One of the most venerated institutions in the conservative establishment has joined the chorus calling on Mitt Romney to release more of his tax returns.
In an editorial posted late Tuesday, the editors of the National Review said it’s time for Romney to release his tax returns, and condemned the presumptive nominee for making excuses:
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 has refused to release more tax returns beyond the years 2010 and 2011, claiming that they would only lend ammunition to his opponents. But that stance has drawn criticism from many Republicans who have watched as the Obama campaign has harnessed the issue to its advantage.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry reportedly became the latest prominent Republican to call on Romney to release more tax returns, something he and other presidential candidates also did on the primary campaign trail.
“I think anyone running for office, if they get asked within reason to give people backgrounds about what they have been doing, including tax returns,” Perry said at a press conference. Some Texas outlets reported that Perry called on Romney to release more returns; others said he “stopped short” of doing so. Video of the whole exchange is here.
Ron Paul also called on Romney to release his tax returns Tuesday.