a retroactive retirement. What could it be that could cost him votes within the base?

    July 16, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Ferret out the BS

    It's all about arrogance, he doesn't feel a responsibility to allow his financial records to be exposed. He expects to be king and when he's coronated he won't need to divulge anything to anybody. This guy is slimy and devious, putting him in a position of power is dangerous.

    July 16, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Ms K.

    Romeny hoped and counted on enough repubs, teabags and birthers people hatred of Prez Obama that they would overlook his own short falls.... not releasing at least 10 years of tax returns demostrates to many voters, he has something to hide from voters.....i do not understand people voting against thier own interests

    July 16, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Nikole's Mom

    He is hiding something that he does not want us to know about...I don't trust him.

    July 16, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Nikole's Mom

    I dont trust him.

    July 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    If the bully bishop wasn't hiding something he would release his tax records for the last 12 years. Isn't that what he gave mcnasty in 2008?
    We know his school grades are, at best, C because he is not that smart. He just had a rich daddy.
    WE WANT TO SEE THOSE TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND WE WANT TO SEE THEM NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Show us the money Robmey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Even Faux News is gettiing tired of the Hidden Assets Tango.
    Dance or get off the dance floor!
    Show us the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Expat American

    Is this how a hypothetical President Romney will wage war with Iran – as is the GOP's plan for Day One?

    July 16, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Ms K.

    American people, if John McCain chose dimwit palin over mittens as his VP after releasing 23 years of his tax returns that should say it all. McCain saw something that was deceitful and immoral.

    July 16, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. DDanny1

    He should do a "W" and just say all his tax returns were destroyed in a flood, like Bush's Natiional Guard records (which also killed every single person who saw him at Dannaly National Guard base in 1972-73.) Mitt can just say there was a fire at his tax attorney's office, which got so hot it burned the records the IRS had at their offices.
    But hey, give him some credit. There's finally an issue he hasn't flip-flopped on.

    July 16, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Ms K.

    Kenndey was not running for POTUS

    July 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. ray

    this liar, this liar, this liar romney ,release your tax returns if you have nothing to hide. romney and his family lies trought their teeth

    July 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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