Obama Campaign Ask for Five Years of Tax Returns, Romney Campaign Says GTFO

The drip drip drip continues with Jim Messina (Obama’s campaign manager) asking Matt Rhoades (Romney campaign manager) for five years of tax returns and Matt Rhoades telling Jim Messina to get bent:

Dear Matt:

I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures. Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more–neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.

This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor’s father who provided 12 years of returns. In the Governor’s case, a five year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President. It would also help answer outstanding questions raised by the one return he has released to date, such as the range in the effective rates paid, the foreign accounts maintained, the foreign investments made, and the types of tax shelters used.

To provide these five years, the Governor would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide. And, I repeat, the Governor and his campaign can expect in return that we will refrain from questioning whether he has released enough or pressing for more.

I look forward to your reply.

Jim Messina
Obama for America Campaign Manager

And Matt’s reply:

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the note.

It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending.

If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days.

In the meantime, Governor Romney will continue to lay out his plans for a stronger middle class, to save Medicare, to put work back into welfare, and help the 23 million Americans struggling to find work in the Obama economy.

See you in Denver.

Thanks,

Matt Rhoades

Romney for President

Campaign Manager

Long story short, the Obama campaign said “if you give us tax returns for 2007-2012, then we will stop asking you to release your tax returns. It’s only three more years. Just do it.”

The Romney campaign replied with “Blah blah blah, we have to focus on the real issues, blah blah blah, leave Mitt Romney alooooone.”

So Romney isn’t going to release any more returns because he can’t trust the Angry Black Man. He’s so mean. Plus, anyone who cares about Romney’s tax returns is “small-minded.” Mitt Romney just called you stupid, America.

[read full post at ABLC]

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156 replies
  1. 1
    Rathskeller says:

    80 more days of this

  2. 2
    Cassidy says:

    NO! YOU LINKED TO YOUR OWN BLOG! I”M NOT GIVING YOU THE CLICKS! ARGHHHHHHHHH! MY DAY IS RUINED! ARGLE BARGLE!

  3. 3

    A little off-topic, but how there aren’t any followups to the story about the two cops being shot in Louisiana? Like names, motives, etc. Were these five lone nuts living in a trailer?

  4. 4
    ChrisNYC says:

    There’s a Crossroads guy on msnbc. He says that Medicare is really a side issue. “We’ve talked about it for FIVE days. Time to move ON.” Hilarious. Off limits — Mitt’s experience in business, in government, at the Olympics; Medicare; taxes; any of the various iterations of the Romney-Ryan budget. They’ve whittled themselves down to just complaining. Good plan!

  5. 5

    A little off-topic, but how there aren’t any followups to the story about the two cops being shot in Louisiana? Like names, motives, etc. Were these five lone nuts living in a trailer?

  6. 6
    Ruckus says:

    Mitt Romney just called you stupid, America

    That’s OK. It’s not even close to all the things I’ve called him.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Chuchundra says:

    So we’re thinking what…it has to be the Swiss bank thing, right?

    Pawlenty and Huntsman have to be kicking themselves for not pushing this issue during the primaries.

  9. 9
    azlib says:

    I guess we will talk about his tax returns for the next 80 days. Has there been any Presidential candidate in the modern era that did not release multiple years of tax returns?

    What is truly bizarre is Romney could have released his returns in May and we would not be talking about them now, since they would be old news.

    What is even more bizarre, Romney could have told his accountants in 2005 to get rid of all the shaky loopholes and pay a higher tax rate. Then he could have released his returns and exclaimed “see the rich are paying their fair share”.

    I do not think this guy thinks strategically at all.

  10. 10
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I loved the letter from Messina, so kind, so reasonable, so eager to just get along, so public.

    And of course the letter is just another means of keeping the tax returns in the news. And it should give the talking heads something to blather about this weekend.

    The letter from Rhoades says “Go away, you’re bad.” Blah, blah. Not so effective.

    BTW, what happens in Denver and when?

  11. 11
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    As this rate the official Mitt Romney presidential action figure will feature a disappearing tax return. Just pull a string, Mitt hides the returns behind his, back raises his other hand and says “None of you people’s beeswax”

    The reply is pretty lame too. Romney had the chance to explain himself in writing with none of the sound byte crap and he brushed it off.

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    There’s a Crossroads guy on msnbc. He says that Medicare is really a side issue. “We’ve talked about it for FIVE days. Time to move ON.” Hilarious. Off limits—Mitt’s experience in business, in government, at the Olympics; Medicare; taxes; any of the various iterations of the Romney-Ryan budget. They’ve whittled themselves down to just complaining. Good plan!

    We could always talk about Anne Romney’s horse. Is the animal back home after its Olympic Games efforts?

    Or we can talk about Paul Ryan’s suits.

    Yeah, we have got to move on. Or maybe the networks should hire journalists who apparently don’t suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Morons.

  13. 13
    Mark S. says:

    I like the theory that Mitt hasn’t been tithing. And that he usually pays less than 10%

  14. 14
    TR says:

    Dear Mitt,

    Thanks for submitting your application for the job opening. If you change your mind about providing the background information for which we asked, please let us know. Otherwise, we’ll be in touch.

    Sincerely,
    The American People

  15. 15
    japa21 says:

    I just look at the tone of the two communications. Consider “Dear Matt” against “Hey Jim.” One is respectful, one is basically derisive.

