Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) says he gave Mitt Romney’s campaign a “bunch” of tax returns during the vice presidential vetting process, but claimed he didn’t remember exactly how many years were covered by the disclosure.
Romney senior adviser Beth Meyers on Saturday said that potential vice presidential candidates had provided “several” years of tax returns, which is presumably more than the two years of returns that the presumptive Republican nominee has provided to the public.
On Sunday, ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Pawlenty, one of Romney’s top candidates for running mate, how many returns he submitted during the vetting process.
“Well, I don’t know the exact number, George,” Pawlenty insisted. “It was several years, I believe.”
“So, more than two?” Stephanopoulos pressed.
“Well, we don’t get into the details of the vetting process,” Pawlenty replied. “But I gave him a bunch of tax returns. I don’t remember the exact number of years.”
In an interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek last week, Romney said he would not be releasing more than two years of tax returns because “I am not a business.”
Executive editor Josh Tyrangiel asked Romney why the American people shouldn’t be entitled to the same information from a presidential candidate that he would have required as the CEO of Bain Capital before investing in a company.
“If you’re an investor and you’re looking at a company, and that company says that its great strength is wise management and fiscal know-how, wouldn’t you want to see the previous, say, five years’ worth of its financials?” Tyrangiel wondered.
“I’m not a business,” Romney insisted. “We have a process in this country, which was established by law, which provides for the transparency which candidates are required to meet. I have met with that requirement with full financial disclosure of all my investments, but in addition have provided and will provide a full two years of tax returns.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Aug. 12, 2012.