Mitt Romney has already released as many years of his tax returns as John McCain. There’s no legitimate reason for him to release any more of his taxes, but of course, the Obama campaign wants to go on a fishing expedition. There’s no upside to Romney releasing any more of his taxes and honestly, there’s probably not much of a downside either. It just gives Obama more minimally interesting fodder to crow over while he’s desperately trying to distract the American people from his record.
Yet, we still have silly editorials like this one from National Review that demand that Romney release his tax returns to placate the Obama campaign, despite the fact that no matter how many years Romney releases, it will never be enough.
Mitt Romney is steadfastly resisting calls to release additional years of his personal tax returns, arguing — not without good reason — that this demand is part of a fishing expedition by the Obama campaign, which hopes to exploit Romney’s personal wealth and successful business career as part of a class-warfare election strategy. Romney argues that whatever he releases will not be enough to satisfy the Obama campaign and its factota in the media, who are, once again, proving their bias and double standards. Romney is right, but he should release the returns anyway. Let them go fish.
We doubt that there is anything truly surprising in Romney’s additional personal tax returns (he’s already released 2010 and will release more from 2011).
…. The only question is whether he releases more returns now, or later — after playing more defense on the issue and sustaining more hits. There will surely be a press feeding frenzy over new returns, but better to weather it in the middle of July.
Here’s an alternative idea: If National Review, George Will, Bill Kristol and these other conservatives are going to nip Romney’s heels until he gives Obama what he wants, why not get some use out of it? Why not have Mitt Romney turn the entire thing around on Obama?
Mitt should prepare his taxes, get them ready to show the public, and then say he’ll release them the same day Barack Obama lifts his claim of executive privilege in the Fast and Furious case.
What does this do?
It ties the two issues together. Every time someone asks about Romney’s taxes, Obama’s sleazy Nixonian claim of executive privilege in the Fast and Furious case will come up. It also shines a spotlight where Mitt wants it: on a major Obama scandal that emphasizes the administration’s poor performance, lack of transparency, and culpability in the deaths of over 300 people including a border patrol agent. Mitt’s request for information would be serious and legitimate, while Obama’s would look political and frivolous.
This would be all upside for Mitt and who knows, maybe it would actually help us get to the truth of the biggest presidential scandal since Watergate.