Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.Now, a word of warning: There isn't a single quotation in this piece from any of these Bain executives—not even a quote from an unnamed individual. So all of these observations were provided on some sort of not-for-attribution basis. It doesn't mean that this story is incorrect, but it does mean that we have no way of directly judging these remarks—which, after all, go to Mitt Romney's alleged state of mind, not necessarily an easy thing to know.
But the implications are extraordinary, especially this part:
While Romney may personally prefer to drop out before releasing more returns, people who know him note that he doesn't always do what he wants. Torn between his longtime desire to be president and his equally strong belief that he should not be forced to release more returns, Romney may turn, as he has with so many big decisions, to strict numbers-based analysis. If he plummets in the polls and the risk of defeat presses itself on him, the sources say, his calculation could change.The notion that Romney could abandon the presidential race at this late hour—an almost unprecedented event—rather than release his tax returns just boggles the mind. And of course, this all swings back to the question of just what exactly is Romney hiding in all those 1040s? If it's something so devastating that he has to drop out rather than reveal his returns, the whole political world would be rendered speechless.
Again, treat this story with the skepticism it deserves. But there's no doubt that a very, very bad situation for Romney just got worse.
P.S. Check out who one of the two co-authors on the story is: Abby Huntsman, a daughter of Jon Huntsman—who of course was one of Mitt Romney's rivals for the Republican nomination this year.