The Obama campaign team has kept up the pressure on Mitt Romney’s tricky position on tax, promising to stop hounding him on the subject if he releases five years’ worth of returns.
Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, wrote to his opposite number in the Romney camp, Matt Rhoades, making the offer in writing. The Romney campaign did not take up the offer.
The letter is aimed at addressing one of the frequent complaints by the Romney campaign that if he releases five years’ worth of tax returns, the Obama campaign will demand 10, and if he releases 10, they will demand 20.
The Messina letter came after Romney, talking to reporters on the campaign trail Thursday, disclosed that he had paid at least 13.6% in taxes over a 10- year period. The Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid had claimed, based on an alleged informant inside Bain Capital, where Romney made his fortune, that the Republican presidential challenger had paid no tax whatsoever.
Reid, not satisfied with Romney’s answer, called on his campaign to release his tax returns to prove his 13.6% claim.
Romney has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011 but the Obama team said he should follow the precedent of other presidential challengers by disclosing tax returns for a much longer period.
Messina, in his letter, wrote: “I am writing to ask again that the governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures.
“Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more – neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.”
Messina added that, given Romney has already released tax returns for 2010 and 2011, he would only have to release a further three, dating back to 2007.
Rhoades, in his reply, said: “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending.
“If Governor Romney’s tax returns are the core message of your campaign, there will be ample time for President Obama to discuss them over the next 81 days.”
Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, on Friday released tax returns showing he paid an effective rate of 20% in 2011, roughly in line with Obama’s rate and likely higher than that of Romney. Ryan’s release aligns him with Romney’s position that giving out two years of tax returns is adequate.
© Guardian News and Media 2012
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019