Do Republicans Wish They Retroactively Had Let Newt Sustain His Bain Attacks?


Two soundbites from the Sunday shows have made a big stink: Mitt Romney’s former Bain partner, Ed Conard, admitting that Mitt was legally CEO of Bain until 2002. And GOP fixer Ed Gillespie, distancing Mitt from the outsourcing Bain did by insisting Mitt had “retroactively retired” before all the bad stuff happened but while (Conard confirmed) he was legally CEO.

All that’s on top of the fact that Mitt was profiting mightily from this vulture capitalism and siphoning the money to his offshore havens in Bermuda and Cayman Islands, which we’re not yet really talking about.

More telling, though, is the list of Republicans now calling on Mitt to release more his tax returns:

  • Columnist Bill Kristol
  • AL Governor Robert Bentley
  • Lobbyist and former MS Governor Haley Barbour
  • Columnist George Will
  • Strategist Matt Dowd
  • Strategist Ana Navarro
  • Strategist John Weaver

Now, none of these people–with the possible exception of Barbour–are big insiders who have any leverage over Mitt. Moreover, I can’t think of any way that any of them would definitely know the content of Mitt’s tax returns.

But what if they do? What if they know or suspect that those tax returns would expose not just Mitt’s role in Bain (including how much they paid him in salary in 2001 and 2002 to do, Mitt claims, absolutely nothing), but how much money he siphoned away to tax havens so as to avoid paying his fair share to the country he now wants to lead? What if they know the tax returns will doom his campaign, and want to force him to release them now, while they can still replace him with Chris Christie or someone else? (To be fair, with such a diverse mix of GOPers, I suspect they’ve got different motives for their comments, including–some of them–good faith belief releasing the forms would be best.)

Which makes me think back to the week in January when the GOP had the chance to fully expose what Mitt did at Bain–with the video Newt’s SuperPAC released above–but backed off that chance. (h/t ZachBeauchamp for finding a working copy)

Newt released the video on January 7. By January 10, Newt accused Mitt of undermining capitalism. But then, on January 11, he reversed himself, claiming he overstepped and asking his SuperPAC to edit the video, using the same claims of inaccuracy advanced by fact checkers that have foundered on the obvious facts included in SEC filings now. But by January 17, he was calling on Mitt to release his tax returns. Newt won the South Carolina primary on January 21. On January 24, Mitt released a single tax return, showing he paid very little in taxes and had tax shelters in Switzerland (now closed), Bermuda, and Cayman Islands, but revealing nothing about what he did in the key years in 2001 and 2002. Since Mitt won the nomination, Newt has even warned Democrats not to attack Mitt on the same terrible Bain record he himself did.

I sort of get the feeling Newt knows what’s in Mitt’s tax returns. Indeed, I’ve seen oblique tweets from a few Republicans this weekend saying “I told you so” and paying off debts, leading me to believe more than a few Republicans tried to warn their party that this Bain thing would blow up and are now being vindicated.

In any case, I wonder (as does Steve Benen) whether Republicans are trying to claim a mulligan, now that this Bain record has come back into play. I wonder if they’re wishing that Newt had at least sustained his attacks on Mitt’s Bain record, so they wouldn’t be saddled with such a toxic–and potentially worsening problem–in their candidate. That’s not to say the GOP actually wanted Newt to beat Romney with these attacks; he’s guilty of the same arrogance and corruption, if on a smaller scale. That’s not to say they liked the way obvious attacks on Bain discredited a kind of capitalism that they not only support, but is heavily funding the GOP side of this campaign (the Democratic side, too, though not as generously as it did in 2008). But had Newt sustained that attack, they probably wouldn’t be dealing with Mitt’s meltdown right now, and probably wouldn’t be dealing with Mitt, the candidate, at all.

For the record, there’s one Republican who has definitely seen Mitt’s tax returns. As Brian Beutler pointed out the other day, McCain’s former campaign manager Steve Schmidt saw 20 years of Mitt’s tax returns when vetting Mitt to be John McCain’s Veep. And at least in January–he has remained conspicuously silent during this latest flap–Schmidt said Mitt shouldn’t release anymore tax returns.

