McCain says 'nothing disqualifying' in Romney's tax records
July 17th, 2012
05:46 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain says 'nothing disqualifying' in Romney's tax records

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain, whose 2008 presidential campaign reviewed Mitt Romney's tax records as they considered him to be the vice presidential running mate, said Tuesday he can "personally vouch" that there was "nothing disqualifying" in the tax returns of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Asked by CNN if he could vouch for the fact that Romney had paid taxes and didn't hide his money from taxes offshore, as some Democrats have suggested, McCain reacted strongly but didn't directly answer the question.

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"I can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax return that would in anyway be disqualifying for him to be a candidate. Okay?" McCain said.

"We're getting into areas now that are improper for me to talk about," McCain added. "Because when people gave us all those records we agreed to confidentiality. The only reason I'm saying what I'm saying now is because of the scurrilous, scurrilous Chicago style sleaze intimations with no basis in fact that there might have been something wrong with his tax returns, which is disgraceful."

Asked again if he knew if Romney had in fact paid taxes over the years, McCain responded, "Oh please. I am not going to get into that kind of conversation. All I can tell you, and I will tell you again, there was nothing disqualifying in his tax returns. And that is a fact."

McCain didn't say how many years of tax records he reviewed.

McCain initially stopped to talk to reporters as he left the Senate floor because he wanted to clarify an earlier news report that suggested McCain picked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate because she was the better candidate than Romney.

"It wasn't a matter of who had better or worse qualities it was who we felt would help the campaign the most not that anyone who was under consideration didn't have outstanding qualities," he said.

McCain then criticized Politico for "twisting" his words.

"It's really getting a little disgraceful, twisting someone's words when clearly I said and meant she was the best fit for the campaign. Had nothing to do with the qualities of Mitt Romney or any of the other people we were considering," he said.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Mitt Romney
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Of course he would say that. He is a repub. McMain, the repub party has really taken away your integrity these past few years.

    July 17, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Just because nothing is in the tax returns that is "disqualifying" that doesn't mean the returns lack proof of his complete lack of business ethics and honesty. It also doesn't mean the returns won't prove Romney to be an outrageous liar – again! Those things aren't legally disqualifying – but they show Romney's true character as sa spoiled, preppy, vulture capitalist. McCain is playing on words.

    July 17, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. 2020

    McCain also said Palin is a perfect choice.

    McCain, do you know why the Casino donar buy into romney? with his Macau money?

    McCain, why don't you release Romney 23 years of tax returns. We will let you know if they are acceptable.

    July 17, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. 2020

    Mc Cain also said Palin is qualified as President in a heart beat.

    Is it true?

    July 17, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. MaryM

    Asked by CNN if he could vouch for the fact that Romney had paid taxes and didn't hide his money from taxes offshore, as some Democrats have suggested, McCain reacted strongly but didn't directly answer the question.

    That says it all. Poor McCain, I really do feel sorry for him.

    July 17, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Independent For President Obama

    This coming from a man that picked Palin. McCain should retire before he makes more of a fool of himself. What a bitter old man McCain has become because he could not be President.

    July 17, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Pander Bear

    Yeah I totally trust McCain's judgement. *cough*

    July 17, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Vance

    Chicago style sleaze? Really? Like Chicago has a monopoly on sleazy politics? At least have the fortitude to use the presidents name when attacking him. Chicago is a wonderful town, like many places in America. Don't drag a one city into your political bantering McCain.

    July 17, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. Romney needs to stop whining and start getting his tax returns together

    Well, if there's nothing to hide in his tax returns, why is Mitt hiding them?

    July 17, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. IntelligentDesign

    Sounds like clean up to me. Someone got on the ringy dingy and told him what he actually said.

    July 17, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. Bootstomper

    What? McCain doesn't know what he's saying half the time.

    July 17, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I submit that Romney’s obsession with money, his duplicity and secrecy about it, and his lack of trust in the American people as demonstrated by his reluctance to let his fellow citizens make their own determination about his tax returns, all disqualify him as a viable presidential candidate. As president Romney must be able to put Patriotism before Personal Profits.

    A Man cannot serve two Masters
    He will either love one and hate the other
    Or Cling to one & Despise the other
    You cannot serve both God & Mammon

    I thought every Mormon schoolboy knew this?

    July 17, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. quinLee

    My new playlist
    -99 Problems but a Bain aint one
    -"Beers Ago" (1999)
    -Somebody That I Used to Know (Bain)

    July 17, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. JR

    As an old manager once told me: "In God we trust, everyone else bring data."

    As neither McCain nor Romney are God, I'll take the data, thank you very much. Barring Romney showing us his tax returns going back to 1999 (date of his retroactive retirement), then we can pretty much assume there's something unsavory in there that he's hiding.

    July 17, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. TexasReasonable

    McCain's statement that Willard's tax returns contain "nothing disqualifying" means nothing. It just means that Willard did not have income from the mafia. Besides, how would McCain understand the tax return; he is a dependent on his wife's tax return.

    July 17, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. ddblah

    Then, put up or shut up.

    July 17, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Susan in NC

    Don't know about you, but John McCain "personally vouching" for ANYthing scares the hell of me!

    July 17, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. rebelye11

    I am sure that many Liberal's will find something wrong with this also, but I think that if they could dig up anything on anyone that makes money (which is a dirty word) in the world today. Why not ask Wolf how much he makes a year, I am sure he will hand over his income taxes freely, or how about yourself. Now now don't say it is because Mitt is running for President he has met all the requirements, it is just a sticking point the Obama can't get past. Maybe he didn't make enough money in the past, but hey us tax payers will be paying his way for the REST and I mean the REST of his/Obama's life, free Medical, free secrect service protection, and an great income. Plus then he goes onto the lecture circuit and makes millions. Ask Bill Clinton about his year!!! So stop picking on the petty, low beneath every human with any character and get back to reality, we have a horrible economy, bad infrustrure (roads, bridges) and may I say employement anyone listening! Or are you truly worried about tax records, pity if you are. Keep listening to the hype on the Ad's and what the non-biased news people keep telling you, that was a pun on the non-biased, haven't seen one of those since Walter.

    July 17, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. oh ooooo! Oooops!

    Well, Senator McCain, NO OFFENSE, LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DECIDE whether there is nothing disqualifying in Romney's taxes. We all know Washington is tone deaf and has been for many years. It is not sufficient to just beleive their definition of an "outstanding" person. HAVE CONFIDENCE that Americans know what is qualifying and what's not. ROMNEY SHOULD RELEASE HIS TAXES. Americans have a RIGHT TO KNOW how Romney's TAX POLICIES will affect his finances.

    July 17, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  20. pennsylvania sage

    If she was That doesn't say much for Willard.

    July 17, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. works4me

    Oh... if McCain said that it must be true. This revelation is from what's left of the mind that chose Palin.
    We're in deep mitt!

    July 17, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Thomas

    There most likely isn't !

    Yet , Mitt is still out of touch with most of America .

    July 17, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. bassman

    Facts are stubborn things. The only time McCain was ahead of Mr. Obama was right after McCain picked her. And he dropped after the finacial crisis.

    July 17, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. aaron

    If Romney has nothing to hide, he can put this issue to rest very quickly....release more tax returns than those for the 2 years before you decided to run for president. The old saying "thou dost protest too much" is alive and well with Romney.

    July 17, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. scarf

    What would be "disqualifying" to be president in a tax return? He turns out to be less than 35 years old?

    July 17, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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