"If there was nothing damaging in them, Romney would have released his taxes already" writes Bill Burton, former White House spokesman and Priorities USA strategist in a memo to be released this weekend.
To: Interested Parties
FR: Bill Burton, Priorities USA Action
RE: Sunday Memo: What is Hiding in Romney’s Returns?
Governor Mitt Romney has a choice. He could decide to face months of bipartisan criticism for a failure to release his tax returns or he could confirm damaging information including further tax avoidance, new offshore accounts, and an even lower tax rate in previous years.
If there were nothing damaging in his tax returns, Romney would have already released them and avoided the spectacle of publicly refusing to show the American people what he has already shared with John McCain.
Instead, Romney appears to have decided that the information in his returns is so problematic that he will endure criticism from the right and left for his refusal to follow a well-established standard of transparency for Presidential candidates.
The memo was shared with Politico, who write:
Because Romney hasn’t released his returns, it’s an exercise in speculation to hint at what might be in his private financial records. But Burton’s memo signals that Democrats are prepared to go in that direction: pointing out to the voters a range of things that Romney might not be letting them see.Romney keeps trying to divert attention from the tax issue by calling it a distraction from the bad economy.
Will it resonate with voters?
That’s a judgment that will ultimately be made by the voters, and at some point in the coming months both Romney and his Democratic opponents will have to take stock of whether the tax issue is resonating, and whether any course correction is necessary.As the candidate who consistently paints himself as the businessman who 'knows about the economy' and how to create jobs, I think it should and will. As Sen. Rick Santorum (who still won't endorse Romney) helpfully said:
the man who is running for President entirely based on his private sector financial success is the one who is most unwilling to share with the American people how he attained that success.It's a lose-lose for Romney. Either the Democrats can spend the summer speculating about what might be in Mittney's tax returns, or he can tell us.