I think that he`s the front-runner in the race. I think he`s the most likely person to be the nominee of the party. And I would never advise him to disadvantage himself with issues like his taxes, against what is precedent for campaigns.

I think that he will probably do what presidents and vice presidents typically have done with regard to the release of their taxes. But if it was good enough for John Kerry, it ought to be good enough for Mitt Romney. He shouldn`t release information that disadvantages himself and opens up a lot of attacks.

(I’ve asked Beutler for the date of this quote–it sounds like it came before Mitt released any tax returns, but I’m not clear if it came after Newt had released the video.) Update: Schmidt made these comments on January 10, the last day of Newt’s attack on Bain’s record. Interesting.

57 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    He shouldn`t release information that disadvantages himself and opens up a lot of attacks.

    That strategery certainly worked really well, didn’t it?

  2. emptywheel says:

    @P J Evans: Right. After Newt had already released that video, what possible scenario did they envision at least UNIONS not running with the Bain attack?

  3. Stuart says:

    He has to release more tax returns or the convention will have to find a way to select a different candidate

  4. Phil Perspective says:

    Sounds like Schmidt knows that if Willard released any more tax returns then it would sink the S.S. Willard Romney, and possibly the GOP with it. For this election any way. What would be so bad about it that Schmidt thinks the hit would be less by keeping the returns secret?

  5. coral says:

    If Mitt goes down, which I sense is highly unlikely, who would the GOP nominate in his place?

  6. Mauimom says:

    Barack Obama is one lucky SOB.

    He single-handedly destroyed the Democratic party, revived the Republican party from its flat-lined status on 1/20/09, and still manages to beat these fools [while screwing the American public].

    I guess that’s what he meant by “bi-partisanship.”

  7. emptywheel says:

    @coral: I mentioned Chris Christie in the post bc I think he is the most likely person GOPers would turn to, and I think he might actually be their best shot.

  8. prostratedragon says:

    A couple more Historically Great Throws, these by David “Dave the Potter” Drake, here and here. (He’s known to have used a wheel, so the designation is likely accurate.)

  9. BeccaM says:

    BTW, there’s a brilliant story from, of all places, the NY Times from December of last year, documenting how, no matter when Romney “officially” left Bain Capital, he nevertheless has continued to make profits to the tune of millions of dollars from Bain investments.

    (W)hen it came to his considerable personal wealth, Mr. Romney never really left Bain. In what would be the final deal of his private equity career, he negotiated a retirement agreement with his former partners that has paid him a share of Bain’s profits ever since, bringing the Romney family millions of dollars in income each year and bolstering the fortune that has helped finance Mr. Romney’s political aspirations.

    The arrangement allowed Mr. Romney to pursue his career in public life while enjoying much of the financial upside of being a Bain partner as the company grew into a global investing behemoth.

    In the process, Bain continued to buy and restructure companies, potentially leaving Mr. Romney exposed to further criticism that he has grown wealthier over the last decade partly as a result of layoffs.


    This is the takeaway factoid: Even though he was no longer part of Bain management and no longer a voting partner, Mitt Romney in absolute point of fact continued to make millions of dollars off his investment holdings in the Bain group of investment companies. And what did they do from 1999 on? They stole hundreds of millions of dollars by saddling acquired companies with debt, selling off their assets, and shipping jobs overseas.

    Mitt Romney’s fortune is built on the corpses of destroyed businesses and outsourced jobs.

    The questions should be asked. As governor of Massachusetts, did he steer any state business toward Bain or any of its subsidiaries? When he was running the 2002 Olympics, did he steer any of its business towards Bain-owned companies? How can he reconcile having made hundreds of millions of dollars by having an ongoing investment interest in a company that specialized in outsourcing American jobs? Why did the McCain campaign decide his tax returns were a problem — was it merely appearance or did they find questionable activities in there?

