The latest attack is to go out there and put out this suggestion that you have these off-shore accounts. Now I understand the President doesn’t want to talk about the bad economic news because he himself said if he didn’t fix it, it would be a one-term proposition. What is your reaction to the continual negative campaigning and, more specifically, the insinuation that you’ve been doing something illegal and using tax shelters in the Caymans and the Bahamas etc.?Uh, first of all, it's not a "suggestion" that Mitt Romney has off-shore accounts. It's a fact. Second, the criticism is that by not releasing his tax returns and financial records, Mitt Romney is hiding something. And like the off-shore accounts, that's a fact. The question that we don't know the answer to is this: what is Mitt Romney hiding?
Romney's answer to Hannity's question did nothing to settle that question:
Suggesting that I would engage in something that is illegal, that is criminal, that I would hide assets and not pay fair taxes, not pay the taxes that are owed. I mean it’s unbelievable. And now he says well, this is a matter of transparency.Well, yes, it is a matter of transparency! That's exactly the point. Romney should release his records. And given the fact that he won't, it certainly is not at all "unbelievable" that people would wonder why.
But instead of addressing the question about his transparency, Romney went of all non-sequitors:
If there is transparency that needs to be considered here, it’s the lack of transparency in his administration to let the American people know what has happened in a scandalous activity known as Fast and Furious.Huh? Fast and Furious has nothing to do with Romney's tax returns or offshore investments. In fact, floating such a strange non-sequitor is a big old red flag that there really is something Romney doesn't want people to see. But he assures us that's not the case:
Sean, I can assure you this. I have followed the law. I have paid my taxes as due. I have also disclosed through all of the requirements of the government, every asset which I own, fairly and honestly, recognizing, of course, not to do so would be not only wrong but illegal and criminal.The amazing thing there is that in the same breath as he basically said, "Trust me, I am not a crook," Romney also said he had already disclosed everything he owns. But that's not true. He's only released one year of tax returns, and based on that one year, we learned of 20 different companies—seven of them overseas—owned by Romney, and none of them had been previously disclosed.
When a politician says "trust me," it's a pretty clear signal that you probably shouldn't. But when a politician says "trust me" and proceeds to lie about the same thing he wants you trust him on, it's a screaming siren that your trust is the last thing he deserves.