    The Obama campaign is simple in its request, takes into account the concerns of the Romney campaign and makes a reasonable offer.

    The Romney campaign simply says “Get off my lawn.” They don’t even acknowledge the offer, per se, just say “Thanks for the note.” Actually, even just saying thanks is somewhat of a step up for them, but a “Thank you for your letter” would be less dismissive.

    It appears the whole campaign on the Romney side is arrogant.

  16. 16

    This is a brilliant piece of political gamesmanship by Massina. If Romney takes the offer (which is EXACTLY what they claimed to want) then the Romney campaign looks weak, but if they don’t, they look like they are (still) hiding something.

  17. 17
    RedKitten says:

    Nicely played, Messina. If they’d agreed to release the returns, that would have been a win. And because they did not agree, and also because Rhoades was such a colossal dick about it, that’s just as much of a win — it makes our side look reasonable and mature, and it makes Romney’s campaign look like a bunch of immature “see you in the playground after school!” jerkoffs.

    ETA: Plus what Soonergrunt said. Plus the fact that this is going to keep it in the news cycle for that much longer.

  18. 18
    ding dong says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I think Denver is the first debate.

  19. 19
    eric says:

    why not have someone ask if he took advantage of the amnesty flat out…that is not one of those “I’ll get back to you” questions

  20. 20
    Doggie D says:

    They should have asked for six years of tax returns. Romney could have predicted a request for five years and did all of his shenanigans SIX years ago. FIve years is not enough.

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    Off limits—Mitt’s experience in business, in government, at the Olympics; Medicare; taxes; any of the various iterations of the Romney-Ryan budget anything except how bad Obama is.

    FTFY.

  22. 22
    Chyron HR says:

    I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more—neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.

    And if the “Fresh Air for Romney’s Taxes” PAC still wants to make hay about it, Messina can’t do a thing about that. It’s the law, you know.

  23. 23
    NancyDarling says:

    @eric: This! If he refuses to answer, the assumption has to be that he did!

  24. 24
    Culture of Truth says:

    At this point Mitt is just about to un-baptize his Dad

  25. 25
    🌟 Martin says:

    @Doggie D: You assume Obama camp doesn’t have the returns already. I think that’s a bad assumption.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @azlib:

    What is truly bizarre is Romney could have released his returns in May and we would not be talking about them now, since they would be old news.

    Only if they were basically benign. People have short attention spans for a lot of stuff in campaigns because it’s just fluff to keep the 24/7 news business going, but they can actually remember stuff they think is important. We’ve managed to keep talk about what’s in Romney’s returns going for quite a while in the absence of any actual returns to analyze. If there were something genuinely incriminating in those returns, it would stick around as a topic for as long as Romney remained in the public eye.

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    Finally watched the Ann Romney interview. Boy is she angry about the whole being asked about their taxes and lives in general. She’s livid that people expect them to actually explain themselves. She’s a terrible salesperson for the Romneys.

  28. 28
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @ding dong:

    Ah. The debates. Thanks.

  29. 29
    Mark S. says:

    @Violet:

    I thought she was Mitt’s secret weapon.

  30. 30
    eric says:

    @NancyDarling: I think that is the Obama October surprise. I think they know the answer and that is why they have stayed away till now. Pure speculation, but it is such an easy thing to put out there….the fact that they have not suggests to me that they know he did

  31. 31
    Marc says:

    @azlib: “What is truly bizarre is Romney could have released his returns in May and we would not be talking about them now, since they would be old news.”

    This. And what’s taking him so long with his 2011 returns? At this rate he’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll come out during or after the conventions, when more people are paying attention to the elections–that pretty much makes them a campaign issue for the fall. Maybe he’s planning to dump them the Friday before the convention or something?

    What the hell is in those things?

  32. 32
    Marty says:

    You are reading too much into Rhoades’ reply. I read it as “Hey, my hands are tied here.”

  33. 33
    owlbear1 says:

    Damn it’s hot outside! I blame Mitt Romney!

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    @Mark S.: have a look at the interview. She is awful. Just awful.

  35. 35
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @azlib:

    What is even more bizarre, Romney could have told his accountants in 2005 to get rid of all the shaky loopholes and pay a higher tax rate. Then he could have released his returns and exclaimed “see the rich are paying their fair share”.

    I see three possibilities here:

    1. Romney doesn’t want the presidency badly enough to constrain his rich-guy lifestyle one iota.

    2. Romney thought he’d never get called on his taxes. (Were it not for the Occupy movement’s 1%/99% meme, he might not have been.)

    3. It never occurred to Romney that he might get called on his taxes. (See #1)

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @🌟 Martin:

    You assume Obama camp doesn’t have the returns already. I think that’s a bad assumption.

    There is not a chance in hell that the Obama camp has the tax returns. Or, if they somehow have copies, they could never talk about it, mention anything about it.

    This would be the equivalent of Nixon having the IRS go after his enemies.

    It would be illegal and the closest thing to an actual impeachable offense if Obama could be linked to directing anyone to get access to or to obtain Romney’s tax returns.

    @Violet:

    Finally watched the Ann Romney interview. Boy is she angry about the whole being asked about their taxes and lives in general. She’s livid that people expect them to actually explain themselves. She’s a terrible salesperson for the Romneys.

    Maybe she should go out and ride a horse. That would relax her.

