“ Months after he mathematically locked up the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney remains a political hairball that GOP insiders –conservative and otherwise—wish they could cough up before the convention in Tampa, Fla., next month, ” says Howard Fineman in his July 18 Huffington Post blog entry Mitt Romney Taxes Controversy Shows He’s Still A Tough Sell.
Fineman contends: “Republican leaders, especially conservatives, see Romney as a malleable, cynical power-grabber without principle or compass. They warned voters that Romney would be unable to take the fight to Obama on health care because he had fostered a similar program as governor of Massachusetts, and they argued that a wealthy, well-connected son of privilege was not a good spokesman for selling free-market ideas to the middle class.”
He calls Sen. John McCain’s recent statement that he had picked former Alaska Gov. Sara Palin as his running mate because she was the best candidate for the job—“a sock to the jaw to Romney, who had been on McCain’s veep list. “
Fineman points out that an array of Republican and conservative leaders have been calling on Romney to do what he is clearly loath to do: release several years of his tax returns.
Indeed, 20 prominent Republicans who’ve been calling for Romney to release more tax returns are identified in Annie-Rose Strasser’s July 17 Thinkprogress blog entry.
- George Will (conservative commentator and Washington Post columnist)
- Bill Kristol (conservative commentator, Fox News)
- Ron Paul ( Republican presidential candidate)
- Gov. Robert Bentley (Alabama Governor)
- Michael Steele ( former chair of Republican National Committee)
- Rep. Walter Jones ( Republican Congressman from North Carolina)
- Ana Navarro (former advisor to John McCain)
- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas, leads the National Republican Congressional Committee)
- Gov. Haley Barbour (Mississippi Governor)
- Matthew Dowd (conservative columnist)
- Rick Tyler (Republican strategist and former advisor to Newt Gingrich’s campaign)
- John Weaver (Republican strategist)
- Britt Hume (conservative Fox News commentator)
- David Frum (conservative journalist )
- John Freehery (Republican strategist)
- Gov. Rick Perry (Texas Governor, former Republican presidential candidate)
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa Republican)
- Sen. Dick Lugar ( U.S. Senator from Indiana, 6 terms)
- Wayne MacDonald (chair of New Hampshire GOP )
- Mike Murphy (veteran GOP consultant, former Romney employee )
And all of those individuals are quoted in the blog post. For example---In regard to Romney releasing his returns, Republican strategist John Weaver said, “There is no whining in politics….Stop demanding an apology, release your tax returns.”
Additionally, the Thinkprogress post reports that National Review, a conservative publication which has been a longtime supporter of Mitt Romney, has also come out asking Romney to release his tax returns.
To read more, click here.
According to a USA Today/Gallop poll, a majority of Americans, including almost a third of Republicans, say GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney should release more tax returns than the two years he has promised to disclose.