Skip to main content

Loose translation of Mitt Romney's message to Republicans calling for him to release his tax returns: "Guys, trust me, if I release my returns it'll be even worse than it already is."

Mitt Romney on Pittsburgh's WPXI TV (July 17, 2012)
Oh, I think people in my party just say, "Look, this is a non-issue. Just release the returns and it will go away." My experience is that the Democratic Party these days has approached taxes in a very different way than in the past. Their opposition people look for anything they can find to distort, to twist, and to try and make negative.
  1. Mitt Romney thinks that releasing his tax returns would be a bigger political problem than stonewalling.
  2. According to Mitt Romney, it's the Democratic Party's fault that releasing his tax returns would be a political liability.
  3. And, finally, Mitt Romney believes the important thing here is that he do whatever helps him politically—not that he do whatever the right thing is.

The absurdity of Romney's position is pretty obvious.

First, if releasing his returns would be a bigger problem than not releasing them, that doesn't say anything about the nature of the Democratic Party—it says something about what's in his returns. Democrats are going to attack Romney no matter what—that's just politics. But releasing his returns will only be a problem if there's something problematic in his returns.

Second, even if Romney's argument were right, it is a terrible one for him to make. It's one thing for a campaign staff to be so blatant about political calculations, but it really doesn't look good for a presidential candidate to make it himself. Romney is basically saying that he's putting his political best interests ahead of doing what's right. He might as well say he's running for office, for Pete's sake.

The only plausible scenario that I can imagine where Romney isn't spiraling out of control on this is that he's planning on releasing his returns soon, and his whining about Democratic opposition researchers is merely an attempt to condition his base to ignore whatever comes out from the documents. Perhaps he's calculating that a document dump followed a day or two later by a bold vice presidential pick could get him off the hook. If so, maybe he's right. But there's really no evidence that he's planning such a move. The one thing that is clear, though, is that the current situation isn't tenable. Something is going to have to give.

7:12 AM PT: This might be a bit of evidence that he's planning on releasing something new:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said he heard from a Romney campaign source recently that the presumptive GOP nominee would release more information in the coming days.

“I stand behind him regardless of  what he decides to do on that,” said Lee.

That's pretty vague, and if he just releases an additional year or two, it won't settle anything. President Obama has released 12 years of his returns. Romney's father did the same. Now it's Mitt's turn.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site