After Angry Ann’s spectacle of haughty outrage over anyone asking to see their tax returns, the Obama campaign has kicked the Romney campaign in their persecution complex by kindly offering to knock the tax returns years down to just three more. Just three more.
Ann Romney tried to paint their refusal to release more returns as a result of being persecuted, “We have been very transparent to what’s legally required of us. But, the more we release, the more we get attacked. The more we get questioned. The more we get pushed. And so we’ve done what’s legally required. And there’s going to be no more tax releases given. There’s a reason for that. And that’s because how, what happens when we release anything.” She continued, “We don’t disclose anymore because we just become a bigger target… It will give them ammunition.”
What she meant was it would give the American people information and information on this topic is the same thing as ammunition, because obviously there is something worse in the returns than just paying a low rate and stashing money overseas and betting against America.
The Obama campaign are experts at dealing with professional victims. They handled Sarah Palin’s games with ease. So after Ann Romney told the world that the reason the poor Romney campaign wouldn’t be releasing any more tax returns was because the mean Obama people would just ask more questions and want more returns, sigh, it’s as if there isn’t a number on what’s expected but even the one year is so unfair! The Obama people called the Romney bluff by setting a limit of five years total, which is three more years than Romney promised. He has provided one partial year thus far.
The Miami Herald reported this morning:
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina made the tax-disclosure offer to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a letter Friday morning. Messina said he was taking the step because Romney “apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide.”Romney’s wife, Ann, has repeatedly stated that concern in interviews, arguing that the more the couple releases, the more questions are asked.
Oh, you say you won’t release the returns because we’ll just ask for more? Here’s a limit in writing for you. Three years. Put up or shut up.
Come on, Romney, just three itty bitty more years. Less than everyone else gives. Surely you can do that, eh? What? We can’t hear you. You won’t release anymore because why?
Yesterday Romney told Americans that he always pays 13% but he’s not gonna show ya’ small minded people:
“I just have to say. Given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty, the fascination with the taxes I paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues we face, but I did go back and look at my taxes, and, over the past 10 years, I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6%, or something like that. so I pay taxes every year. Harry Reid’s charge is totally false. I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was who told him what he says they told him. I don’t believe him for a minute by the way, but every year, I paid at least 13 percent, and if you add in, in addition, the amount that goes to charity, the number gets well above 20 percent.”
We note that at no time does Romney ever say “income taxes” — just that he paid 13% in “taxes”. Although sadly, we can’t take Romney at his word on this either, as he has stood in front of the American people and asked them to believe him before, when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts, and he lied then about his taxes while giving the same denials we’re getting now.
Just three more years, Mr. Romney. What’s so hard about that?
The Obama campaign just put Ann Romney’s victim complex to rest. If the Romneys don’t put up some returns now, when the Obama campaign is making a huge concession for them — a handicap if you will since the Romneys can’t compete in the free market of tax returns and instead demand special privileges — they won’t be able to take wallow in their persecution complex without looking rather ungrateful.
This is a plum deal! Only three more years — special privileges for Mr. Romney. The Obama campaign must know that Romney can’t release his returns and won’t release his returns and it’s not because of any questions the Obama camp would ask. Obama just dared Romney to man up, and kicked him in the place Romney keeps his tax secrets.
Romney can’t do much except release the returns or keep blaming Obama for his failure to be transparent, but after Obama so kindly reduced the normal expectations for poor Mitt Romney (expectations ironically set by Mitt Romney’s father George Romney), that would be terribly bad form. Voters don’t like a victim. Romney’s going to need to find a way to appear strong while refusing to be honest with the voters. Blaming Obama isn’t going to cut it once he’s out of the right wing echo chamber.
Update: The Romney campaign has responded to Obama’s offer with a big, fat NO! They claim that they aren’t falling for Obama’s “political ploy” and that his tax returns aren’t the issue.
Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades wrote, “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending.”
So the answer is that Romney is going to double down on playing the victim, while denying voters the right to vet him as he would any company he invested in.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.