    Romney’s continued stake in Bain is like having a large investment in a company that makes toxic products, knowing that those products are hurting people, making tons of money off those investments — and then denying any responsibility for what that company is doing.

    Mitt Romney still has large profit-producing investments in Bain. Even if he does not tell them what to do anymore, that still makes him partially responsible for everything they are doing and have done.

    This, I think, is one of the many ‘smoking guns’ about Mitt Romney. The bulk of his staggeringly vast fortune was built on destroying American companies and jobs, stealing pensions, and ruining entire communities. Tacitly, by continuing to own part of Bain, he is complicit in everything they’ve done, even if he no longer officially tells them what to do as CEO, president, managing director, and sole shareholder.

  10. Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Newt was probably picking up on rumors leaking out of McCain’s campaign.

    Income from illegal activities, form 1040, line 21; list source and amount.

  11. P J Evans says:

    I hear the SLC Olympic uniforms were made in Asia, if not actually in China. The Romney campaign should not complain about this year’s uniforms, if they don’t want attention focused on what their lying boss did himself.

  12. greengiant says:

    If the elephants on the backs of the American people could buy the previously disclosed Mitt’s 13 percent tax rate, the elephants can be sold any fact or lie you can imagine.
    I suspect that ex post facto will have to disappear before these robber barons find any justice.

  13. rkilowatt says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki: FYI re Form 1040 line 21 asks, “Other income”.

    “Other income” gives the opportunity to escape the legal charge of failure to declare income. Thus, you can safely declare the income without confessing a source that would expose illegal/criminal acvity. This bypasses any 5th Amendment requirement against “forced to incriminate oneself” in filling-out the form 1040. A clever-stroke by the criminals for the criminals.

  14. bmaz says:

    I wonder how much the general public really gives a damn about all this. I know the blogosphere is pumped up but, really, is the kind of stuff at issue here par for the course for GOP? Are they not the party of finance and business? Is it really going to stop any GOP voter that has been predisposed to voting for Romney (most all of them) from continuing to do so? I have a hard time seeing that. The press, as Marcy pointed out with Kessler, is already predisposed to treat this as a minor curiosity. Talk of criminal charges is silly; first off, the real violations are all well beyond the statute of limitations, with only maybe a possibility of action on a more recent campaign filing being available. Anybody think the DOJ is going to even open an investigation on that?? I didn’t think so.

    So, that leaves it as chatter among liberal and progressive Democrats – that already were not going to vote for Romney. Any action, as always, must come from the relatively unpositioned voters – and most “independents” are already mostly positioned. It is an awesome talking point, but it is business and finance nuance. If it involved a hooker, then maybe you would have something.

    All this is important, I am just not sure it is going to be all that important to that many people outside of the echo chamber we exist in. It should be, but I fear it won’t.

  15. MadDog says:

    A couple thoughts about each campaign’s opposition research:

    1. If Team Obama is any good at all (no opinion just yet), I would think that the Bain Drain would only be the opening salvo in their stockpile, and that future strikes would be a) more potent, and b) were intended to have a cumulative effect.

    2. Team Romney is at a disadvantage in that their target has already undergone trashing in the 2008 campaign. That seems to mean that Team Romney will have little new ammunition, and that re-cycling old material is about all they’re left with.

  16. bmaz says:

    Also, and I have seen very little notice of this, but I would hazard a guess there will be good use of it made from Romney and the GOP, was this little article from Suzy Khimm at WaPo:

    Offshoring creates as many U.S. jobs as it kills, study says

    “Offshoring” has become a major bogeyman in the 2012 presidential campaign. But is it actually harmful for American workers in the long run? A new paper from the London School of Economics Center for Economic Performance suggests not.
    Three economists examined 58 U.S. manufacturing industries from 2000 to 2007, and found an economic upside to offshoring—not just for American companies, but for American workers themselves.

    The study found that offshoring tends to increase productivity and reduce costs, which can prompt firms to expand domestic hiring enough to offset the jobs lost to workers overseas.
    “Offshoring has no effect on native employment in the aggregate,” the authors said. “While offshore workers compete directly with natives, their employment generates productivity gains that ‘increase the size of the pie,’ leading to an overall neutral impact on native employment.”

