Conservatives begin questioning Romney’s motives
It’s not just the left who are demanding that Mitt Romney release his income tax returns, now conservatives have joined the chorus. In the last week, several Republicans have advised Romney to release his returns. That list includes former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former RNC chairman Michael Steele and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and others.
One of the most interesting aspects of the controversy is the fact that when President Obama sends the Senate a nominee for a cabinet post, Senate Republicans require the nominee turn over at least three years’ worth of tax returns. As Romney has only turned over his 2010 return and an estimate of his 2011 return, by Senate GOP standards – Romney wouldn’t be eligible for a confirmation hearing.
Robert Bentley, Republican governor of Alabama:
“If you have things to hide, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people,” Governor Bentley said.
“The best thing to do is just get everything out in the open and just say, ‘hey I have nothing to hide and I’m going to release my tax returns’.” SOURCE: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-16/republicans-urge-romney-to-release-taxes-change-debate
Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), chairman of the House Republican re-election effort:
Without naming a specific number of years or returns or amount of information he believes Romney should release, Session called the issue a “legitimate question” and stated “His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game.” SOURCE: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/12/house-gop-campaign-chief-says-romneys-personal-finances-fair-game/
Rep. Walter Jones (NC):
Jones told CNN: “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. 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.”
Noting he’s not a financial expert, Jones said Romney should release tax records for the last 6 -7 years. SOURCE: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/12/house-gop-campaign-chief-says-romneys-personal-finances-fair-game/
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. ” SOURCE: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/growing-republican-chorus-pushes-romney-to-release-tax-returns.php
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.” SOURCE: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/growing-republican-chorus-pushes-romney-to-release-tax-returns.php
Republican strategist Matthew Dowd:
“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” Dowd said. “So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.”
“Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this,’” Dowd said. “If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.” SOURCE: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/george-will-matthew-dowd-blast-romney-for-not-releasing-tax-returns/
Republican strategist John Weaver:
“Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.” SOURCE: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/16/12767580-gop-pressures-romney-release-the-tax-returns?lite
Republican strategist Rick Tyler:
“Mitt Romney had an opportunity to answer these questions during the primary. He did not answer these questions and now they’re coming up again.”
Tyler warned that Romney’s tax issue has the potential to inflict real harm if Romney doesn’t start providing answers, particularly in light of the controversy surrounding Bain Capital. Referring to Romney’s press secretary, Tyler went on to note “I saw Andrea Saul’s robotic response, which was the same as it’s always been. 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. Only [Romney] can provide that information, or we’ll just have drip, drip, drip to November.” SOURCE: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78459.html#ixzz20WaCf3xj
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. 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.” SOURCE: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78459_Page2.html#ixzz20WaltuNw
Conservative editor and pundit Bill Kristol:
On “Fox News Sunday,” the Weekly Standard’s editor Bill Kristol said “[Romney] should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy. You have to to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.” SOURCE: http://youtu.be/6dMHkG6FDvE
Conservative columnist George Will:
“The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” noted Will, on ABC’s “This Week.” “Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.” SOURCE: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/16/12767580-gop-pressures-romney-release-the-tax-returns