The Obama campaign challenged Romney to release more tax returns, and his campaign responded with answer that proved to everyone that they are hiding something.
In response to the Obama campaign’s offer to not press for more years, if Mitt Romney releases five years of tax returns, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades gave the only possible answer that would make things worse.
Here is his reply to Obama campaign manager Jim Messina,
Thanks for the note.
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.
If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days. In the meantime, Governor Romney will continue to lay out his plans for a stronger middle class, to save Medicare, to put work back into welfare, and help the 23 million Americans struggling to find work in the Obama economy.
See you in Denver.
Matt Rhoades Romney for President Campaign Manager
When challenged to release more tax returns, Mitt Romney’s official answer is tax returns? What tax returns? To make matters worse, his campaign manager brings up the the first presidential debate in October, which is inviting Romney’s tax returns to become an issue at the first presidential debate.
Just for good measure, he referenced Romney’s tax returns twice in the email, but never answered the Obama challenge. It’s pretty simple. If you are going to ignore the challenge to release more tax returns, don’t mention the returns in your reply. The Romney campaign gave more ammo to their opponent by talking about the tax returns, but not directly addressing the prospect of releasing more years.
Obama is successfully using the tax returns issue to destroy Romney’s credibility. How can voters trust Romney on the issues if he can’t even be honest about his tax returns? Mitt Romney doesn’t get is that the issue isn’t the returns themselves, but what his refusal to release them tells voters about his character.
I have a hunch that if it was up to the campaign, the tax returns would have been released long ago. The refusal to release the tax returns is probably coming from Ann and Mitt Romney themselves.
Political pros repeatedly suggest publicly and privately that Romney has to release the tax returns at some point. They are basing their presumption on the notion that if he doesn’t release them, he will lose the election. But Mitt Romney doesn’t have to release them, he can decide that he would rather lose an election than let people see them.
The only acceptable answer for Mitt Romney is to release his tax returns. Anything other than releasing the tax returns makes things worse.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association