  17. MadDog says:

    @bmaz: I’m of a similar opinion.

    That said, if the campaign professionals are any good at their vocation, they will have figured out how to move the needle for Undecideds and Independents in their direction sufficiently enough in critical voting district/state targets to make an impact.

    It, of course, remains to be seen whether any of their strategies and tactics bear fruit.

  18. P J Evans says:

    Offshoring has no effect on native employment in the aggregate

    But if your job has gone offshore, and all your friends and relations know it, then it’s not going to dispose you or them to look kindly on people who think it’s a wonderful idea.

    I don’t know that I’d believe the WaPo on this anyway….

  19. Dan Ludington says:

    BHO is the the current result of progressive policies. What part of regressive do you not understand? Does reactionary reaction seem possible? dl

  20. Mauimom says:


    And what did they do from 1999 on? They stole hundreds of millions of dollars by saddling acquired companies with debt, selling off their assets, and shipping jobs overseas.

    Clearly we need a TIMELINE identifying the companies that were murdered by Bain during Mitt’s “retirement.”

  21. guest says:

    Wow, that was an amazing video. The thing that amazes me is to see something like that from the R’s which the D’s seem unwilling and incapable of making (is this feeling similar to what Freud called “penis envy”?), and what the press used to be able to do, but I haven’t seen anything like that in the media since the 80’s.

    But all thru that video, all I could think was “how many of these people have been voting republican for the last 20 or 30 years?”. I would guess most of them. And how many people others who will be baned in the next decade will vote for Republicans this year (whether they vote R at the top of the ticket or not)?

  22. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Bollocks.

    The underlying story on outsourcing polls powerfully in most swing states. That, right there, could be the election. And that’s all before you figure it keeps Mitt on his heels having to DENY he lied. And before you get his tax returns which will turn him into a poster child for why the rich suck so much. And while he may never be prosecuted, I’m actually all in favor of spending time shifting the discussion about whether CEO lies are criminal.

    And, as I’ve said before, if the economy crashes before the election, millions will have already been spent on the message that Mitt is the problem, not the solution.

    Really, I can think of no better message.

    With the added benefit that it ALSO educates the low attention citizen about this stuff.

    This is the most useful campaign tactic I’ve seen in years. Obama may regret it, lose control of it. But I honestly see no downside, short of Mitt beating him up for trade deals, which I’d take too.

  23. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: Bollocks, again.

    If wonkery worked ObamaCare would be hugely popular.

    THis is wonkery and not very good wonkery at that.

    Beyond the fact that the history belies this.

  24. emptywheel says:

    @guest: Probably a mix–these are Reagan Republican types–Newt picked carefully to make sure they were almost all white.

    If people talk to working class people about dignity in credible fashion, they’ll get their vote. Unions do that, which is why white working class people vote Democratic in some areas. But both parties have given up on the dignity of working class people, which is why racist appeals are so powerful.

  25. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: And I’ll add that Obama’s Bain attacks are already moving voters in swing states, and the OFA PAC did polling in SOUTH CAROLINA and Newt’s ad moved voters there.

    The polling on this is very clear. This stuff moves votes.

  26. Phil Perspective says:

    @emptywheel: Well all know that the only way Willard has a shot in this thing is if he starts attacking Obama from the left. Over the NAFTA-like trade deals. The economy not improving fast enough. After all, where did Mr. Space Colony attack Willard from? From Willard’s left. Basically what I’m saying is that for Willard to have a shot, he’ll have to pull the same stunt he tried against Teddy back in the 1990’s. And Willard couldn’t even pull that off.

  27. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: I hope that is correct. There is a profound difference though between Newt’s ad in SC for primary purposes and general election purposes. It IS powerful, I just think it at least possible the target sought to be moved is not that large. Critical yes, but still fairly small. And there are defenses to the attack for anybody that wants to buy off on the “expert businessman” bullshit. Your argument is not with me, but with people that think very differently than either one of us.

