Alex Castellanos, who worked for Mitt Romney in 2008 and continues to be a Republican political consultant, tells Politico's Maggie Haberman that he is not impressed with the optics of Romney's tax dump move:
"At first I thought this was an April Fool's Joke," said Castellanos, who tweeted something to that effect at me earlier. "But it isn't April. I can't imagine that David Axelrod will now say, I'm glad Mitt put this issue behind him. This will drag Mitt's taxes back into the debate. And there's not many days left. I just can't imagine why they would do this. There are 40 days left and you have now made more of them about Mitt's taxes....you don't serve a life sentence and then confess afterward. They've taken their beating on this (already) ... I just don't understand how a (being) 'little pregnant' strategy (works)."According to Haberman, Castellanos isn't alone. She says other Republican operatives are telling her this partial dump of Romney's past tax returns will only encourage more questions about his past returns.
One good question, raised by Greg Sargent, is this: what was Mitt Romney's actual effective tax rate during the past 20 years? As he points out, Romney merely released the average tax rate during that time. That means years in which he had lower income count the same as years in which he had a higher income, and given that his tax rate seems to go down as his income goes up, the 20 percent figure he's releasing is probably a bit misleading.