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. homardy

    George Romney 12 years of returns; started the "convention" of releasing tax info
    Joe Biden 12 years of returns
    Barack Obama 11 years of returns
    Mitt Romney 2 years of returns How about it, Mitt? Do it or you're toast. Or is it: do it AND you're toast!

    July 17, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  2. nitro

    This is becomming extremely rediculous. Its a federal tax return by God. Its either correct or its wrong there is no other way to read. Stop making excuses because even if you have nothing to hide you look like you are hiding something. The only people that can distort your return is THE (I. R. S.)

    July 17, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. lolo

    Look at his picture with this story. He has no soul. His eyes do not even sparkle or even show a hint that he is human. He is a slick businessman who wants to be president. That's it, that's all period.

    July 17, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. lgny

    Romney's statement is equivalent to casting chum in shark waters. It sounds like even he recognizes that there are questionable items in the filings.

    Now, every news outlet will be convinced the Romney is hiding something. The roar for disclosure is fast becoming deafening.

    July 17, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. pjoe

    Mitt, if it's private ... keep it private. It's between you and the IRS.

    Obama locked down his private records. Don't play their game.

    July 17, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. 4merRepubCT

    Romney acts like the Obama campaign is asking for his tax returns – so are many of the voters, including this Independent. Let the voters decide what is or is not important for them to know about a candidate. Don't tell us that all we "need to know" is contained in the 2010 and 2011 returns.

    July 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Alan J

    Anonymous Did Bush, Clinton, Nixon, Ford or any other President EVER show proof of their citizenship? That's what I know, hell No! You are spewing that racist Repub crap and it's sick. But like you people's donors you come on here as Anonymous, classic

    July 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. rs

    Once again we see the classic GOP duality- i.e.: its fine for us to seek Mr. Obama's birth certificate, medical records, educational records and so on- all to support some perverted conspiracy about his heritage,, but the Democrats are "distorting" Mr. Romney's reputation by quoting him and asking that he reveal his tax records for a reasonable number of years.
    Remember Mr. Cheney? He refused to release his finances, and held on to the bitter end of divesting himself of Halliburton after he became VP. What a glowing example of humanity he turned out to be.
    To the GOP and Mr. Romney: if you think that reminding the voting public of Mr. Cheney is good for your election prospects- go for it. The results however may surprise you.

    July 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    "Democrats would distort the truth", now what could that possibly mean. Sounds like he's throwing Republicans under the bus because he believes they don't care about the truth.

    July 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. IVOTE

    Inquiring minds want to know....What is Williard Mitt Romney hiding? Maybe he is afraid Americans can read with understanding thanks to education and great teachers.

    July 17, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Investment Advisor

    And oh how those Democrats need to distort and divert! Speaking of outsourcing, how come nobody is discussing President Obamas affiliation with GE and his very good buddy Jeffrey Immelt? Are none of you liberals aware of the "outsourcing" and "jobsourcing" this company does???? The pendulum swings both ways! But of course GE is "different".

    July 17, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. citizenvetus

    Sen. John McCain released only two years of tax returns when he ran against Obama four years ago - and "somehow this wasn't an issue."

    July 17, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. SamR

    Why don't the republicans distort Obama's returns? Oh that's right he is an ethical person with nothing to hide. This will bury him either way he decides to go.

    July 17, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC


    "Mtt has already met the requirements."

    Legal maybe. But we're not talkig about the requirements under the law. We're talking about what the AMERICAN PUBLIC requires....which appears to be much more than Mittens is wiling to give, because polls show this is working and even prominent GOPers/Teatrolls are telling Mittens he has to come clean.
    We are talking about a rule of thumb. If you want to be POTUS, then you must release tax returns. Romney thinks he is one of the elite, rich, and powerful who lives his own rules. "Nobody tells me what to do. I'm Mitt Romney!"

    July 17, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Kenny K


    Funny how so many liberals are so upset that Romney won't divulge his personal tax information but didn't seem to mind when Obama didn't show proof of his citizenship. What hypocrits.
    Since two people are competing for the same office, why don't you require the same type of information from each of them; birth certificate, tax returns, etc.?

    July 17, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Investment Advisor

    And oh how those Democrats need to distort and divert! Speaking of outsourcing, how come nobody is discussing President Obamas affiliation with GE and his very good buddy Jeffrey Immelt?
    Why? Because Immelt is a conservative who is contributing to the Romney campaign. Please try to keep up.

    July 17, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. rs

    Myviewis- please explain how tax returns can be distorted.

    July 17, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. AV

    Media is biased and there are many reporters who are pro republicans. All these issues were raised by republicans themselves during their primary. As for B Jindal saying Obama running negative add campaign look at what Romney, Santorum and Newt did during rep primary. As long as republicans playing dirty with each other no issues that is part of their job and they are doing all good. The moment their primary is over and Dems raising those things it is wrong. This is hypocrisy and lying to citizens by standing in front of them.

    July 17, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. JoeW

    First, it's not 2 years of returns by Romney, it's 1 year...the other year is an estimate.

    Second, Romney makes cautious and deliberate decisions–that's been his MO in life. He doesn't act without doing an ROI analysis. And he's refused to release his returns for 6 years now. What that tells me is that there's got to be some damaging stuff in there. Maybe he claimed residence (for tax purposes) in a way that might have contradicted with his voter registration or even eligibility to run for office? Or maybe he's got investments in firms that will be highly embarrassing (we already know about the firm that deal with aborted fetuses). Maybe it's investment in overseas call centers–who knows? But we do know that Romney is no "babe in the woods" the polling data in the battleground states show this is having an impact and he still won't release his returns. This is not a guy who is big on principle (see: abortion positions as example A). He's not releasing his returns b/c he's convinced it would hurt him badly to do so.

    July 17, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    Blame everyone else for your own failings and inadequacies – is the one consistency of the GOP ideology.
    Yes we had eight years of that with the dumber of dumb & dumber. So now is RoMoney’s turn.

    July 17, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. carlos

    slimiest, mormonic liar, traitor, that's all for now.....

    July 17, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Orchid333

    The birthers (and GOP) raked Obama through the mud and back over his birth certificate and even 4 years later he's still defending himself over it. I think Romney is definitely being a coward or a snake in the grass by not releasing his tax returns. Of course they'll be ammunition, but that's the reward for running for President. The people have a right to know what kind of crap he's, very obviously, trying to hide.

    July 17, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  23. Myviewis

    This is just a gimmick Obama needs to distract us from the failing economy, high unemployment, retail sales are down again.

    July 17, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    I still think obama should just run on his record. Oh, wait.

    July 17, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    So McCain showed twice as much tax history than RoMoney and some how it's the same??
    Delusional rightists following their leader off a cliff. Such theater!

    July 17, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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