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article imageOp-Ed: Romney demanded 'several years' of tax returns from veep hopefuls

By Bill Schmalfeldt     Aug 12, 2012 in Politics
Something to remember when Mitt Romney tells "you people" that you've seen all the tax returns you're going to get. Apparently part of one year and the promise of another wasn't good enough in the veep vetting process.
ABC News reports in a briefing with reporters in Virginia Saturday, senior adviser Beth Myers, who was charged with heading the vice president selection process, declined to specify exactly how many years of tax returns were required, saying only that “several” were requested.
Several, by definition, implies more than two years.
Tim Pawlenty told George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” this morning that he gave “several” years of tax returns to Mitt Romney during the vice presidential vetting process. Pawlenty said he didn’t remember the exact number of years. He later said he gave Romney a “bunch” of tax returns.
When pressed about what “several” meant, Pawlenty said “We don’t get into the details of the vetting process.”
It will be interesting if any passed-over veep candidate has enough of a spine to reveal how many years he turned over to the Romney campaign. We know from John McCain that Romney turned over 23 years worth when he was being considered. For whatever reason, McCain took a look at those returns and made the inexplicable decision to tap Sarah Palin for the job.
These revelations coming out drip-by-drop will do nothing to get this "why won't Romney release more tax returns" issue out of the headlines. If anything, it will intensify it.
According to ABC:
When asked why he does not put the criticism to rest and just release more of his tax returns, Romney has said that no matter how many he decided to make public, there will always be a call to give more.
And while Romney’s own father, George Romney, released 12 years of tax returns during his bid for the presidency, the candidate today cites Sen. John McCain as the one who set the precedent to release just two years.
We are supposed to believe, we guess, that one campaign means "precedent."
We are also supposed to believe, apparently, that it is more important that the vice presidential candidate be more forthcoming with his personal finances than the presidential candidate.
We feel the only thing that will put this to rest once and for all is for Romney to pull this screaming, raging monkey off of his own back, reveal his tax returns now, in August, and give himself some time to repair whatever damage is done, rather than wait until October when you can be sure Harry Reid, if he hasn't by then, will identify the person who told him about Romney paying no taxes for 10 years.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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