Obama’s Tax Return(s)
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, released his 2006 tax returns last year.
This year his campaign has been hammering Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, for not doing the same, especially after she loaned her campaign $5 million.
"That’s been a policy I’ve maintained consistently," Obama said last month of releasing his tax returns. "I think the American people deserve to know, you know, where you get your income from."
Clinton has released past joint tax returns as First Lady and when her husband was running for president — Obama’s point seems to be that she hasn’t released any returns as a presidential candidate.
But it’s not as though all Obama’s returns from his entire time as a US Senator are available. Will Obama release all of those returns or, next month, his 2007 tax returns?
So when the Obama campaign says Clinton should release her returns, it just means for 2006?
"We’ve said she should release her tax returns from last year, like we have done," says Obama spox Bill Burton. "Now that some 80% of the Democratic contests have transpired, she has already deprived most Democratic voters of the ability to fully judge her on the information that we have made available."
As for any pre-2006 or 2007 returns, Burton says he "will keep you posted."
Keep in mind, this Obama transparency push comes at a time when one of his most prominent backers, former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ, went on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer and dropped this bomb:
"I think Barack Obama has a much stronger chance of beating John McCain in the general election. I think Hillary is flawed in many ways, and particularly if you look at her husband’s unwillingness to release the names of the people who contributed to his presidential library. And the reason that is important — you know, are there favors attached to $500,000 or $1 million contributions? And what do I mean by favors? I mean, pardons that are granted; investigations that are squelched; contracts that are awarded; regulations that are delayed.
"These are important questions. The people deserve to know. And we deserve, as Democrats, to know before a nominee is selected, because we don’t want things to explode in a general election against John McCain," Bradley said.