Jon Huntsman, Sr. to Mitt Romney: Release More Tax Returns

The issue of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s tax returns just won’t go away. And the latest call comes from GOP who was once considered close to Romney: Jon Huntsman, Sr:

Jon Huntsman Sr. called on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns Friday, complaining that the Republican nominee was not being “fair” with voters.

“I feel very badly that Mitt won’t release his taxes and won’t be fair with the American people,” Huntsman told the Washington Post. He said Romney “ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate.”

Huntsman, father of Romney’s primary rival Jon Huntsman Jr., served as Romney’s 2008 finance chair. Some speculated that he might be the source for Harry Reid’s unsubstantiated claim that Romney paid no taxes for 10 years, based on the Utah billionaire’s past close relationship with Romney and his son’s more recent antagonistic one. Huntsman, while echoing Reid’s call for Romney to release his returns, denied to the Post that he was the source, calling the allegation “absolutely false.”

Like Reid, Huntsman noted that Romney’s own father, George Romney, started the modern tradition of releasing tax returns for presidential candidates.

“I loved George,” Huntsman said. “He always said, ‘Pay your taxes for at least 10 or 12 years.’”

Not a good development for Romney. To be sure you can bet your Grandma’s Casino gambling card that Huntsman, Sr. will now be attacked furiously in the conservative news media in an effort to discredit him. But Romney’s problem is not with Republicans voting for him. His problems are a)unfavorable ratings that are going up b)the number of independent voters who like him, which are going down.

This won’t help and efforts to discredit Huntsman won’t score with these voters.