Tax Returns? Ah, No.
Willard Rmoney, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, apparently asked vice presidential hopefuls to give him "several years" of their income tax returns so he could vet them. He didn't pick Tim Pawlenty, who told ABC he had turned over "several years" to Rmoney. And didn't Pawlenty look uncomfortable making that revelation? Rmoney did pick Paul Ryan. Who also turned over "several years" of tax returns to Rmoney. "Several" means "more than two but fewer than many in number".
Bring on today's Sunday talking heads on the TeeVee. Day 1 after the Ryan announcement. Here's Sam Stein writing about it at Huffle Puffle:
Presumptive vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said on Sunday that while he turned over "several years" of tax returns to the Romney campaign during his vetting process, he would only make two years of tax returns public for voters.
The Wisconsin Republican, appearing alongside Romney on "60 Minutes" for their first joint media interview, seemed poised and assured throughout the 15-minute segment. When pressed with a question about tax returns -- a topic that has dogged Romney -- Ryan had a ready answer.
"It was a very exhaustive vetting process," he told CBS's Bob Schiefer. "It is a confidential vetting process. So there were several years. But I'm going to release the same amount of years that Governor Romney has. But I got to tell you Bob -- two, I'm going to be releasing two, which is what he's releasing -– what I hear from people around this country, they are not asking, 'Where are the tax returns,' they are asking where the jobs are? Where is the economic growth?"
Romney, in fact, has not yet released two years of tax returns. He released his 2010 return (with some elements missing) and an estimate for 2011. The campaign has said that a full 2011 return will be made public before the election.
Yo. Paulie. If you were listening to me, you would have heard people asking "Where are the tax returns?" You would have heard that if you listened to the news on a regular basis. You would have heard it from other Republicans. You know, Republicans like Ed Rollins, William Kristol, George Will, and Haley Barbour to name a few. You would have heard it everywhere. Know why? Because it is the current stink hanging around Rmoney. Don't tell me you can't smell it.
The Short: Team Rmoney once again refuses to turn over more than two sets of tax returns to the general public even though Team Rmoney itself wanted to see more than two years of tax returns before choosing its own running mate. Is that weirdly inconsistent? Does it suggest that something really big is being hidden by Rmoney? Is what Harry Reid said about not paying any taxes for a decade really so after all?
And so, once again, the Rmoney campaign blunders. Despite their hope that the Veep announcement would push the persistent tax return issue off of the front page and put some other issue up in neon until the Triumph in Tampa, Team Rmoney got only about 24 hours of relief. And then, ut oh, it's back with a vengeance. And it still reeks. And it still hangs in the air. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
There are fewer than 88 days left until the election. In that Olympic contest to decide which presidential campaign in the past half century ran the worst campaign, Team Rmoney seems to be going for the gold, even edging out Dukakis 1988, the previous world champion, who refused to release his medical and/or mental health records.