Republican congressman and former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has called on presumptive Republican candidate Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) to release more of his tax returns to the public, according to Politico. In an interview, Paul said that he believes that it would help Romney politically to come clean and open his financial records to scrutiny.
“Politically, I think that would help him,” he said, “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”
Paul joins a growing number of conservative voices, including Bill Kristol and George Will, who have said it’s time for Romney to follow in his father’s footsteps and make a full disclosure of his wealth. (Former Michigan Gov. George Romney released a dozen years of tax documents to Look magazine in 1967.)
Now, critics and friends alike want to know the exact extent of Romney’s wealth, as well as where that money is and what it’s doing. Is it, as the Obama campaign has charged, languishing in an offshore account in a tax haven like Bermuda or the Cayman Islands? Or is the former governor in fact keeping his money in the United States, investing in American companies and living up to his billing as a “job creator”?
Rep. Paul told Politico that he thinks the question has become a distraction, and used the opportunity to touch on some of the pet issues he touted during his campaign.
“It’s a shame. The important issue is [what] the two candidates seem to agree on. They don’t really disagree with militarism overseas, they don’t disagree with the Federal Reserve system and the bailouts, and they don’t disagree on basically whether the role of federal government is wealth redistribution through welfare. So instead, they’re talking about tax returns and that to me is so disappointing.”
When asked why he believes Romney is dragging his feet on disclosing his tax returns, Paul said, “I have no idea.”