Republicans Agree That Mitt Romney Needs to Come Clean
It’s not just people on the left who are concerned about Mitt Romney’s outsourcing of American jobs at Bain Capital, his shady foreign finances, and what’s hidden in his tax returns. Some Republicans also agree that his record is fair game and that Romney needs to come clean and release more of his tax returns.
Here’s the rundown.
Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
“If there’s nothing there, there’s no ‘there’ there, don’t create a ‘there.’ Put out as much information as you can. Even if you don’t release 12 years worth of tax returns, at least three, four, five. ”
Rep. Walter Jones (NC):
“I think he should release his financial records and I think if he does it in July it would be a lot better than in October,” Jones told CNN. Romney’s extension for completing his latest tax return goes until October.
“Obviously people know he’s rich, nobody holds that against him,” Jones said, but added, “whenever you are asking for the vote of the American people that you need to fully disclose what your holdings are, if you have any.”
Jones said he’s not a financial expert, but he said Romney should release the last 6 -7 years of records.
Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), who chairs the House Republican re-election effort:
“His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game,” Sessions said. While he declined to name a specific amount of information or number of years’ worth of tax returns Romney should release, he called the issue a “legitimate question.”
Former RNC Chairman and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour:
Barbour told CNN Tuesday that he would release the returns if he was in Romney’s shoes.
“I would. But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don’t think it amounts to diddly.”
Republican stragesist Rick Tyler:
“Mitt Romney had an opportunity to answer these questions during the primary,” said Rick Tyler, who ran the pro-Gingrich super PAC that spent millions attacking Romney on the Bain issue. “ He did not answer these questions and now they’re coming up again.”
Tyler warned that the newest Bain twist has the potential to inflict real harm if Romney doesn’t start providing answers.
“I saw Andrea Saul’s robotic response, which was the same as it’s always been,” Tyler said, referring to Romney’s press secretary. “That doesn’t comport with documents that have his name on it after 1999 that list him as CEO who was making money off of transactions. If he wasn’t making money from Bain, then his tax returns from the period in question would reveal that.”
Tyler said Romney needs to be frank and provide all the details necessary to explain his role in the company after 1999. He hypothesized that there could be more documents to come.
“Only [Romney] can provide that information,” Tyler said. “Or we’ll just have drip, drip, drip to November.”
Republican strategist Ana Navarro:
“I feel like we are watching a rerun of an episode from the Republican primary with the return of the releasing of taxes issue,” she said. “It turned into a big deal during the primary, and pretty much got diffused when he released the one-year of returns. I wish he’d hurry up and release more tax returns so this distraction would go away.”
It’s also worth remembering that one of Romney’s own Republican rival, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, first called on Romney to release his tax returns way back in October. Perry followed up during a debate in January:
“It is important for Mitt to release his tax returns. The fact is we can’t fire our nominee in September.”
IN ONE SENTENCE: There is bipartisan agreement that Mitt Romney needs to release his tax returns so we can get to the bottom of his record at Bain Capital, secret Bermuda corporation, shady foreign accounts, and the unfair loopholes and tricks he used to pay an ultra-low tax rate.
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