  28. Phil Perspective says:

    @emptywheel: It certainly does. People are pissed off about losing their jobs and stuff. Jeepers, Bruce sang about it in My Hometown. Those jobs don’t come back. Also, too, read the last two paragraphs of the Kaplan article linked to above. I should probably read the study to see how they come up with their proof. Needless to say, I think the three from the LSOE are full of crap.

  29. Phil Perspective says:

    @bmaz: It’s simple why it works. People know the Willards of the world have f–ked them over. Why do a lot of Southerners vote for the GOP. Not because they are right-wing on economics. But because “the other” gets stuff whitey doesn’t think they deserve. I think Digby wrote about it a time or two. Sorry to use such coarse language, but it’s the truth.

  30. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    bmaz@15 – this is resonating, and I hope as MadDog points out @17 this is only the opening salvo.
    Besides, that VF article about a few of Romney’s rather unseemly tax havens seems to be moving along the Internet, and its author Nicholas Shaxson is reporting that he has been quite surprised at the impact it is having.

    This is also highlighting the Tax Justice Network and other global groups, which I take as a good thing – particularly with the LIBOR rigging in the background. Good times ;-)
    In other words, there appear to be some harmonics with the resonance.
    Wheeee! as Yves Smith might say.

    TPM today had an item about how the GOP is trying to pass off Romney’s single year tax return as ‘equivalent’ to what John Kerry released. However, Kerry had released his returns going back 20 years, because he always released his tax returns when he ran for Senate.

    Between Ed Gillespie, Rove, and Schmidt, it looks like yet another GOP disinformation campaign designed to dupe the media and the public with a ‘false equivalence’ claim about Romney’s returns vs Kerry’s returns.
    Any DC pundit or news reporter who misses a story this big ought to be put out to pasture, or else find a new line of work.
    This thing has ‘story’ written all over it ;-)

    I’d guess that back in Jan 2012, the Romney camp and the GOP didn’t recognize the tax haven topic as a blinking red light, because their socio-political culture is so much a creature of ‘finance’ that they have lost any real grasp of how socially destructive tax havens are. Shaxson mentions early on his (stunningly good) book “Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World” that ‘taxation’ will be a key issue of the 21st century. I think we are seeing this play out before our eyes, and it’s a generation overdue. And it’s a global issue.

    Back in Jan 2012, Joe Scarborough went on ‘The Last Word’ to do some GOP Damage Control. (Sorry, couldn’t find the link to archived video). I recall this episode because Scarborough was yammering about hw, ‘Well, you [liberals] must not talk about ** the structure of capitalism**! You may talk about tax rates. You may also talk about tax reform. But you may never, ever talk about **capitalism**.
    I swear, I watched that damn thing four times simply because I could not believe my eyes.
    Basically, the GOP is trying to insist there be no discussion of crony capitalism, offshoring, or the financialization of the economy. Dems ought to be slavering to go after those GOP on this topic. (Liz Warren does it with verve and panache!)

    But the irony of Adelson, aka Sir Tax Haven, giving Gingrich money to go after Romney on the topic of tax havens and crony capitalism was so much fun last January that I still marvel at the spectacle.

    As near as I can tell, with respect to Bain’s purchase of Staples, it must have gone something like this:
    1. Put a down payment on the cost of the company, using your own money from the hedge fund.
    2. Place the mortgage with the company, while opening a long term river of payments from them.
    3. Divide Staples into a Property Arm and a Retail Arm.
    4. Use the Retail Arm to generate revenues for the Property Arm.
    5. Claim the property as ‘assets’ on Bain’s books.
    6. Claim to be a ‘creator of new companies’ because you engage in siphoning off the hard assets (property) for your hedge fund and leaving the retail arm to fend for itself.
    7. Collect the rent from the now-mortgaged retail arm into your property accounts, over decades – via long term leases that lock in the retail arm to your hedge fund.
    If I’m wrong about any of the phases, please correct me.
    But basically, what we’re talking about is Economic Predation 101. I don’t see any whiff of new patents or technologies developed by Bain, but I’ll bet an enterprising researcher could find plenty of ‘property based’ businesses.