  37. 37
    🌟 Martin says:

    @eric: Actually, that’s an easy thing to drop during the debates – way out in public. Romney will duck it, and the press will fell compelled to follow-up.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    @Violet:
    She’s a terrible salesperson for the Romneys.

    FXIT

  39. 39
    NancyDarling says:

    @Violet: She IS that bad. And she was supposed to be his secret weapon, the humanizer-in-chief.

  40. 40
    Steve says:

    @NancyDarling: He wouldn’t refuse to answer. He would say no.

    What, you think he wouldn’t lie? About something that could possibly be disproven? Come on.

  41. 41
    kay says:

    The letter is great.

    They really didn’t want to talk about Medicare nationally.

    Had Romney not been ordered to pick Ryan, they would have handled Medicare like they did in the midterms, with outside groups targeting seniors in states like OH and PA, under the political media radar.

    Karl Rove’s entire midterm strategy was “lie to old people about Medicare”

    It’s that sort of ground-breaking genius that makes political media so admire him.

  42. 42
    Redshift says:

    @Doggie D:

    They should have asked for six years of tax returns. Romney could have predicted a request for five years and did all of his shenanigans SIX years ago. FIve years is not enough.

    Except he obviously didn’t, or he wouldn’t be taking such a beating from stonewalling on this.

    It’s hard to guess the reasons his refusal to pay a few bucks more when he started running in ’05 to end up with presentable tax returns. I’m sure love of money is part of it, but based on his and Anne’s behavior, a massive sense of entitlement seems to be an even bigger reason.

    (And remember, the actual Bible verse is not “money is the root of all evil,” it’s “the love of money is the root of all evil.”)

  43. 43
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    It must be hard work defending the indefensible. I almost feel sorry for Republican spokespeople.

    Almost.

  44. 44
    eric says:

    @Steve: I would not bet on that…i would bet on something like “i wont dignify your gutter insinuation” that is why (in resposne to Martin) it wont be obama at a debate.

    look for david korn to start pushing it in a few weeks.

  45. 45
    metricpenny says:

    @ABL:

    Indeed. LOL.

    Also, too, President Obama’s re-election campaign is working these knuckleheads. I’d like to think this was the long-range plan from the beginning of his 2008 campaign.

    However, I think “O’Bambi” left the building when Speaker Boehner walked away from the debt-ceiling negotiations last year.

    I wonder how they like O’BamUback?

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Violet:

    Ann Romney:

    Angry white woman.

    This illustrates one of the main differences [I think] between white and black in this country. Ann behaves like a complete bitch and no one assumes I am a crazy bitch just because I have fair skin like Ann’s. People are willing to judge me on my individual merits.

    Black women? Well . . . .

  48. 48
    Culture of Truth says:

    I thought she was Mitt’s secret weapon.

    She’s starting to remind me of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @Marc:

    Maybe he’s planning to dump them the Friday before the convention or something?

    I figure it’s going to be the Monday before the election, preferably after 11PM EST. There will be one copy, and reporters will have to give up their recording devices while viewing it. That’s how he rolls.

  50. 50
    Redshift says:

    @Chuchundra:

    Pawlenty and Huntsman have to be kicking themselves for not pushing this issue during the primaries.

    I don’t think it was quite that easy. Remember, tax avoidance, secrecy, and a massive sense of entitlement are virtues in the GOP primaries; they’re only liabilities in the general.

  51. 51
    D. Mason says:

    Every sketchy refusal to release just makes his tax history look more suspect. This is a sweet deal that only someone with a real need to hide his tax returns would refuse. Good on Obama for elegantly keeping this in the news cycle yet another day.

  52. 52

    @Redshift:

    There was a story a couple of weeks ago saying that if he thought he would have to release his tax returns he would never have run. It was one of his Bain colleagues I believe that the story came from.

  53. 53
    Brachiator says:

    @D. Mason:

    Every sketchy refusal to release just makes his tax history look more suspect. This is a sweet deal that only someone with a real need to hide his tax returns would refuse. Good on Obama for elegantly keeping this in the news cycle yet another day.

    The Democrats need to keep pushing this so it is part of the Sunday Talking News Show. The Republicans will dodge and evade, and the news hacks will toss softballs, but it will still be fun to watch.

  54. 54
    Steve says:

    @eric: Well, maybe. Some people feel compelled to play that game where your answers are misleading but not technically lying. Romney has shown plenty of willingness to flat-out lie, though.

  55. 55
    Doggie D says:

    There are plenty of black women who are not angry Linda Featheringill. Don’t you remember Rudy Huxtable from the Cosby Show? She is just one of many examples, in my opinion.

    And I still think that Obama should ask for six years of Mitt’s tax returns.

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    I have never been more convinced that I am right now..

    HE’S ON THAT AMNESTY LIST.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    @Bob In Portland: White wing milita nutjobs. from the looks of Time Picayune coverage. Whoocoodanode?

    http://www.nola.com/crime/inde.....st_jo.html

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Linda Featheringill: CHarlie Pierce said that Ann Romney was a liability in Willard’s senate campaign, I think what we saw for the last few months was a very heavily coached performance, and that ABC interview was the real thing. I’ve always said the five entitled knobs that are the Mittlets didn’t seem like they were raised by nice suburban mom Ann. I personally fell for Barbara Bush’s saucy Yankee gramma act until I got a good look at Dumbya. I think it’s a similar act, and a similar person underneath.

