Romney: Dems would 'distort' tax returns
July 17th, 2012
01:56 PM ET
9 years ago

Romney: Dems would 'distort' tax returns

(CNN) - Mitt Romney continued to stress Tuesday that he has no interest in releasing more tax returns, saying it would provide "hundreds of pages" for opponents to "distort" and turn into attacks against his candidacy.

"In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy," Romney said in an interview with conservative news outlet National Review Online.

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He continued: "And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about."

Romney has already released his 2010 tax returns and an estimate for 2011, with a pledge to release his full returns for last year once they're ready. He filed an extension with the Internal Revenue Service, meaning he may not put out his returns until the October filing deadline.

President Barack Obama's re-election team and top Democrats have been pounding Romney over his tax documents, calling on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee to make public more returns in order to answer questions about offshore accounts and overseas investments.

Defending Romney on a conference call earlier Tuesday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said each year of Romney's tax returns is about six inches thick. He added if Romney released a dozen years of documents, as some Democrats have would like, then "that'd be about six feet of returns in which they could find whatever...they want to use as a distraction."

Asked why he has not disposed of his offshore accounts, Romney reiterated Tuesday his portfolio is managed in a blind trust that makes it impossible for him to know where his money is invested.

But the former Massachusetts governor did not hesitate to defend offshore investments, specifically naming accounts in the Cayman Islands, one of the countries in which Romney is reported to hold money.

The Republican candidate said the account is established by a U.S. firm to allow "foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction."

He added: "So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts."

- CNN's Rachel Streitfeld and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Governor 47th in Job Creation (excluding jobs off-shored to China)

    Rudy NYC

    Wasn't he prepared to release returns in 2008? It appears not. He had no intent of releasing returns in 2012, until he was forced to do so by his fellow candidates in the GOTP primaries. At a minimum he should release whatever he was prepared to release in 2008 until now.

    Nailed it , Rudy!!! I guess you could say he was prepared to release those tax returns in the '08 run retroactively.
    There's no need to distort anything. The papers are the papers. Just like the SEC papers that have his signature on them. He was either spouting lies then, or he's spouting lies now...Willard's choice.
    Show us your papers, Willard.

    July 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. rob

    I cheer Romney for refusing the demands from the Obama campaign and their surrogates in the media to turn over tax returns. He needs to continue to tell the truth about the economy and unemployment and how the Dems don't have any answer except to raise taxes on the "Rich"

    Their is a concerted effort by the media to keep running stories on Bain and taxes and other distracting issues to keep the spotlight off the economy. This shows the absolute corruption of the so called main stream media. They have essentially declared themselves for the Democrats and this election will be the most vicious campaign from the Dems ever. But, they can't change the reality in the country that people feel everyday.

    The difference this year is the emergence of the new media led by the internet, Drudge Report and Fox News where people can find the information the elite liberal media will not give.

    July 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Mikey

    Oh, please! Any other excuses? He may have been an effective corporate raider, but he is simply not presidential material.

    July 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Just make it easier, Mittens. Stick the Cadbury bunny on the podium as your surrogate: BOK BOK BOK BOK BOK BOK BOK BOK BOK.......

    July 17, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. demwit

    Executive priviledge again!?? Oh wait........

    July 17, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. ray

    what is this lying racists hiding? you nothing to hide liar romney, show the papers. the right will never let the black president gets away with something like this, ROMNEY IS HIDINF SOMETHING,

    July 17, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Dude in Colorado

    Is he serious?! If that's a valid reason not to release records then every and any Romney supporter, Republican or Tea Partier, needs to immediately shut up about Obama's birth certificate & Harvard transcripts. If you right wingers really find Romney's reasoning valid and support it, don't ever again go looking for Obama's paper or else you'll be outing yourselves as incredible hypocrites. Not that most Republicans I've met would mind showing they have no integrity, so long as they get what they want.

    Truly, for me this line from Romney ranks up there with Rumsfeld & Cheney's rationale for not joining the service during the Viet Nam War which they claim to have supported, i.e. they had "other priorities" at that time.

