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. Hey, Mittens, got any more of those 100K Bain jobs for doing nothing? 'Call Me, Maybe'?

    "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.'

    Translation: The reason Team Robme is not releasing his tax returns is there are years when he paid 0 taxes.

    You know, like all those 49% "welfare queens" supporting their "litters" by working minimum wage jobs and not paying federal taxes because they are considered the "working poor" that the GOP likes to point out are "freeloaders".

    July 17, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  2. Q

    OK. I guess we don't need to see them then.........Woo Hoo

    July 17, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Really? I find that pledge by McCain as shocking. I never knew that McCain was Romney's accountant. When did McCain become a CPA or tax lawyer? I thought he was a shot down fighter pilot that was tortured before being released and running for office.

    July 17, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Fortinbras

    Oh hes qualified to run for president. But is there something there that would make him more unelectable than he already is?

    July 17, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Squigman

    Note to self: Never trust old white haired men, specifically from Arizona. They seem to be quite wrong about most issues.

    July 17, 2012 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. Sorensen

    Now he is backtracking! King of cowardly for somebody who was supposed to be a hero!!

    July 17, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. Frank

    Really? John McCain can vouch for Mitt Romney? Just like he did for Sarah Palin's ability to run the country if he died?

    July 17, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Jay Rehak

    Mr. Ronmey should just release his tax records and be done with it already.

    July 17, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Stephan

    So McCain gets to look, but not the American people. Sorry I forgot only the 1% are adult enough to handle the kind numbers you'll see in Romney's taxes.

    July 17, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  10. CBR

    It is not Sen. McCain's role to tell us what is or is not in Governor Romney's financial records. Mr. Romney has the responsibility to show the records to the American people and that is what the Senator should be saying.

    July 17, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    "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.
    So is he admitting that the choice was about winning an election and not who would be the BEST fit to be a heartbeat from the presidency?

    July 17, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. DJ

    So the same man who could personally vouch that Sarah Palin was prepared to assume the presidency should it become necessary can now vouch that Mitt Romney has nothing to hide in his tax returns. Well, that's all I need to know.

    July 17, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. fullclarity

    Mitt, we're waiting. How about some honesty here?

    July 17, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  14. Reggie from LA

    We can, with consternation of course, accept that Sarah Palin out-VP'd Romney. Fine!! However, the issue here is not about qualification. It's about who was paying Robme, what kind of taxes he was paying and how much taxation he was able to avoid having hidden, sheltered accounts. What that means is that you and I (maybe) added revenue to our states and the nation because we put our money in the banks and under the mattresses. Both taxable locations. Those "exotic" accounts that Romney chose, what, should we think there's no financial advantage to those choices? Duh..

    July 17, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. Rick

    McCain is a gutless senile old man. He cannot remember from one minute to another. Like other Republicans he flips on the issues all the time. Republicans are great flip floppers. They have no real mission or agenda.

    July 17, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. Ins1te

    McCain says ‘nothing disqualifying’ in Romney’s tax records.

    Just that Palin is more competent than Romney to take over as president.

    July 17, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. Ricardo

    McCain McCain McCain, when u r going to realize u made a mistake by choosing Sarah Palin as ur running mate in 2008. U still defend that dumbest lady. If Palin is the most qualify u can have from the GOP, sorry Republican Party, u have some real problem.

    July 17, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. zizewitz

    I think that John McCain nor CNN address the right issue

    1) Nobody says that Romney cheated taxes nor acted illegaly

    2) The reason Romney is asked for his Tax Returns, especially the of 2001/2002, is to verify his statements that at that time, he had no interaction with BAIN, which sewems not true give the documentation filed to the SEC affirming that he was the CEO, President, sole board member, sole owner and even more important, MANAGING DIRECTOR and PERSON IN CONTROL!!

    3) Further, people wish to verify that ROMNEY, a person telling he has created many jobs with his investments, has factually invested much of his his money in tax heavens, as Switzerland, Bermudas and Caymen Islands.

    None of above is illegal. but of course very disturbing for someone who wants to be President!!

    July 17, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. justinstl

    Who cares what Mccain thinks or says> NO ONE! He is no one....

    July 17, 2012 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. ?

    why doesn't he just show them then?

    July 17, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  21. enuff

    McCain knows he can't say anything to release information from Romney's tax returns. It would be a breech of confidentiality. just like the irs can't publically can't. It's all up to Romney to release his own personal information. This story has no substance other than give a headline to try and cast doubt.

    July 18, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  22. Skip Glanz

    I am sorry Mr McCain but I would prefer to look for myself. Your vouching for Romney is not quite good enough for me. I do not have a lot of trust in your word since you picked your VP last election.

    July 18, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  23. kk

    McCain is Romney chief accountant and he has the fact there is nothing Romney is hiding. He takes 5months time off from the senate to prepare Romney taxes. Why not let them public then? Everyone knows being rich like him is a good thing as long that money is earned in a honest way.

    July 18, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  24. cac

    John McCain, a charter member of the Keating Five scandal is hardly someone to trust on something like this. It's amazing McCain wasn't called out on this during 2008.

    July 18, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  25. Anonymous

    This makes me feel so much better. The man who vouched for Sarah Palin is vouching for Mitt Romney.

    July 18, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
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