    @Litlebritdifrnt: and that story came from Abby Huntsman, a Republican with ties, through her grandfather’s company, ties to Bain Capital. the old man denied being Reid’s source, I don’t think John Jr ever has.

  59. 59
    eric says:

    @Steve: not on the taxes he has not. he has been very cute. Why? becuase he has signed documents under penalty of perjury and a public statement contrary to what is in those documents means he has committed a crime.

  60. 60
    Ed Drone says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    … Mitt’s experience in business, in government, at the Olympics; …

    Millions of tax dollars went into the Salt Lake City Olympics.

    Mitt Romney! YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!

    Ed

  61. 61
    RedKitten says:

    @Marty: Perhaps, but the entire tone of the letter is rude as fuck. The last phrase might as well have read, “See you in Denver, sucker!”

    There were many ways in with Rhoades could have dealt with that letter, without sounding like he was engaging in some professional-wrestling-style trash talk.

  62. 62
    Culture of Truth says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the guy oppose amnesty for immigrants got amnesty for breaking tax law? Heh heh

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the guy oppose amnesty for immigrants got amnesty for breaking tax law?

    IOKIYAR. Actually it’s more of IOKIYARWD (rich white dude).

  64. 64
    maya says:

    @Redshift:

    “the love of money is the root of all evil.”)

    Yeah. So what. Greed used to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins until Reagan turned it into an American virtue.

  65. 65
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Violet: Imagine if we asked for Willard’s birth certificate, huh?

  66. 66
    dmsilev says:

    Obama campaign: “Dear Mitt Romney. We know you’re not the man your father was. Are you half the man he was?”

    Romney campaign: “$#%##@ NO CARRIER”

  67. 67
    scav says:

    @Culture of Truth: White collar amnesty, like White collar crime, White collar drugs, in other words, see @Roger Moore.

    Somehow from this I wonder why someone hasn’t written the video game Grand Theft Banker.

  68. 68
    Gus says:

    Mitt Romney just called you stupid, America.

    You gotta admit there is a lot of evidence to back him on that one.

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    @Mark S.:

    I like the theory that Mitt hasn’t been tithing. And that he usually pays less than 10%

    the only thing that I don’t think is in Willard’s tax returns is that he didn’t tithe. Oh, I believe he tithed his 10% to the Mormons. I also believe, after reading the Mormon, Inc. article, that Willard did plenty of business deals with the Mormons, using their TAX EXEMPT STATUS, to get out of paying MILLIONS of dollars in taxes. …

    which, I also think would be hard to explain to us common folk.

  70. 70
    bemused says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    If everyone stops talking about Medicare, what would they turn to next? Every issue so far has been quicksand for Mitt. Off the top of my hand, I can’t think of any more issues that could possibly be “marvelous” for Mitt’s campaign to switch to.

  71. 71
    🌟 Martin says:

    @…now I try to be amused: From the Businessweek cover on the Mormon Church’s finances:

    On the other hand, says historian D. Michael Quinn, who is working on a book about the LDS Church’s finances and businesses, “The Mormon Church is very different than any other church. … Traditional Christianity and Judaism make a clear distinction between what is spiritual and what is temporal, while Mormon theology specifically denies that there is such a distinction.” To Latter-day Saints, opening megamalls, operating a billion-dollar media and insurance conglomerate, and running a Polynesian theme park are all part of doing God’s work. Says Quinn: “In the Mormon [leadership’s] worldview, it’s as spiritual to give alms to the poor, as the old phrase goes in the Biblical sense, as it is to make a million dollars.”

    If that’s really part of your spiritual outlook, then the Romney’s attitude toward the tax returns are quite understandable. Unfortunately, that’s not how most of the country see things and I don’t expect anyone is going to come rushing to their defense on this – particularly as it’s going to lead to the following question:

    “If accumulating wealth is spiritual, is paying taxes a sin? How do you reconcile your faith with the responsibilities of citizenship? How would that shape how you set policy for the nation, when you don’t seem willing to individually put your faiths view on wealth aside in order to see the embrace the broader social view on wealth?”

    They don’t want to get anywhere near that question in any form.

  72. 72
    eric says:

    @Gus: If you dont like it here in north america, just move to canada already.

  73. 73
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @TR: You will enjoy this from DKos.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @scav:

    Somehow from this I wonder why someone hasn’t written the video game Grand Theft Banker.

    Because robbing people with the stroke of a pen is too cold, bloodless, and boring to make a good game.

  75. 75
    🌟 Martin says:

    BTW, where is Biden today? I can’t believe he’d be passing up the chance to say “Püssy Riot” from the podium on live TV.

  76. 76
    GregB says:

    The subject of Mitt Romney’s taxes lives on for another news cycle.

    The guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  77. 77
    Origuy says:

    I don’t think the Obama campaign has the actual returns; the legal ramifications would be pretty severe. There are probably other ways to get some incriminating evidence. Once they bring that out, though, the story becomes old news, given the attention span of the media. The longer they drag this out, the better.

  78. 78
    Legalize says:

    @Doggie D:
    Team O knew that Willard wouldn’t accept the offer. Because they know damn well what’s in those tax returns.

  79. 79
    eric says:

    @🌟 Martin: When I go to TPM, my screen cuts off the headline so it reads Obama Disappointed with Pu$$y” and i think, i doubt that.

  80. 80
    wrb says:

    It has gotta be that he’s deducting for multi-million dollar orgies with boys and livestock.

    Nothing else can explain his willingness to tank the election.

