Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns, and His Dignity

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By Josh Barro

Abby Huntsman and Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post spoke with some unnamed former Bain Capital executives and were told that Mitt Romney has a strong, principled objection to releasing his tax returns:

Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president. ... Underlying the resistance, sources close to him say, is Romney's belief that voters simply don't have a right to see what should be private financial information.

This doesn't sound like the Mitt Romney we know. The Mitt Romney who changes his principled policy stands to match the preferences of whatever electorate he currently faces. The Mitt Romney who has run screaming from his key policy achievement as governor of Massachusetts, health-care reform. The Mitt Romney who went to the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas to receive Donald Trump’s endorsement on live television. Romney will do those things in pursuit of the presidency, but releasing his tax returns would be beneath his dignity?

If we know anything about Mitt Romney, it’s this: He would wear a suit made of his tax returns and do a striptease, tossing the pages into a crowd of eager reporters, if he thought that would get him elected president. If he’s not releasing his tax returns, it’s because he thinks doing so would not serve his presidential ambitions; it’s certainly not because he’s placing a belief in privacy above them.

(Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. Follow him on Twitter.)

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-0- Jul/18/2012 22:08 GMT