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. California

    Hussein Obama administration, "too big to jail".

    July 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Severely Moderate

    Romney should not release his tax returns until Obama releases his grocery receipts.

    After all, Kerry's WIFE did not release her tax returns.

    Btw, Romney's campaign has "retired retroactively".

    July 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Out-sourcing Jobs-Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    Just what is mitt robme hiding?...release those tax returns and your offshore accounts, and include your birth certificate while u at it (the long form pretty please)!....get donald trump to investigate where you are hiding everything in your beach front home with the raccon on his head being the investigator!!!!


    July 16, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Willard and his republican buddies have done a good job promoting "reasonable doubt" the last three and a half years regarding the president's birth certificate, his college transcripts and a number of things, but now that those same "reasonable doubt" arguments are being used against him, he suddenly finds it "disgusting" and "I'm not required by law".... You reap what you sow Willard and your seeds of hate are coming back to roost.

    The republicans are growing increasingly scared of what Willard might have in those returns because they know they've invested a lot in his lies and false claims of being a businessman who loves America. I just love watching them squirm not knowing day-to-day what will come out about this guy next. Stay tuned America for more will surely come.

    July 16, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. John The Electrician

    Follow the Money

    July 16, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Independent For President Obama

    Romney is hiding something. We want the past 10-12 years released. We expect Romney to do what others have done that want to be President. This time the rules also apply to Romney. This is not Bain where Romney does what he wants to.

    July 16, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. CanadaONE

    Just TWO simple questions?

    The money that he does not have in the USA – does he pay taxes to these foreign countries ? and do these countries use this money top help their economy – IF the ANSWER is YES to any of these two questions Romoney is a avoiding taxes to hurt his OWN country and invesiting in other countries

    Romoney is TRADER and you would nominate him for pres? God Bless America they need a lot of help

    July 16, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. frag

    "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." Well, so much for being a family man.

    July 16, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. SN

    Just because they didn't ask McCain to release taxes of his wife's US $ 100 M it doesn't deter the democrats from asking him to release his. The strategy to win over MCCain is entirely different from wining against Romney or opposing him. If he wants to focus on the offense, he is then going to have to ward of the offense from the democrats and then get on his offense and not always staying at the defense line.

    As of now there have been so many allegations and questions unanswered:

    a- Dog over the car
    b – Taxes at 15 %
    c – Offshore investments
    d – Bain tenure
    e – Cars he owned with his wife
    f – Even if he did business he was given a house by his Dad to get started in life that most Americans don't get
    g – Out-of-touch
    h – "I don't care about the poor people"
    i – Self deportation of illegal immigrants
    j – Mass health care plan – why is it a penalty and not a tax?

    list goes on and on...

    July 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Lisa P

    I was just wondering if George Will was still alive; it's been so long since I've heard anything from him. I guess he's dead now, as far as the Republican party is concerned. He can go join the other RINOs out there stampeding around in the darkness.

    As for Mitt Romney, all I can say is that this is either the most stupid or the most brilliant strategy ever, depending on what it is he has to hide (if anything). He's certainly got everyone's attention now! Won't we liberals be embarrassed if it turns out he was busy investing his ill-gotten gains in community-level micro-finance enterprises, or ethical shoe manufacturers, or bio-diversity preservation projects, or organic granola factories! Talk about sustainable free-range egg on our faces! What's Mitt waiting for?

    July 16, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @tellin it like it is – 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.
    Yawn... .. why can't you Repugs come up with something original to debate. Maybe some FACTS ???
    Like the real cause of the millions unemployed is due to inaction on the 2010 PROMISED jobs bills that the Grand Obstructionist Party controlled House promised and has done NOTHING ABOUT. Like the 4+ MILLION jobs CREATED since Obama took office – when Dubya's administration was losing 700,000 jobs a month. Those are FACTS... trying spouting a few of them instead of the mindless regurgitated Faux Noise propaganda. Makes you look stoo_pid!

    July 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. mississippi

    You know its gotten bad Rush talk bad about mitten!!!!

    July 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. frag

    Oh that little piece of nagging doubt, that question in the back of your mind, "Why won't he release his taxes"? If he has nothing to hide, then why not. he has everything to gain, and nothing to lose. That's why Obama released his long form birth certificate; to end the discussion. Bain and taxes, taxes and Bain, what does he have to lose, what does he have to gain? If you really want to know, ask John McCain!

    July 16, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. CanadaONE

    Romoney is a
    PAIN – to Plame – Insaine – you need to Detain him for tax avation and Blame him for your recession ( outsourcesing) – most of all he is a Shame

    all because of BAIN

    July 16, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. California Gary

    One of the scariest movies I ever saw was one where you never actually saw what was behind the door, banging and buckling the door trying to get in. It left it to your imagination what was back there, and that was more scary than anything they could have created. Same thing here......if Romney leaves it to everyone's imagination what is in his taxes, we will imagine things much worse than what is probably actually in them. If he was smart, he'd just lay them on the table and let the air out of this balloon before it pops in his own face.

    July 16, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. v_mag

    It's unbelievable the damage Rob-money is doing to himself with this tax deal. He hasn't gotten by the convention yet. Could they throw a wrench into his works and nominate somebody else? The Repugs have too much riding on this election to let a suspected fraud, outsourcer and tax cheat be their candidate. If he has bad mojo in his tax returns, which it appears he does, he may not be on the ballot in November. That might be all the Ron Paul folks need to split off and run him in the general election while some Sanctimonious or Newter gets the Repugnant nod.

    Something else I'm wondering about is whether the Repugs have it in them to sit on their hands for another 4 years, if the President is re-elected. Would they have the nerve to jam up the country until 2016, like they have since 2008? If they did, would their party splinter and go to pieces?

    July 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Cynthia L.


    July 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. CBR

    The refusal by Mr. Romney to release records only adds to speculation about his finances. If he could release them to the McCain vetting committee he should be able to release them to the American people.

    July 16, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. beevee

    May be he needs a lot more time to cook up the numbers and look like a honest tax payer he is not. tha tis why he is so vehemntly reluctant to release the original figures. Shoul'nt the IRS have a copies of his filings?

    July 16, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Myviewis

    Ms K.

    Kenndey was not running for POTUS

    Here we go again with excuses.

    July 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    @California – Hussein Obama administration, "too big to jail".
    Yet another Repug school-yard jab. In reality, its a real shame that folks like Dubya, Dick and the rest of that group can't be arrested and charge with treason for running our country into the ground: – $1.47T deficits, $850B TARP bailout, outing an active CIA operative for political reasons, TWO unfunded wars (that Obama administration had to pay for) started under illegal premises, no-bid contracts awarded to cronies, and so on. The list is endless.
    And you REALLY want to go back to that ???

    July 16, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. beevee

    May be he needs a lot more time to cook up the numbers and look like a honest tax payer he is not. That is why he is so vehemntly reluctant to release the original figures. Should'nt the IRS have copies of his filings?

    July 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    uh oh if there are cries on the far right about this there must be something to it other than Obama "picking on him" Maybe at the GOP convention they'll shock people and NOT pick Romney and pick the people's choice Ron Paul after all. Now wouldn't THAT be a hoot?

    July 16, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Larry L


    Hussein Obama administration, "too big to jail".
    I see you continue to use "Hussein" as a method to advertise your xenophibia. Don't you wish they'd allow you to use that word you all use at the Klan meetings?

    July 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. Va native

    He's he's geez I'm at a lost for word's

    July 16, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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