    July 17, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You're not going to show us your tax returns because you're afraid that the Democrats would DISTORT the truth?
    What truth would they distort? The fact, maybe, that while already wealthy became obscenely wealthy when you profitted from the Romney-induced misfortune of hundreds of thousands of Americans? Or maybe that your coffers continued to bulge when you brokered deals to dismantle and cannbalize American companies?
    The truth is bad enough Romney. Why would Democrats bother with distortion of it. That's YOUR racket isn't it?
    Obama 2012. Because America is NOT for sale.

    July 17, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Harry

    Spoken like a man with something to hide! Obama 2012!

    July 17, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. MaryM

    Mitt the flip is Hiding his taxes and ALL of American Knows it. Mitt you are being vetted by the American People for the Highest job of this Country. Mitt, if you do not release many years of tax returns, No job as Potus for you . The American People have spoken

    July 17, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Eddie The Barber

    Boy – he sure acts like he's got something (maybe a lot of things) to hide doesn't he? Obama knows that either way – release or never release – he's got an issue here that will damage Flipp Romney and he's going to play it all the way to election day. This is or will become a very important issue to many voters. He'd be better off releasing them and let the chips fall where they may, but I think there's probably so much damaging stuff in those returns that Flipp fears a challenge from his party at the convention if they are released. Stay tuned – the show is just starting to get interesting.

    July 17, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    I wonder how Mitt Romney feels about Voter ID laws that are popping up everywhere. Ask him, somebody.

    July 17, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. ghostriter

    Romney: The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, which is to say, you can always tell a blind trust what it can and can not do. You give a blind trust rules.

    July 17, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |

    Democrats lie and distort??? Well, isn't the definition of a Democrat? I mean they are taking four years of Obama failure and trying to spin it into a fairy tale of massive success. 42 months of record high unemployment? Naahhh... that's good news!! It could have been 25%!! Four more years of Obama and it WILL be 25%.

    July 17, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Jon

    I think that Obama and Romney should agree to agree .... Obama should have to share all the information about his education, even his schooling in indonisia ... and Romney shoudl share tax returns since 1999

    July 17, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Valentina

    @carly + @Thomas
    Do you even know what 'distort" means? Well, according to the dictionary it means "to twist out of a proper or natural relation of parts; misshape; to give a false or misleading account of; or to cause to work in a twisted or disorderly manner." And that's precisely what Democrats are looking to do according to their "kill Romney" strategy.;

    July 17, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. ghostriter

    So....Romney's defense is that if he released his tax returns, they might be used against him....

    Jon Stweart, I just wrote your opening monologue. I will be expecting a check real soon.

    July 17, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. DJ

    The only person who seems to be really hiding things under a cloud of attacks is Obama...he has many questions to answer to.

    July 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Harry

    I had to release the last several years of tax information for my last job. Why should the President of the United States be any different? Romney is hiding something!

    July 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. bob in LA

    I like how CNN says the effort to get Romney to release his tax returns was "spearheaded by Democrats." No, it wasn't. This subject came up in the Republican primary.

    But CNN is just in bed with Romney. Can't believe the whitewashing you gave him and Bain thanks to John King and David Gergen. President of a company is president of a company. He was in charge!

    July 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Liberals Hate Success

    He can offer up 2008 & 2009 in exchange Obama's college transcripts. Mtt has already met the requirements.

    July 17, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Jon

    Why cant Obama share all his educational related information ... and Romney share tax returns since 1999

    July 17, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Charlotte

    HA HA ha ha ha !!!!! So by "distort" he means "notice details and point them out when he'd rather they were not known about." Nice attempt at pre-emptive lying, Mittens. You've only got something to hide if you've got something to hide.

    July 17, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Jon

    Ghostriter ... and you know this because you have blind trusts ... or you have read a liberal blog ... and cust and pasted the comments?

    July 17, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. 40acres

    Didn't he say the same thing about the details of his economic plan? If everyone is going to use everything he does against him, maybe he shouldn't be doing those things.

    July 17, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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