    If I was a Republican running for office I’d want to stomp him to a bloody pulp.

    And, will no one think of the horses?

  81. 81
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Doggie D:

    Of course there is a wide range of temperament among members of every ethnic/racial group. My point was that black women are more likely to be labeled “angry black women” just because some black women are angry. White women don’t have that problem.

    White Mormon women don’t have that problem, either. White rich women, well maybe. :-)

    Okay?

  82. 82
    eric says:

    @🌟 Martin: When I go to TPM, my screen cuts off the headline so it reads Obama Disappointed with Pu$$y” and i think, i doubt that.

  83. 83
    Steve says:

    @eric: I think you have that backwards. And isn’t there already some kind of documented lie from Romney regarding his tax returns with respect to his residency, like 10 years ago?

    If Romney was in the amnesty program, I assure you he cannot be prosecuted for perjury for publicly claiming that he wasn’t, even if he says it 1000 times. He wouldn’t be lying about it under oath.

  84. 84
    Culture of Truth says:

    Americans must file returns, report offshore accounts that contain more than $10,000, and pay tax on any income, even if they live and work outside the U.S.

    Under the IRS amnesty program, taxpayers must file six years of returns, plus pay back taxes and a penalty.

  85. 85
    Raven says:

    Two more Americans killed by an Afghan policeman today.

  86. 86
    Jay in Oregon says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t going to try to ratfuck the issue by having someone leak fake returns so that, if the Obama campaign pounces on them, Romney can claim “Look, they’re just flat-out lying about my taxes” and muddy the water if his real returns get leaked.

    I think it would be more far damaging for Romney if he tried that, but how desperate (and stupid) is he…?

  87. 87
    eric says:

    @Steve: no, that makes the lie the statement in the return.

  88. 88
    scav says:

    @Roger Moore: But there do seem to be enough people that enjoy it (and cheer it during debates) in real life. (just need to work on the graphics and choose victim icons carefully?) The stashing cash in shelters bit would indeed be a bit boring, but maybe they could link that bit to the drugs and escort services and maybe a little money-laundering / arms trading as well. Rise to VP status and you an even start shooting friends.

  89. 89
    Redshift says:

    @Origuy: I agree. I think that, based on the behavior of top Obama campaign staff, they know what’s in them (or at least some of the bad stuff), not that they have the returns in hand. And they probably know what’s in them because Romney has pissed off a lot of people in his business career, and some of them were in a position to know something about this. Remember, a lot of Romney’s known tax-avoidance schemes were things that involved other people, not just sticking money in a foreign account somewhere.

  90. 90
    Valdivia says:

    The just trust me campaign. I love the analysis Greg Sargent has been bringing to the Romney mendacity.

  91. 91
    Steve says:

    @eric: I’ll try this one more time. If Romney was in the amnesty program, and he says publicly that he wasn’t in the amnesty program, which one is the lie? Right, the second one.

  92. 92
    Redshift says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t going to try to ratfuck the issue by having someone leak fake returns so that, if the Obama campaign pounces on them, Romney can claim “Look, they’re just flat-out lying about my taxes” and muddy the water if his real returns get leaked.

    I’d be worried about that if the Romney campaign had ever shown the slightest evidence they were competent enough to pull it off.

  93. 93
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @Mark S.: “I like the theory that Mitt hasn’t been tithing. And that he usually pays less than 10%”

    If you think most of the voting public cares whether Mitt has been shortchanging the Magic Underwear Kult*, you’re nuts.

    It’s the income from illegal activities, namely the service that supplies under-age extra wives to traditional Mormons, that will get him in trouble.

    Either that, or the medical waste company that processes aborted fetuses into pet food.

    That’s not to mention the business partnership with certain elements of the bin Laden family.

    (* an awesome name for a rock band, btw)

  94. 94
    PeakVT says:

    A handy list of reasons why Romney might not want to release his tax returns.

    An ugly graphic showing returns released by presidential candidates.

  95. 95
    JoyceH says:

    What kind of a guy sends his WIFE out to deliver the ‘I’m not going to do what 2/3 of the country think I should do’ message?

  96. 96
    shortstop says:

    @Culture of Truth: Hilarious.

  97. 97
    eric says:

    @Steve: if he told the IRS that he satisgfied the progam ands says publicly he did not, then one of them is a lie….it could be the return

  98. 98
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Redshift: This.

    You’ve gotten to the crux of the issue. Reid is simply trolling the GOP and Rmoney. I can assure you that the small amount of notable people who received tax amnesty in 2009 is well known in ‘bi-partisan’ circles. This is my belief why it took McCain so long to wade in to defend Rmoney. He just didn’t know what happened after 2008’s tax returns.

    Getting into the weeds of trying to explain how someone gets an insanely huge IRA is not a winning strategy, it’s too easy to use large words to bamboozle the low-info voter. OTOH, saying that Rmoney had to take an amnesty for illegally hidden funds is easy to talk about.

    This schmuck is done, now we need to push on their necks harder. Never Stop! Never Surrender!

  99. 99
    scav says:

    @Redshift: They could also be highly aware of which are likely to be Willard’s weak spots, vulnerabilities and likely buttons to push. Money, being told he has to bend to the same rules as other people, digging himself deeper when pushed. . . not wanting to make his father;s mistakes / touchiness about comparison to his father possibly? Might be a little recherché but falls under the general heading of know your enemy. This issue does seem to play into a large gap in his personality armor.

