As being reported by the always excellent Washington Post Fact Checker, “Romney’s misleading history of tax returns issued by presidential contenders,” and BuzzFeed, “Why George Romney Released His Tax Returns,” Mitt Romney is defending his decision not release further tax returns by leaning on imaginary precedent. Barack Obama, in contrast, has released seven years worth of returns.
As the Fact Checker clearly lays out most candidates in recent memory have released many years of returns. While there’s definitely no requirement for a son to agree with a father it’s media gold that Romney’s father famously released 12 years of his returns during his 1968 presidential run saying that one year “could be a fluke” and “that what mattered in personal finance was how a man conducted himself over the long haul.”
While Romney has every right not to release his returns (this isn’t a legal issue) it’s sad that he’s decided to try to lawyer his way out of it by suggesting that the two years he’s released is somehow “standard”. In his defense however when challenged with his prior demand for Ted Kennedy to release his returns during their senatorial race he responded with a simple, honest “He was right and I was wrong.”
So, considering all the evidence we cannot commit to charge him with more than Third Degree Douchebaggery for this particular infraction.