On Question of Releasing Taxes, Romney Sidesteps Again

Jul 11, 2012 5:25pm

Mitt Romney offered a slightly inaccurate version of his tax return history  in an interview today, saying he’s released two years of tax returns and that he has released the “same level of information” as John McCain and John Kerry.

“We’ve of course released all the financial statements that are required by law and then two years of tax returns—the most recent year will be released as soon as that’s prepared,” Romney told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. ”Other financial disclosure is there, the same  information that John McCain, or John Kerry for that matter released when they were running for president.”

The presumptive GOP nominee has released one year of his returns and an estimate of his 2011 returns, which he mentioned. He received an extension and said at the time he would release them in the next six months, which would be October.

John McCain released two years, but John Kerry actually released more than that in his 2004 race, going back to 1999. He released many more returns as a United States senator, as many as twenty. McCain released a total of six documents, two for himself, two for his wife Cindy McCain, and two for the McCain Family Foundation.

Romney also released his wife’s return for 2010, as well as the returns for the family trust for 2010 and the Tyler Charitable foundation.

Cavuto asked Romney if he feels the need to respond to calls for him to release more than the single year he has released.  ”The Democrats are always going to be critics,” Romney answered.

His father, George Romney, started the precedent of presidential candidates’ releasing returns when he released 12 years during his 1968 run for president, but Mitt Romney has so far resisted calls for to release more years. President Obama has released 12 years.

In the interview, Mitt Romney changed the subject in order to hit the president for the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.

“I know that the president wants to talk about transparency,’ Romney said.  “I’m glad he wants to talk about transparency because he has used executive privilege to prevent the American people from knowing the truth of what happened with the Fast and Furious program. ”

In a lighter moment, Cavuto asked Romney if he might make his running mate selection before the convention. While Romney did not give away any clues, he does have a new line to try and get people to stop asking about it.

“I can’t tell you anything about the V.P. process,” Romney answered. “I would have to come after you with my Men In Black flashlight and erase your memory.”

Cavuto followed up by asking if it’s fair to assume if someone has not been vetted yet, they won’t be. Romney answered while chuckling, “I got nothing for ya, Neil.  I’ve  got nothing for you on the vice presidential process.  We’re keeping that very close to the vest.”

 ABC News’ Elizabeth Hartfield contributed to this report. 

This post has been updated to reflect the tax returns Sen. John Kerry released while in the United States Senate. 

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