  100. 100
    Suffern ACE says:

    @kay: No they don’t. But now my local GOP candidate adds are about shedding those regulations and saving Medicare for our seniors.

    You’re kind of left to fill in the blank that they mean existing seniors and near seniors, but not other people.

  101. 101
    MikeJ says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    Off limits—Mitt’s experience in business, in government, at the Olympics; Medicare; taxes; any of the various iterations of the Romney-Ryan budget. They’ve whittled themselves down to just complaining. Good plan!

    You know what Mitt’s campaign reminds me of? Mark Penn and Hillary’s campaign. Caucuses don’t count. Small states don’t count. States that have ever elected a republican to any office don’t count. Black people don’t count.

  102. 102
    artem1s says:

    @🌟 Martin:

    BTW, where is Biden today? I can’t believe he’d be passing up the chance to say “Püssy Riot” from the podium on live TV.

    man, you win the internets today for that!

  103. 103
    PeakVT says:

    @Culture of Truth: Someone else would promptly re-baptize him.

    I was looking at some genealogy sites a few days ago for some relatives, and all of them have been re-baptized or sealed or whatever. It’s fucking creepy.

  104. 104
    quannlace says:

    This. And what’s taking him so long with his 2011 returns? At this rate he’s pretty

    He says he’ll release them when they’re ‘ready,’ whatever the hell that means. Even with extensions don’t you think it’d be done by now? Does he have one little CPA working on them?

  105. 105
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @MikeJ:

    You know what Mitt’s campaign reminds me of? Mark Penn and Hillary’s campaign. Caucuses don’t count. Small states don’t count. States that have ever elected a republican to any office don’t count.

    Sounds to me like a winning strategy for a candidate the base hates. A winning primary strategy.

  106. 106
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The third baseman and I were comparing Babs to Annie just last night. (I never fell for Barbara’s act, by the way; she’d always oozed insincerity and had perfected jellyfishing–stinging someone when they least expect it, then withdrawing and looking innocent. I think, if you’ll forgive my stereotyping, that she has certain unpleasant qualities that may be more apparent to other women than to men.)

    There are quite a lot of similarities between the two couples: shambling, unlikable husband married to savagely controlling (and unable to hide her entitlement) wife. Both women alternate between publicly patronizing their husbands — speaking of them as though they’re children rather than partners — and baring their teeth at anyone who criticizes “such a good man.”

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I didn’t know his father was Jewish.

  108. 108
    shortstop says:

    @🌟 Martin: Cryin’ over here.

  109. 109
    catclub says:

    @quannlace: October 15 is when they are due with one extension. First version released will probably be about Oct 22, and smudged into illegibility by copier. Second release around Oct29.

  110. 110
    SFAW says:

    I thought I heard on NPR – although I may have mis-heard it – that the Obama campaign will no longer bring up the Missing Tax Returns issue. Anyone else hear anything like that? (Apologies for being Goldberg-esque.)

    If I heard it correctly, I’m assuming that they just repeated Messina’s offer, but didn’t tell the whole story. (Shocking, I know.)

  111. 111
    Roger Moore says:

    @scav:

    But there do seem to be enough people that enjoy it (and cheer it during debates) in real life.

    The fun part about Grand Theft Bankster is what you’d be doing with all the money you took, not the actual stealing it part. The people who cheer it in real life are imagining Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous, not Grand Repossession Auto.

  112. 112
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @SFAW:

    I thought I heard on NPR – although I may have mis-heard it – that the Obama campaign will no longer bring up the Missing Tax Returns issue. Anyone else hear anything like that?

    Sounds to me like something a Republican would say in an attempt to make the Obama campaign look like liars when they bring up the tax returns again.

  113. 113
    wrb says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    It’s the income from illegal activities, namely the service that supplies under-age extra wives to traditional Mormons, that will get him in trouble.

    I hear the rumor in Utah is that he makes the big money not from providing the new wives but from disposing of the old.

    Probably there is a tie-in with the abortion business.

  114. 114
    Roger Moore says:

    @JoyceH:

    What kind of a guy sends his WIFE out to deliver the ‘I’m not going to do what 2/3 of the country think I should do’ message?

    A coward. SATSQ.

  115. 115
    Culture of Truth says:

    The IRS got about 100 applications for amnesty in 2008. It got over 3,000 in 2009.

  116. 116
    feebog says:

    This gambit by Team Obama seals the deal for me. Rmoney took a tax amnesty deal in 2009. And Team Obama knows it. They may not know the details, but they know he took a deal. The intricate part of this will be when and how to break the news without leaving any fingerprints. And yes, it would be nice for some intrepid reporter to straight up ask Rmoney if he took a tax amnesty deal in 2009. You just know he would lie about it, and a leak around October 1st would sink the ship.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @shortstop:

    (I never fell for Barbara’s act, by the way; she’d always oozed insincerity and had perfected jellyfishing—

    I hated the Reagans so much that rumors of the tensions between them made briefly sympathetic to the Bushes

  118. 118
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Dear Matt Rhodes:

    The “real issue” of this campaign, right here, right now, is what is the fetid lying sack of shit you work for hiding on his income tax returns over the last 10 years.

    We want to know. Because, you see, trust but verify. Well, except we don’t trust anything the fetid lying sack of shit you work for says.

    But we can verify it, yes we can. By looking at his tax returns, which the coward is unwilling to share with us.

