Mitt Romney wasn’t keen on releasing tax returns back in 2002 either. In a video, dug up by the folks at Buzzfeed, Romney said he regretted opening the tax return can of worms when he ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994 for a Senate seat.
“Senator Kennedy, when I was running against him I said, ‘Boy you gotta release those income tax returns,’ and he said, ‘No I value my privacy,’” Romney said in the ‘02 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate. “And I think he was right and I was wrong. As result I do share his view on this. I’m not going to release my income tax returns.”
Despite calls from leaders in both parties to come clean with his full tax history, the Republican candidate has only released docs for 2010 — breaking the trend his own dad, George Romney, started by releasing 12 years of records when he ran for president in 1968. Romney says he plans to put out one more return before the November election.
Today, Romney remained steadfast in his decision and brought up Sen. John Kerry’s wife again, just like he did in the 2002 debate video.
“John McCain ran for president and released two years of tax returns. John Kerry ran for president, you know, his wife who has hundreds of millions of dollars — she never released her tax returns,” Romney said Monday on Fox and Friends. “Somehow this wasn’t an issue. The Obama people keep wanting more and more and more, more things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and to distort and be dishonest about.”
Financial disclosure forms don’t necessarily paint a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s financial situation, but the Romney campaign has denied they have something to hide.
Former White House chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel argued Romney’s campaign lack of transparency has been a conscious political gamble.
“The Romney campaign isn’t stupid. They have decided it is better to get attacked on lack of transparency, lack of accountability to the American people versus telling you what’s in those taxes,” said Emanuel.