Issue Won’t Go Away: Conservative Union-Leader Newspapers Calls On Romney to Release Tax Returns
I’ve often said that 21st century political mantras are repeated over and over and over again and oftentimes the repetition of them turns in into accepting something as fact. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s talking point suggesting that Democrats want more of his tax returns released so they can find things to “lie” about increasingly doesn’t hold water due to all the GOPers and Republican publications urging him to release the returns.
And it just got worse for Romney. The issue clearly won’t go away now that New Hampshire’s conservative Union Leader newspaper has an editorial calling on him to release more returns. This can’t be dismissed as the liberal media, a Democratic politico or outlet, or even a RINO publication. Here’s a big chunk of the editorial, about one third of the way down:
Maintaining the secrecy creates the impression, justly or not, that there is something there to hide. No escaping that reality. The impression is there. And it will cost Romney votes he cannot afford to lose. Those voters might not cast their ballots for Obama, but not voting can be just as damaging. And yes, for using the tax dodges and loopholes legally available to him, he might lose votes as well.
That’s the issue in a nutshell for Romney. He could turn off enough Republicans who need more than resentment to Barack Obama to vote for him to show up at the polls. The paper then nails the bigger issue:
But there is no place for secrecy or, indeed, privacy in a Presidential campaign. If you want the job, you have to subject yourself to the scrutiny.
You have to be prepared to stand and explain, indeed, justify, your actions. If they are legal, then so be it.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this entire controversy is the one NOT being discussed much: How did Romney get himself into this position in the first place? He has been running for office for a long time. His presidential aspirations predate the tax returns in question.
What could he possibly have been thinking when he failed to ensure that everything contained in those documents was above reproach? Or was he simply not thinking at all? Surely he could not have arrogantly believed that he could withstand any storm that developed by bluffing his way through it? If so, it hasn’t worked.
That’s about as blunt an assertion as we’ve heard coming from an outlet that is Republican. It comes down to what I call political negligence.
If Romney intends to win, he is going to have to make the tax forms public. This storm won’t go away. It will distract from his policy debate with Obama — and it will distract from Obama’s failures, providing the incumbent with the smokescreen he is attempting to create.
Romney needs to end this. He needs to end this by revealing the tax documents, explaining them, explaining the legality behind his actions, and then he needs to move on.
This campaign is not about his wealth. And it is not about the amount he has paid, or not paid, in taxes. It is about vastly different views of America — and America’s future.
Unfortunately, as long as some voters believe there is something the presumptive Republican nominee is attempting to hide, the true debate takes a back seat. It’s time to get the inevitable over with. Release the tax returns, explain them, take the heat, and move on.
Wise advice. Will he take it? I disagree with those who think he’ll do it. I think at the most he’ll release a tiny portion, just enough to say he released more. And the negative personal issue will linger.
Lingering negative personal issues aren’t good for people in very tight elections.
And then there’s this from MSNBC’s First Read:
*** On his tax returns: Also in his interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Romney — once again — said he wasn’t releasing his tax returns prior to 2010. “I’m following the same precedent that was put in place by John McCain. Two years, and by the way, hundreds of pages of returns for the Democrat operatives to go through and twist and distort and to turn in different directions and try and make a big deal out of.” Romney continued, “[W]hat we’ve noted is our Democrat friends, take what’s there, twist it, distort it, dishonestly use it in attack ads. I just don’t wanna give ’em more material than is required.” By the way, this reasoning subtlety implies there is something in there he’s embarrassed about in some form. Never have understood using the excuse of someone else will find something in it to make a negative out of it.z’