    He’s flunking his job interview right now, big time.

  119. 119
    feebog says:

    @ Culture of Truth:

    According to this cnn article the number is 34,500.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/18/.....index.html

  120. 120
    jayjaybear says:

    @JoyceH: The same kind of guy who makes his son call the disappointed VP candidates he didn’t pick to tell them the news.

  121. 121
    WereBear says:

    @Origuy: I believe the President is known as a poker player.

    It’s not even a bluff; we know that Romney is holding bad cards; we just don’t know what they are.

  122. 122
    WereBear says:

    I believe the President is known as a p0ker player.

    It’s not even a bluff; we know that Romney is holding bad cards; we just don’t know what they are.

  123. 123
    rlrr says:

    @wrb:

    It has gotta be that he’s deducting for multi-million dollar orgies with boys and livestock.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate…

  124. 124
    Culture of Truth says:

    @feebog: That seems to cover a much longer time span, but so much the better

  125. 125
    japa21 says:

    @catclub: I believe, when you file for an extension, you still have to make a payment rughly equivalent to what you think you might owe. Perhaps Romney could at least say what kind of payment he made to the IRS for last year.

  126. 126
    Culture of Truth says:

    ..

    Interviewer: Thanks for coming in today

    Interviewee: Boy that guy leaving seems like a real loser

    Interviewer: let me worry about that. can I see your resume?

    Interviewee: No

  127. 127
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @eric:

    LOL. Hey, he keeps coming back.

  128. 128
    Culture of Truth says:

    Even George Costanza had to prove Festivus was real

  129. 129

    @azlib:

    Nixon only released summaries of a couple years, same deal with McCain.

  130. 130
    dmsilev says:

    @wrb:

    It has gotta be that he’s deducting for multi-million dollar orgies with boys and livestock.

    Is that always deductible, or only if it is a business expense?

  131. 131
    ChrisNYC says:

    @bemused: This is the part I truly don’t get. Crossroads man was going on and on about how no one cares about Medicare (hahahaha) because it’s the economy dumbo. But Mitt doesn’t talk about the economy other than to say, “I will grow the economy. A creator of jobs, I am.” Go ahead Mitt, say that for 80 days.

  132. 132
    Caz says:

    I’ve still yet to hear why you all want to see the tax returns. What do you expect to find in them? We already know he’s rich. What’s the smoking gun you’re hoping to find in there??

  133. 133
    Applejinx says:

    They include 2009 and specifically mention tax shelters and foreign accounts. SPECIFICALLY.

    It’s the amnesty. It’s got to be the amnesty. Next see if they ask for just 2009…

    The whole point here is that Mitt Romney is an admitted felon. Not ‘convicted’, admitted. Amnesty is exchanging an admission of guilt for forgiveness and waiver of the punishment. To take amnesty IS to admit the crime.

    I could write devastating rejoinders on behalf of Obama all day based on the revelation that his Republican opponent is an admitted felon…

  134. 134
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Raven: It was time to start the withdrawal the moment that Bin Laden’s corpse hit the Indian ocean.

  135. 135
    Applejinx says:

    @Caz: That he’s an admitted felon who’s been forgiven his felony crime by a VERY generous United States Government, and rather than be grateful and go off and play with his money somewhere, sees fit to try to become President just to cut his already pitifully light taxes to nothing?

    That’s a lot of trouble to go to. Most would content themselves with lobbying.

    That’s a lot of arrogance to have, also. What’s he gonna do AFTER he cuts his taxes to zero? Golf? Dance with horses?

  136. 136
    Chyron HR says:

    @Caz:

    So when people say “I think Mitt Romney committed a felony by cheating on his taxes for which he received amnesty in 2009,” what do you hear? “Ubba gubba bix nood,” apparently.

  137. 137
    JWL says:

    I hope Messina knows what he’s doing, and could be that he does. This offer ticked me off when I first heard of it earlier today, thinking it just another needless capitulation by the democratic party. So I am genuinely surprised that Romney shot it down. His tax returns must paint quite a picture.

  138. 138
    JWL says:

    @Caz: You don’t get it. Expectations have nothing to do with it. The man wants to be President of the United States. That’s reason enough.

  139. 139
    the Conster says:

    @SFAW:

    If it’s the segment I heard, if you had turned it off or been distracted, that’s what you heard, but then she went on to read the letter and comment on how Romney wasn’t going to. It was a strange lead-in.

  140. 140
    shortstop says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ha! Hard to argue with that! I was amused to see how quickly after moving into the White House Babs was openly snubbing and sniping at Nancy.

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    I suspect that every time someone invokes George Romney’s name in this matter, Mitt only feels all the more hurt and betrayed that people — Republicans! Fellow Mormons, even! — would use his father’s name to pressure him to do something he shouldn’t have to. And he will only dig in his heels all the harder.

    That said, my own thinking as to why those tax returns aren’t coming out is an all-of-the-above thing. Part of it is that unlike his dad, Mitt feels too entitled to have to. Another part is that he’s so oblivious, he never saw the need to clean up his taxes. And part is that he’s got something scandalous, maybe even quite a few things, to hide.

  142. 142
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JWL: the Obama campaign agreeing to stop talking about it, had it happened, would not have been binding on Paul Krugman, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Rachel Maddow or any Republicans who smelled blood in the water and wanted to clear the way for 2016

  143. 143
    wrb says:

    @Caz:

    One point that hasn’t been mentioned much is this:

    In order for a normal citizen to get a security clearance they must disclose their finance.

