Monday, July 16, 2012

Catch and Release

It’s probably not a good sign when the folks who are supposed to be on your side are telling you to do something the other guys are telling you to do, too.

Conservative analysts joined Democrats in wondering whether Romney is just being impolitic in not releasing several years worth of returns — or whether he’s trying to hide something.

Democrats have been calling on Mitt Romney to release more than one year of his tax returns with a series of web videos and public statements. So far, he has released his 2010 returns and an estimate of his 2011 returns.

To politicos across the ideological spectrum, Romney’s unwillingness to release anything beyond these two years raises the question: if it’s worth the bad press to keep the tax returns private, they must contain something worse.

“The cost of not releasing the returns are clear,” said conservative columnist George Will, on ABC’s “This Week.” “Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

On the ABC roundtable, Republican strategist Matthew Dowd had a similar take.

“There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it,’” Dowd said. “So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.”

Or, as Rahm Emanuel pointed out, Mitt Romney gave the McCain campaign 23 years worth of tax returns in 2008 when they were vetting him for VP and went instead with Sarah Palin.