You know, when even the editors of the highly conservative National Review are willing to take the GOP presidential nominee to task for not releasing his tax returns, the debate is pretty much over:
“The Romney campaign says he has released as many returns as candidate John Kerry did in 2004, and cites Teresa Heinz Kerry’s refusal to release any of her tax returns. Neither is an apt comparison. John Kerry actually released returns from 1999 through 2003, and also released tax returns during his Senate runs. As for Teresa Heinz, Romney isn’t the wealthy spouse of a candidate, but the candidate himself. In 2008, John McCain released two years of returns, but he had been filling out financial disclosure forms for decades as a senator. Romney protests that he is not legally obliged to release any tax returns. Of course not. He is no longer in the realm of the private sector, though, where he can comply with the letter of the law with the Securities and Exchange Commission and leave it at that. Perceptions matter.
Romney may feel impatience with requirements that the political culture imposes on a presidential candidate that he feels are pointless (and inconvenient). But he’s a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable. In all likelihood, he won’t be able to maintain a position that looks secretive and is a departure from campaign conventions.”
In other words, get it all out and get it over with, because this current stance is unsustainable. But of course, the more stubbornly Romney refuses to follow the advice even of his friends and supporters, the more suspicious his behavior becomes. This is something that he should have handled back during the primaries, or at the very least right after clinching the nomination.
You do have to wonder why he hasn’t.
– Jay Bookman