Romney asked VP candidates for 10 years of tax returns

That’s the story, according to the Daily Beast:

As part of its vetting, the Romney campaign required at least some of the candidates on the short list—including the eventual winner of the GOP veepstakes, Ryan—to submit fully 10 years of tax returns, according to a knowledgeable source.

The requirement was consistent with the past practices of both Republican and Democratic campaigns. Indeed, in 2008, Mitt Romney turned over 23 years of taxes to John Mccain’s campaign when he was under consideration to be the Arizona senator’s running mate.

But this year, the vetting of tax returns has had particular political resonance because of Romney’s refusal to release more than two years of his own tax filings. The Obama campaign has waged a withering assault on Romney for his failure to be more transparent about his personal finances, part of a larger narrative seeking to portray the Republican nominee as a privileged plutocrat who has been able to mine the tax code for loopholes and other tricks unavailable to average middle—class Americans. For months, Chicago and its allies have hammered Romney on taxes, suggesting he must be hiding something.

In response to questions about the 10-year requirement, Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul declined comment. “We do not discuss the VP selection process,” she wrote in an email.

But the revelation that Romney aides demanded that its veep candidates be more forthcoming with their own campaign than with the American public drew predictable scorn from Team Obama. “Mitt Romney needs to answer one question: if he needed ten years of returns to decide on a vice presidential candidate, don’t the American people need the same to make their choice for president?” asked Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign.

I think people can argue for all sorts of reasons why Romney should or shouldn’t release his returns.

But this has moved beyond the “should” phase, and into the phase of “story that will not go away until Governor Romney just gets it over with.”

This will continue to haunt Romney.   And given his position in the polls, he can’t afford that.  Whatever he is hiding, his best option (or maybe “least worst”), is to just get it over with, and get it over with quickly.

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About John Hlinko

John Hlinko is a frequent political pundit on TV, and the founder of Left Action, a network of over 1 million activists. He is also the author of, "Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread," ranked by Amazon.com as the # 1 "hot new release" in web marketing in early 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook
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