Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Tuesday that he would not provide more fodder for his opponents by releasing additional tax returns, as pressure on him to do so mounted from both Democrats and members of his own party.
“In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy,” Romney said in an interview with National Review Online. “And I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.”
Romney noted that he had already disclosed hundreds of pages of his returns. Former presidential candidate Ron Paul and conservative pundits Bill Kristol, George Will, and former Bush adviser Matthew Dowd have all called on Romney to demonstrate more transparency by releasing multiple years of returns. The Obama reelection campaign meanwhile has also hammered on the issue for two weeks.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday joined other Republicans urging Romney to release more information, the Houston Chronicle reported. Perry said "you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life." He has released returns back to 1992.
Asked by the National Review interviewer why he didn’t get rid of the off-shore tax accounts that have also become the subject of Obama campaign ads, Romney said that decisions about where to put his money are made by the manager of a blind trust, not him personally. “The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe,” he said.
He also said, “Secondly, the so-called offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction. So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States.”
The former Massachusetts governor also talked about his tenure at Bain Capital, defending his record and his response to the Obama team’s attacks on his tenure. “I only call people out when they are being dishonest,” he said.