Mitt Romney’s latest excuse for refusing to release his tax returns — his complaint that Senator John Kerry’s wife “has hundreds of millions of dollars, [and] she never released her tax returns” — isn’t gaining traction. Perhaps this reflects the fact that when he became the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004, Kerry released 20 years of tax returns — exactly 19 more than Romney’s lone 2010 release.
Romney’s continued reluctance to resolve the tax issue has led to increasing demands from both sides of the aisle for him to “stop demanding an apology” (as Republican strategist John Weaver put it) and finally come clean. Last week we noted six Republicans who want to see Romney’s tax returns, and as the candidate has ducked and dithered, that number has swelled.
Here are six more prominent Republicans who want the truth about Romney’s secretive finances:
Gov. Robert Bentley (R-Al)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley:
“I think he ought to release everything,” Bentley said. “I believe in total transparency. You know if you have things to hide, then you may be doing things wrong.”
On ABC’s “This Week,” conservative columnist George Will said: “Romney must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them…If something’s going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that [John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest.”
He added: “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear. Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”
The founder and editor of the neoconservative magazine The Weekly Standard offered his take on “FOX News Sunday:”
“He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy. You got to release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two,” Bill Kristol said on “FOX News Sunday.”
Said GOP Strategist Rick Tyler:
“He should have put it to rest back in 2008 when he ran originally because he knew all these things were going to be problems. There’s clearly a problem with the tax returns otherwise he would release, you know, ten years of tax returns. He’s only released one year of tax returns. That’s a problem.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tx)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tx):
“His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game,” Sessions told CNN.
And former RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
“If there’s nothing there, there’s no ‘there’ there, don’t create a ‘there.’ Put out as much information as you can. Even if you don’t release 12 years worth of tax returns, at least three, four, five. ”