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. steve

    KErry and Mcain both submitted their taxes every year they ran for senate.... wouldnt that be 20 years each?

    why isnt this mentioned in the article?

    July 16, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  2. King

    this is the Guy, that took his money and hid it over seas, then came back as a shining angel rapped up in the American flag singing patriotic songs, when obama sacrificed his majority in the Congress to bring us back from the pit of hell.

    July 16, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. Jessica

    What has he got to hide honest business man that he claims to be?

    July 16, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |

    Doesn't really matter anymore because he will take the Gop cancer on America bafoons party down the toilet with him in Nov .have a nice boat ride !!

    July 16, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. roy

    He doesn't want to release additional tax returns because they might show he hasn't paid all taxes due on earned income sitting in off shore accounts.

    July 16, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Anonymous

    I give Romney credit.

    It's the first time I've ever seen him stand up for something he believes in.

    July 16, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. HonestyIsTheBestPolicy

    How patriotic is it to hide money in foreign countries to evade taxes when America is at war and brave veterans are returning home to unemployment?

    July 16, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Mike

    So Romney wants to complain about Obama's lack of transparency while at the same time refusing to release more than one years of his tax returns? This guy is delusional.

    July 16, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Littlelilly

    I give Romney credit.

    It's the first time I've ever seen him stand up for something he believes in.

    July 16, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. Norma Vessels

    Mr. Romney .. show your 2000 and 2001 income tax returns, and you can prove yourself innocent. That's all you have to do.

    July 16, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. Flowers68

    How many years of tax returns is Romney asking for from the people he is vetting for V.P.? Somehow I'll bet it's more than two years. But the American people should be satisfied with the two he reluctantly puts forward. If seeing 23 years worth of Romney's returns led to McCain's choosing Palin as VP nominee...well, you know there's something Romney doesn't want the American people to see.

    July 16, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Maxx

    The Obama team wants more and more? You've released one "cleaned-up" year of taxes, what a joke. And Kerry released 5 years of taxes, not 2, another lie out of Romney. There must be something pretty incriminating in those taxes.

    July 16, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  13. Curt

    Just one question. Whats Mitt hiding? He's right , the American people want transparency. That means show your tax forms. If he has nothing to hide he's awful foolish to let this carry on because its not going to go away.

    July 16, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Sam

    Who cares about Romney's tax returns? Everyone knows he is rich and has the best accountants that make sure he pays his taxes. They also have the responsibility to make sure he does not pay more than he should. Get over it.

    July 16, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. dakethora

    what's he hiding? if it is no big deal, why doesn't he release at least the past 5 years of tax returns? somethings smells rotten in Willard's World

    July 16, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. dabble

    Now you KNOW he's hiding something....may be legal, may be not, may put him in a catch-22 situation, but he's definitely is hiding something.

    July 16, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  17. Kenny K

    Nobody ask for your wife's tax returns. We want to see yours to check whether your dealings undermine the country or not.

    July 16, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. s

    Well america is also firm, Romney go home.

    July 16, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  19. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Obvious that he's hiding some damaging things in those years particularly the 1999-2002 timeframe. Sounds like Willard the rat. Can't even begin to fill his father's shoes; George Romney had nothing to hide at all, hence 12 year's worth. If Willard's not going to let the American people know what's in there, then he won't get the votes necessary to reach 270 EC.
    Worst candidate ever. Nice pick, GOP, LOL!!

    July 16, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  20. livingston

    John Kerry's wife? Really? Since when do we ever ask for the tax returns of the wife? The only other example that he could come up with was another republican. Even his own party is uncomfortable with his holding back the returns. It is a very easy problem to fix, just release the returns. Or are you hiding something?

    July 16, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. Milton K. Wiah

    Ooooh poor Mitt. Unlike you, the people you mentioned for your refusal to release tax returns for at least 6-7 years
    never ran a corner store, never boasted of any business experience as a prelude to the presidency. Knowing that
    the type of business you do is not an ordinary business, you do not invent a product, sell goods or manage
    a production company, should have known that this was going to call for scrutiny of how you made the money.
    Because the company you ran at the time prey on companies that are in trouble, and when taken over you do not
    restructure them instead redundant the employees and benefit from their pension and other facilities.
    That is why we want to know more in details how far you went with these companies.

    July 16, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  22. CanadaONE

    This guy has it right!

    "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.'"

    Romoney is in deep trouble wait until it gets out – government officilas have checked his returns and Obama staff also know... that is why they are trying to get him to release them.


    July 16, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. Andrew

    C'mon Rommy..u r the one making a mountaiin out of a (supposed) mole hill. Ur like a 2 year old whi won't eat his spinach. Face it buster..either be a man and show the American people what and who u are or drop out and dissapear.Kerry's wife wasn't running for POTUS..u R!!! where there's smoke...

    July 16, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  24. drp146

    It's a no-win scenario for Romney. Either he continues to refuse to release those tax returns and keeps showing he has something to hide, or he releases them and we see what he wanted to keep us from knowing. This is his campaign killer. He's done.

    July 16, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  25. lolo

    Really? You think that we are making a mountain out of a mole hill when you yourself profess that you should be president because of your business experience, but you don't think that we the American people need to see more of your tax returns. Get out of town. You meant to say that I am rich and I should not be made or told to show my taxes. You think that you can just skate into the white house on your word, which of late has been nothing but lies. Go back to you big boat and have fun with your family. You should be nowhere near the white house. Right now my gut feeling is that you and your conies are trying to buy the white house and you definitely have something to hide. I feel sorry for your boys who look up to you. Did you teach them how to cheat and lie as well in business dealings? Mittens you need to grow a pair and stop being a wimp.

    July 16, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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