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Romney refuses to release earlier tax returns, demands President Obama apologize

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Candidate also confirms he has no intention of releasing income tax returns for years prior to 2010

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney insisted that he had played “no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999” and demanded that President Obama apologize for remarks by his campaign staff implying that Romney might have committed a felony by misrepresenting his status with the firm.

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“The president needs to take control of these people,” Romney stated. “It’s Chicago-style politics at its worst and the president promised something better than this when he ran the last time. And he ought to disavow it and reign in these people who are running out of control. … He sure as heck ought to say that he’s sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team. … This is simply beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States.”

The Washington Post has copies of six SEC forms that Romney signed as Bain’s president, chief executive officer, and chairman between 1999 and 2001. According to Romney, however, he was no longer making any management decisions and signed the forms only because it took several years “to negotiate a departure and retirement program.”

In another hastily arranged interview on Friday, Romney told CNN that he has no intention of releasing more than two years of his income tax returns.

“We’ve complied with the law,” Romney stated. “The law requires us to put out a full financial disclosure. That I’ve done. I know there will always be calls for more, people always want to get more, and, you know, we’re putting out what is required plus more that is not required, and those are the two years that people are going to have. … That’s all that’s necessary for people to understand something about my finances.”

Meanwhile, President Obama continued to hammer Romney on Frida, telling an ABC affiliate, “My understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital, and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.”

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The dispute, which started off with questions about whether Romney should be held responsible for layoffs and bankruptcies at companies managed by Bain during that period, has now turned into an issue of Romney’s character. As the president went on to say, “Ultimately, Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions because, if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations.”

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

This video of Romney telling CNN that “people always want to get more” was uploaded to YouTube by Talking Points Memo on July 13, 2012.

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