In an interview with Robert Costa of NRO, Mitt Romney explained why he doesn’t want to release any more tax returns:
My tax returns that have already been released number into the hundreds of pages. And we will be releasing tax returns for the most current year as soon as those are prepared. They will also number in the hundreds of pages. 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 ot reignite our economy. And I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.
I’m afraid this won’t hold water.
Look, the Obama team is going pick through, distort and lie about Romney whether he releases his tax returns or not. In the grand scheme of things, it’s better to get things out in the open and let the chips fall where they may than be accused of having something to hide.
With this in mind, it also isn’t about giving them (the Obama team) this additional information, It is about giving the American public this information and giving us a chance to decide for ourselves. By saying his tax returns are hundreds of pages, he’s saying been transparent is an inconvenience for him. Let’s put it this way. If Romney doesn’t release additional returns this will come up during the debates. It will most likely come up in questioning from the media but it could also come during the back and forth. If Romney questions Obama’s lack of transparency then all Obama needs to say is, “And what about your tax returns?” and Romney is immediately on the defensive.
Let’s not forget that during the GOP primary, Romney was at his most vulnerable in January when he hedged on when he would release his 2010 tax returns. That decision cost him South Carolina. Once he relented, both the issue and Newt Gingrich’s prospects quickly evaporated. Now the issue is back and it doesn’t need to be. Where it concerns his taxes, Mitt is his own worst enemy. If Obama can release seven years of tax returns then Romney should release eight. Of course, it won’t satisfy President Obama but it could help mollify voters who are currently on the fence about Romney.