As Romney Holds Back On Tax Returns, The Press Goes Into A Frenzy
The more Mitt Romney refuses to provide his tax returns except for 2010 and 2011 (the latter is forthcoming), the more editorialists are foaming at the mouth about the shady absurdity of his evasions under pressure.
Here are some highlights of what's been written.
(Feel free to read this, then write it off your taxes.)
"You don't have to be a behavioral psychologist to detect the frisson of fear running down the collective conservative spine as Mitt Romney flounders, evades and stiff-arms over the details of his financial past. The fact that even right-wing stalwarts like William Kristol and George Will are calling for the hapless Romney to parry Obama's attack and release his tax returns indicates that the candidate's stonewalling position has become untenable. Surely there can't be anything so politically damaging in those documents that it's considered less harmful to drag this drama out until Election Day."--Sun Sentinel
"What Romney has released, along with some news accounts, point to large holdings overseas. To avoid taxes? How much? The campaign insists that all has been done legally. Yes, tax avoidance is a fact of financial life. Yet Romney has based his candidacy on his business acumen. Ohioans and others, weighing whether he should be president, deserve a fuller portrait of his finances."--Akron Beacon Journal
"Why won't Mitt Romney release his tax returns? Is it because he doesn't have them? No, that's not it. In 2008, when U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign was vetting Romney as a possible vice presidential pick, the former Massachusetts governor provided tax returns dating back to 1985. Is it because he just doesn't feel like it? That was Romney's (unstated) reason for keeping his tax returns private in 2002 when he was running for governor of the Bay State. Ain't gonna happen, he effectively said back then. And, it didn't hurt him, either. Is it because he's got something to hide? That's the conclusion that many--including an increasing number of Republicans and conservatives--have been reaching as the onetime venture capitalist continues to resist calls for him to release additional information about his personal finances."--MassLive
"Mitt Romney's tax returns are important. He has described himself as a successful capitalist who took risks and created wealth, a laudable credential. Voters would benefit by seeing and evaluating the details of that story, including through his tax records."--Washington Post
"There are more important issues for the presidential contenders to address than what Republican nominee Mitt Romney did at Bain Capital more than a decade ago or how much money he has made since then. If Mr. Romney truly wants to shift the debate to other matters, as he says, he can defuse the questions about his leadership of the private-equity firm he founded and about his personal wealth by addressing them forthrightly rather than continue to talk around them."--Toledo Blade
"What a blessing to have Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president! It's a blessing because he is a living portrait of Mr. Wall Street Man, and, as his candidacy unfolds, it's allowing us commoners to get a peek into how the privileged few rig the rules for their own gain--at our expense. Obviously. Romney is, of course, a full-fledged initiate in the Uppermost One-Tenth of the 1-Percenters Club, with at least a quarter-billion dollars stashed away, and apparently much more that he's trying to hide from voters. It's not his wealth, however, that's troubling--we've had many rich politicians who have become admirable servants of the common good. Rather, it's how Romney got his and where he's put it."--Colorado Springs Independent
"As the national drumbeat builds for Mitt Romney to release additional tax returns, we can't help but wonder if he is the only person on the planet who doesn't know how his petulant game of keep-away is going to end. Surely, everyone knows he is going to release more of his tax filings; it's just a matter of when, not if. But should we be proven wrong, we hope the Republican nominee-in-waiting is prepared to answer persistent questions about his peculiar pigheadedness--and not just from Democrats and the media--right up until Election Day."--Nashua Telegraph
"Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would do well to release more tax returns than he has done so far. Candidates do not have to make public their tax records. Mr. Romney has made available his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, and has said that is sufficient. Mr. Romney said he is following the precedent of the last Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who released two years of his tax returns. The problem is that both Democrats and some Republicans are calling upon Mr. Romney to disclose more records about his business career and personal wealth. By not doing so, he invites criticism that he is hiding something or, at the least, is less than open about his personal finances."--Watertown Daily Times
"Every GOP old guard and even some new vanguard Conservatives are clamoring for Romney's pre-2010 tax returns. All pose the question: What could be in those tax returns that Romney is so afraid to disclose? As George Will and many others have noted, there must be something truly damaging in those returns to continue to endure the criticism and scrutiny. His unwillingness to reveal his returns have kept the matter of his departure date from Bain Capital open to examination. Those two items are a death knell to his campaign. Mr. Romney doesn't realize what a vivid imagination the American Public (and the media) possesses. When he leaves citizenry and journalists to speculate on what's in his tax returns, instead of what's really there, he's opening himself up to innuendo and rumors."--Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
"Even fellow Republicans are urging Mitt Romney to release more tax returns....Barack Obama, who already has released 12 years of returns, is asking, in effect, what does Romney have to hide in refusing to make public more of his financial past?"--South Carolina's The Herald