Romney firm on tax returns
July 16th, 2012
08:09 AM ET
9 years ago

Romney firm on tax returns

(CNN) – Mitt Romney remained steadfast in his pledge to release only two years of his personal income tax returns Monday following a weekend of increased pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to disclose more of his financial information.

Romney, appearing on Fox News, said his rivals wanted to "make a mountain" out of an issue he regards as inconsequential compared to problems facing many Americans.

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"John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president and his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn't an issue," Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, said in the interview.

"The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more, more things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and distort and to be dishonest about," Romney continued, reissuing his pledge to release two years worth of returns.

Over the weekend, Democrats and some Republicans hit Romney for not releasing more tax information, saying having further documentation of Romney's financial holdings would shed light on any offshore investments. Romney released tax returns from 2010, and put out an estimate of his 2011 information in April. He filed an extension with the Internal Revenue Service to file after the April deadline, and has vowed to release the official documents when they're completed by his accountant.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod said on CNN's "State of the Union" such limited disclosure only raised more questions about Romney's financial situation.

"His father said if you release one year, it could be a fluke, it could be just for show," Axelrod said, referring to George Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 1968 election.

Axelrod continued, "I can only conclude, with all these Republicans asking him to release these returns, that whatever is in those returns would be more damaging to his campaign than simply not releasing them."

Some Republicans also began pushing Romney to release for tax information over the weekend, saying it would be politically savvy to release the information to avoid a drawn-out fight with Democrats.

"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," conservative columnist Bill 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."

On ABC, former George W. Bush aide Matthew Dowd made similar remarks, saying of Romney's tax returns, "There's obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, 'Have at it.'"

All of this, Romney said Monday, was a distraction from the real issues of the campaign. He said his own campaign was happy to compare itself with Obama's administration on transparency, citing president's use of executive privilege to withhold documents related to the botched Fast and Furious program.

"The administration has shown a serious departure from the transparency from which they suggested we had," Romney said. "And the American people should be calling for that kind transparency."

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. carly

    Just another nail in Romney's campaign coffin.

    July 16, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  2. Evangenital

    Drip, drip, drip. The talk will continue.

    July 16, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  3. carrotroot

    Romney would rather loss the election than reveal what is in his taxes.

    July 16, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  4. SuZieCoyote

    Real issues, Mittzy? Like how you'd "manage" this country if you were CEO? And where you would or not invest your money (i.e., here versus Caymens, etal.)

    July 16, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. Al-NY,NY

    Sorry to break this to you Flip, but the longer you put this off, the more people who think for themselves will be questioning your motives. What are you hiding?

    July 16, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. BHPT

    Well that does it. The guy is hiding something.
    Even a lot of thinking Republicans are beginning to think so.
    Tainted merchandise.

    July 16, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. jim atmad

    Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. You really have that much to hide from the American people?

    What, no taxes at all for a lot of those years? Evidence that you really were running Bain 1999-2003 on your tax forms?

    We'll make our assumptions, and likely not even guess at half of the incriminating information.

    July 16, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  8. Really?

    I could care less about his tax returns. We need jobs. Businessmen create jobs for people willing to work for a living and not tear down those who DO work for a living.

    How about we look at Obama's last ten years of charitable donations and Romney's last ten years of charitable donations. Hmmm

    July 16, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. Steve

    Romney is being interviewed for a very important job (CEO of the largest world economy) and is being asked to produce 10 years of income tax returns. His reply (I'll only release 2 years) would be enough to eliminate him and move on to the next candidate in any job market I'm familiar with.

    July 16, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. Don

    I'll bet $10,000 that Mitt requires more transparency of his VP choice than he is willing to show to us.

    July 16, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |

    Either release your ten years worth of tax returns or nobodys going to vote for you except the stupid unfair and imbalanced fox dope channel watchers and the brain dead 1%. The republican bafoons party is like a cancer in American gov. Romney the clown is going to take the Gop bafoons party down the toilet with him in Nov ,have a nice boat ride !!!!!well deserved !!!!

    July 16, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. Bernard Webb

    He should stay "firm". This will end his chances at the presidency, thank God.

    July 16, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. Observer

    Who does Romney think he is while pompously looking down on everyone as if to say, "That's all you're getting, common folk. Who cares what those others have done before me?"

    Elitist Romney just comes across arrogant, untrustworthy, and not presidential material. What is he hiding?

    July 16, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. Seattle Sue

    I think Romney has a lot to hide in his tax returns, just as he is hiding money in those five off shore account of his.

    July 16, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. mike

    it is very simple there is absolutely no reason not to release them if he can release them to McCain then he should certainly do so when running fro president.This is a stupid tactic by Romney it will go on and on until he does and continually throw him off message..a very stupid political mistake if as he says he has nothing to hide. In politics perception is very often reality and Romney is being perceived more and more as dishonest and that he is hiding something. Show us and get over with it better now than in Sept or October!

    July 16, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. Look I Cheat

    Look Folks I Don't Play Fair and I CHeat on My Taxes... Read Romney Lips..... Let Me Cheat I AM Wealthy.

    July 16, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |

    Let Me Ch eat folks..... I pay no taxes.

    Vote for me tricky Mitt!

    July 16, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. clevercandi

    So let me get this's OK for the Republicans to continue their cry for the President's "long form birth certificate", as well as his grades from college, but it's not OK for the Democrats to ask for more than two years of tax returns from Mr. Romney.

    Seems to me one side has as much to hide as the other.

    And before you start calling me nasty names, I'm a registered LIBERTARIAN.

    July 16, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  19. ST

    "John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president and his wife, who has hundreds of millions of dollars, she never released her tax returns. Somehow this wasn't an issue," Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, said in the interview."
    Neither John McCain nor John Kerry was accused of having Swiss Bank accounts or dealing with Bain Capital. In order to prove that Romney is clean and didn't involve himself with bogus transactions, he is required to produce even more than 12 years of his Tax Returns.

    July 16, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  20. olepi

    Well, its basically official, Romney's taxes are hiding something that Romney thinks is worse than the heat he is getting for not releasing them.

    July 16, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. Sirned

    MCCain and Kerry didn't have a Bain outsourcing problem. They didn't claim their business experience made them qualified to be President like Romney claims. Release at least 10 years Mitt. Let's see how you got rich. Let's see just how much you paid in taxes or didn't pay. Let's see why you off shored your money. Let's see about the Chinese business that poached American jobs you headed up in 1998 ...iInquiering minds want to know...Come clean Mitt. This is not going away...

    July 16, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  22. WatchDawg

    That's because he knows releasing other information will further prove that MItt is the liar we have become to love and hate...

    July 16, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  23. 4merRepubCT

    The voters will decide what is, or is not, "inconsequential". When Romney was being vetted for the VP slot in the last McCain presidential campaign, he provided multiple years of tax returns. Let's see them now.

    July 16, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. The King

    Nosey Democrats, how dare they ask me to show how I've hidden money from the very government that I want to lead. The fact that this born of privilege, chickenhawk mitt rombot is the GOP candidate proves how out of touch they are.
    Clinton/Warren '16

    July 16, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. Debby

    Romney is worth 245 million as stated here on Cnn. This is his current net worth. His current tax returns are more important then years ago when his net worth wasn't even a quarter of that. This whole disclosing taxes from years ago doesn't make sense. We all know he made money when he worked at Bain he was part of a team of investment bankers so thats a dead issue. I am starting to think alot of people don't want to get ahead in this country and just complain about the candidates.

    July 16, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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