    There is good reason- it is important to know to whom they are beholden, whether they are vulnerable to blackmail, and whether they are criminal.

    The president is only vetted by the voters. Thus it is essential that the voters know these things.

    It becomes even more important now that it has become clear that he is hiding something so damaging that he’s willing to endanger his candidacy rather than come clean.

  144. 144
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Brachiator:

    It would be illegal and the closest thing to an actual impeachable offense if Obama could be linked to directing anyone to get access to or to obtain Romney’s tax returns.

    Not to mention this is no-drama-Obama the lawyer. He’s not going to be that dumb.

  145. 145
    Jamey says:

    I think it was stupid for the Obama campaign to get involved directly in the tax return debate. Now there’s something concrete to hang the “Barry would rather talk about mah munny” trope onto.

    This was an angle of attack best handled by surrogates and seconds. Now Obama’s team has jumped into the mud. First unforced error they’ve committed in a long time. Get back to blunting the arrows in their quiver: Ryan taking stimulus funds; Ryan being too “wonky,” but not having any actual figures to back up his projections; Romney lying about Medicare; etc.

  146. 146
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🌟 Martin:

    If that’s really part of your spiritual outlook, then the Romney’s attitude toward the tax returns are quite understandable. Unfortunately, that’s not how most of the country see things and I don’t expect anyone is going to come rushing to their defense on this – particularly as it’s going to lead to the following question:

    Valid point but Romney doesn’t seem that clued into to how non Mormons thing. This has to be something what will anger other rich white people.

  147. 147
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the Obama campaign agreeing to stop talking about it, had it happened, would not have been binding on Paul Krugman, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Rachel Maddow or any Republicans who smelled blood in the water and wanted to clear the way for 2016

    Or, of course, independent PACs, who aren’t allowed to coordinate their messages with the campaign.

  148. 148
    hitchhiker says:

    Well, hey. Ann R is right about one thing — if they put their returns into the public realm, that’s ALL we’re going to talk about for as long as it takes to figure out every last detail about how they hid all their millions from the IRS.

    Rachel M had a segment about how Mitt is running a personal mortgage company — as in, he’s the bank, the holder of mortgages that homebuyers write their monthly checks to.

    Some kind of tax scam that was supposed to save him a few bucks.

    That kind of shit will be so interesting to us plebes — that’s what Ann really meant to say. Get your filthy callused hands off my precious stuff!

  149. 149
    wrb says:

    Many on the right seem convinced that the important dirt is contained in Obama’s transcripts and they want Mitt to propose a trade, tax returns for transcripts (Of course, they say Obummer would never agree, the contents of the transcripts undoubtedly being far more damaging than the returns).

    Maybe Obama should yank their chains and make the offer.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @wrb:

    Many on the right seem convinced that the important dirt is contained in Obama’s transcripts and they want Mitt to propose a trade, tax returns for transcripts (Of course, they say Obummer would never agree, the contents of the transcripts undoubtedly being far more damaging than the returns). Maybe Obama should yank their chains and make the offer.

    This is just a mindless fishing expedition unconnected to anything, and the demands about this don’t come from Romney or any Republican of substance, but just from crazy people. The average voter doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Obama’s college years, so there is nothing to be gained by releasing this information.

    Romney, on the other hand, keeps hurting himself by defying a tradition initiated by his own father. And the press and anyone else looking for an easy good time, should continue to hammer at Romney on this because he has stupidly made it an issue himself, and because he is on record as demanding the release of tax returns from his political opponents.

  151. 151
    Steve says:

    @wrb: It won’t happen because no one except the crazies are interested in the transcripts. Obama looks reasonable by saying “just give us 5 years, and we’ll forget the rest” because people see that as a compromise. But if you offered to trade tax returns for transcripts, people wouldn’t see that as a compromise because they’d just be like “huh?”

  152. 152
    Mike in NC says:

    @Caz: He’s a goddamn felon, you moron.

  153. 153
    Applejinx says:

    @Mike in NC: Whoa whoa. ADMITTED felon. Not convicted.

    Not that there’s a big distinction politically! But I think he could legitimately say he’s never been convicted of a felony, because apparently he sorta plea bargained it away.

  154. 154
    JoyfulA says:

    @Applejinx: @Applejinx: If he’s a felon, does he get to vote in whatever state he’s registered to vote in?

  155. 155
    Elie says:

    @Violet:

    Ann Romney is poison for Romney’s campaign. She does not help him or their campaign… She should not be in this mess and its gonna get worse — much worse. Then what? She gonna start screaming and having melt downs? Some First Lady — heh…

    I still can’t get over their abysmally rotten campaign. They can’t do anything but lie, block, lie and get angry and call people names. Its like a bunch of teenagers having a tantrum… What a disgrace and embarrassment for the GOP. Actually, for our country. Watch. Their campaign will be a memorable low water mark… a source of mortification and their supporters are going to be running for the exits holding their noses…

  156. 156
    dance around in your bones says:

    I realize that this thread is dead, Fred,but some of the lyrics from Psycho Killer (Talking Heads) seem apropos:

    Ce que j’ai fais, ce soir la
    Ce qu’elle a dit, ce soir la
    Realisant mon espoir
    Je me lance, vers la gloire … OK
    We are vain and we are blind
    I hate people when they’re not polite

    Heh.

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