    Bmaz, this isn’t simply about the chattering classes or the blogosphere.
    And the pundits who pooh-pooh the whole tax haven issue are whistling their way right off a cliff and making themselves irrelevant.

    This is turning out to be a bigger election than 2008.

  31. rugger9 says:

    The useful question is: who would replace Mitt on the ticket? Christie never ran for POTUS, and I’m pretty sure the ones like Herm and Newt and Ricky and Michelle and Ron [who’s still officially in] will resurrect their “suspended” campaigns with more cred. Palin, nope; Smilin’ Tim, I-35; Jeb, Bu$h; Rubio, parental story issues; etc., etc., etc. That means there is really no one left in the GOP acceptable to the base and the electorate in the professional ranks.

    IMHO it will be Petraeus as a “war hero” [scare quotes intended] and a heavy ad buy to ensure the Iraq peccadillos never come out about the lost 9 billion in cash and the AK-47s too.

  32. rugger9 says:

    Christie has bully issues combined with halfway house questions on top of his teabaggery. He’s not viable once Rahm starts in on him. Cage match!!

  33. greengiant says:

    @bmaz: some real weasel words in that study synopsis. But leaving the pie size the “same” which outsourcing has not done, and then taking 12 million plus workers away from the pie completely while letting the 0.1 percenters increase their share of the pie dramatically …. Let me add the London school of economics as another pie hole for the 0.1 percenters.
    What do they call that? Destructive creationism?, Anyways besides outsourcing a work force has to handle technology changes. The last 70 years has not been a good time to be a coal miner, for the average coal miner.

  34. Frank33 says:

    Thank you for sharing Establishment propaganda, because we really need more, especially at this website.

  35. bmaz says:

    @emptywheel: You are putting words in my mouth that I absolutely did not utter. I did not say “the working class is not that large”, what I said is the number of people in play is not that large. I do not believe every member of the working class is undecided or capable of being flipped. Those are the critical votes. Saying it is a small group is NOT saying it is unimportant, it is. I fail to see what is controversial about that.

    The better question is will this really be the game changer it ought to be. I hope so, but I am not as certain of it as you are. I am fairly jaundiced as to the perspective of undecided voters at this point. Romney is long and well known as a big money finance shill, how many more people are there left to move by pointing that out – again – even if in a new and hard hitting manner? That is my question. Hey, Ezra Klein has the same thought, what better support could there be?

  36. emptywheel says:

    @bmaz: As I noted, even Republicans respond to this stuff. But the swing voters in the swing states are already responding to it. And that’s before Mitt digs his hole still deeper and this becomes a story about leadership and secrecy.

    Trust me, in the Midwest and states like the Carolinas, this is tremendously effective, always is, and is what turns Reagan Democrats back into Democrats or not. But this is all the better because there’s so much more hazard in it on the secrecy and tax avoidance and failure of leadership.

  37. DeadLast says:

    Mitt needs to come clean, or at least squeak!

    I am sure you recall that during 2000 and 2001, the United States had a HUGE financial scandal involving . . . false reporting of financial statements. It involved Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, and a slew of others. The venerable firm Andersen took the fall. In 2002, Congress was so concerned about corporate lying that they passed Sarbanes-Oxley.

    Now Bain was ‘private’ and not subject to all of Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, but it is helpful to remember how seriously Congress and the public took the issue of corporate honesty. So for Romney to dismiss the signing of such documents as being a minor issue, it was not ‘minor’ at the time he was signing them. On the contrary, it was the most serious legal issue a corporate officer was expected to perform — and was personally liable for the outcome.

    Anyone seriously investigating Romney’s signatures should investigate this angle.

  38. Bay State Librul says:

    Is it possible that Romney paid zero taxes and that’s the bombshell?
    Remote but…. he has a checkered past in Mass, keeping all options open

    From the past

    “Mr. Romney insisted until Thursday that he had paid his taxes as a Massachusetts resident during his three years in Utah. Then he acknowledged that in 1999 and 2000 he paid his state taxes as a Utah resident and listed himself as nonresident of Massachusetts.

