The Facts: Mitt Romney is Hiding His Tax Records

 

ROMNEY INITIALLY REFUSED TO RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS

Romney Said He Had No Intention Of Releasing His Tax Returns. According to The New York Times, “Mitt Romney, who is one of the wealthiest men ever to seek the presidency, said on Wednesday that he had no intention of releasing his tax returns if he became the Republican presidential nominee, breaking with a long tradition in both parties. Mr. Romney made the statement in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, but the network did not show that part of the interview. Mr. Romney, a multimillionaire who made his fortune running a private equity firm, was asked whether he planned to release his tax return. “I doubt it,” Mr. Romney said, according to a transcript of the interview provided by NBC News. “I will provide all the financial info, which is an extraordinary pile of documents which show investments and so forth.” “But you won’t do the tax returns?” asked Chuck Todd, host of “The Daily Rundown.” “I don’t intend to release the tax returns. I don’t,” Mr. Romney responded.” [The New York Times, 12/22/11]

Romney Refused To Release His Tax Returns During Previous Elections

Romney Refused To Release His Tax Returns While Running For Senate And Governor. According to the Washington Post, “On the Republican side, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who kept his tax filings private during his gubernatorial and Senate races, says he hasn’t made a final decision; neither has Rudolph W. Giuliani, who made his returns public while serving as New York mayor, or Arizona Sen. John McCain. Making tax returns public is, no doubt, an imposition on a candidate’s privacy -- but choosing to run for president means relinquishing privacy in all sorts of areas. It has become a given that presidents and vice presidents release their tax filings.” [Washington Post, 6/19/07]

UNDER PRESSURE, ROMNEY RELEASED HIS TAX RETURNS FOR 2010 AND 2011

Mitt Romney Released His 2010 And 2011 Tax Returns. According to NPR, “Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, after earlier suggesting he would wait until after winning the Republican nomination. While Romney's total tax bill was in the millions, his tax rate was actually lower than that of many middle-class Americans.” [NPR, 1/24/12]

Romney Admitted Refusing To Release His Returns Was A Mistake. According to the LA Times, “Reporting from St. Petersburg, Fla. — Conceding that his refusal to release his tax returns immediately was ‘a mistake’ and ‘a distraction’ that helped cost him a South Carolina primary win, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday that he would release his 2010 federal return this week, along with an estimate of his 2011 taxes. ‘We made a mistake in holding off as long as we did,’ Romney said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ As a result, he added, the issue became ‘a distraction’ as he attempted to halt Newt Gingrich’s surge in the first Southern primary.” [LA Times, 1/22/12]

EVEN THOUGH ROMNEY GAVE THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN 23 YEARS OF RETURNS

Romney Gave McCain’s Campaign 23 Years Of Tax Returns While Auditioning For Vice President Position. According to Washington Post, “In 2008, when John McCain was vetting Mitt Romney for vice president, Romney turned over 23 years of tax returns. McCain went on to pick Sarah Palin. This year, the American people are vetting Romney for president, and Romney has turned over one full year of his taxes.” [Washington Post, 01/24/12]

ROMNEY’S FATHER WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO RELEASE HIS RETURNS, AND RELEASED TWELVE YEARS

George Romney Was The First Presidential Candidate To Release His Tax Returns And Released 12 Prior Years. According to USA Today, “George Romney, father of the Republican front-runner, released his tax returns for the previous 12 years just before his presidential campaign in 1968. This newspaper clipping from Nov. 27, 1967, described the elder Romney's tax release as ‘a move believed to be without precedent in American politics.’” [USA Today, 1/18/12]