    In April, after deciding to run for governor here, Mr. Romney admitted having amended his tax returns for those two years to say he was really a resident of Massachusetts.”

  39. ondelette says:

    @bmaz: This study was debunked on Marketplace, I think probably Friday if IRRC.

    What it is missing is that it can’t count certain kinds of offshoring when the manufacturing is dependent on large supply chains. That happened in the auto industry, and more importantly, the study methods will miss what happened with the changes in the high-tech industry with the displacement of the PCs by the smartphones and tablets, where the whole supply chains are grown offshore, resulting in, e.g. Apple with only 40,000 employees onshore, mostly retail and a very small R&D and management apex, and a supply chain that doesn’t even call themselves Apple of over 200,000 offshore representing jobs that never ended up existing here.

    Because they never existed here, they represent both offshored manufacturing and lost R&D and OED/OEM opportunities to create further manufacturing sector jobs, which also would not be counted.

  40. lysias says:

    The Hill: Team Obama to Romney: Prove it with Bain meeting minutes:

    President Obama’s campaign said Mitt Romney should release minutes from meetings with Bain Capital to prove he left the firm when he said he did.

    “As we all know, Mitt Romney did a round of interviews on Friday where more questions were raised than answered, and over the weekend there were a series of new reports, some from the Boston Globe, from Bloomberg News, from the Huffington Post, that raised additional questions,” Jen Psaki, the Obama campaign’s deputy communications director, told MSNBC at a campaign stop in Cincinnati on Monday.

    “So what we know is there is still a lot of questions, and we can solve this by having Mitt Romney release his tax returns, something that [former Mississippi Gov.] Haley Barbour (R) and [conservative columnist] Bill Kristol called for this weekend,: she continued. “And even releasing the minutes of the Bain meetings — the ball is in his court, so we’ll look forward to reviewing that.”

    Those minutes ought to settle the matter.

  41. Scarecrow says:

    On Larry O’d tonight he askedSchimdt if he had seen the tax returns? No,, only the two vetting guys had. . . . but he was not asked, do you know what they contain? Is there a problem? And Schmidt stuck to his advice that it is never in candidate interest to disclose unless you hafta.

  42. bmaz says:

    @Scarecrow: No, it probably is not in the interest of a candidate to disclose more than he has to. And anybody that has gotten to the level of running for President, probably has some shit that looks goofy. Jiminy, my financial situation sucks but, still, a look at my itemized forms would look stupid. Heck, even I think some of it is stupid, and I, like Tim Geithner, use common Turbo Tax. The write offs for being self employed and having a home office are just fucking stupid. But, crikey, if they are there, who am I not to take them when the damn program is telling me they are right there for the presumed taking?

    I don’t have that kind of deal, but i represent people that have offshore stuff. I hate it, and trust me, it is one hell of an expensive pain in the ass to deal with on their behalf. Like you (or at least I, originally) could not believe. Maybe for the ultra rich it really works in the end; although having seen it, I wonder. For the merely commonly monied, like my client, it is a fucking nightmare of bullshit, fees and charges – before you ever get to the US scrutiny – than is rationally bearable.

    I can only imagine what all the hard details of this look like for a truly fat cat like Romney. I can guarantee you it is ugly. Ugly or not, it is, well to date has been, the IRS retroactively (hey, there is that term again!) changes things – sometimes.

    Still, it is so goofy, I wonder what the attention span for the common “worker class” person to grok or care about it. It is a very legitimate point, I just wonder how much it sticks. Boy, howdy, doI hope it does.

  43. earlofhuntingdon says:

    @Scarecrow: The “hafta” part is what real journalists are supposed to bring about. That’s why some blogs, this one included, are now essential reading, and why much of what passes for mainstream journalism isn’t reporting, it’s a bunch of guys in line to join the Chevy Chase Club.

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