George Romney Said Releasing A Single Return Wouldn’t Prove Anything – It Could Be A Fluke Or Cynical Manipulation – Released 12 Years As A Result. According to CNN, “In 1967, Michigan Gov. George Romney set the bar high for tax disclosure by presidential candidates. While running for the Republican nomination, he was ‘badgered’ by a writer for Look magazine to release his most recent tax return. Romney refused. Releasing a single return wouldn’t prove anything, he told the magazine’s senior editor, T. George Harris. It could be a fluke, or even a cynical manipulation designed to make the candidate look good. What really mattered was how a candidate managed his personal finances over the long haul. ‘Stumped by his argument,’ Harris wrote in the magazine, ‘I was not prepared for the move that it eventually led him to make: He ordered up all the Form 1040’s that he and Mrs. Romney had filed over the past 12 years -- including those profitable ones when he saved the American Motors Corp. from bankruptcy and became a millionaire on the company’s stock options.’” [CNN, 1/18/2012]

Romney Said He “Maybe” Would Follow His Father’s Standard Of Releasing Multiple Years Of Tax Returns. At the South Carolina CNN debate, John King asked Romney, “Back in 1967, your father set a groundbreaking -- what was then a groundbreaking standard in American politics: He released his tax returns. He released them for not one year, but for 12 years…When you release yours, will you follow your father’s example?” Romney said, “Maybe. I -- you know, I don’t know how many years I’ll release. I’ll take a look at…what our documents are. And I’ll release multiple years; I don’t know how many years. And -- but I’ll be happy to do that. Let me tell you, I know there are some who are very anxious to see if they can’t make it more difficult for a campaign to be successful. I know the Democrats want to go after the fact that I’ve been successful. I’m not going to apologize for being successful. And -- and I’m not -- I’m not suggesting these people are doing that, but I know the Democrats will go after me on that basis, and that’s why I want to release these things all at the same time. And I -- I mean -- you know, my dad, as you know -- born in Mexico, poor, didn’t get a college degree -- became head of a car company. I could have stayed in Detroit, like him, and gotten pulled up in the car company. I went off on my own. I didn’t inherit money from my parents. What I have, I earned. I worked hard, the American way.” [CNN South Carolina Debate, 1/19/12]

IN 1994, ROMNEY DEMANDED KENNEDY RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS TO PROVE KENNEDY “HAD NOTHING TO HIDE”

Romney Challenged Kennedy To Release His Tax Returns To Prove He Has “Nothing To Hide.” According to the Boston Globe, “With the tax-filing deadline looming, Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney yesterday challenged Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to disclose his state and federal taxes to prove he has ‘nothing to hide,’ but another GOP rival, John R. Lakian, called Romney’s move ‘bush league’ ‘It’s time the biggest-taxing senator in Washington shows the people of Massachusetts how much he pays in taxes,” said Romney, a business consultant from Belmont. Romney said he would disclose his own state and federal taxes for the last three years ‘on the very day that Kennedy turns over his taxes for public scrutiny.’ Aides to Kennedy said late yesterday they could not immediately respond to the Romney challenge. Kennedy does release federal disclosure forms every year, but those have only ranges for income and investments. The forms indicate he receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in income from blind trusts and other family wealth. Romney chided Kennedy for never releasing his state or federal taxes in the 32 years he has served in the Senate. Many Massachusetts politicians, including Gov. Weld and Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci, release their taxes every year.” [Boston Globe, 4/14/94]

IN 2002, ROMNEY DEMANDED GUBERNATORIAL OPPONENT’S HUSBAND RELEASE TAX RETURNS

In 2002, Despite Not Releasing His Own Tax Returns, Romney Criticized His Opponent For Not Having Her Husband Release His. According to the Providence Journal Bulletin, “At the moment, however, Mr. Romney is trying to have it both ways. On April 16, he lambasted his most likely Democratic foe, Shannon O’Brien who discloses her tax return for filing separately from her husband who does not. The husband is Emmett Hayes, a former state representative and until recently a Beacon Hill lobbyist. One of Mr. Hayes’s clients was Enron. Mr. Romney is in high dudgeon that Ms. O’Brien hasn’t released Mr. Hayes’s tax forms with her own. ‘Her hands aren’t clean!’ he says…If Romney & Healey, who are candidates, won’t release their tax forms, they have no business demanding that Mr. Hayes, who isn’t a candidate, do so.” [Editorial, Providence Journal Bulletin, 5/9/02]