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Political Notebook

Paul, Perry call on Romney to release more tax returns

“Politically, I think that would help him,” Ron Paul — technically still a Republican presidential candidate — told Politico. “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”

T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images

“Politically, I think that would help him,” Ron Paul — technically still a Republican presidential candidate — told Politico. “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”

Texas Representative Ron Paul added his voice on Tuesday to the chorus of conservatives advising Mitt Romney to release additional tax returns, suggesting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee would benefit from a show of transparency.

“Politically, I think that would help him,” Paul — technically still a Republican presidential candidate — told Politico. “In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.”

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Texas Governor Rick Perry also said Tuesday that Romney should release more tax returns, restating a position he took while challenging Romney during the GOP primaries. Perry, who has released 20 years of his own returns, endorsed Romney after dropping out of the presidential race.

Romney has made public his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011. He has pledged to release a complete 2011 return when it is finished.

But President Obama’s reelection campaign has been pressuring Romney to release earlier returns, noting that most presidential candidates — including Obama, who released seven years of tax returns in 2008 — make public more than two years of tax documents.

Romney adviser Vin Weber told the Washington Post Tuesday, “The Democrats aren’t calling for all this information so that they can move on to other issues.”

“They will take anything released and pick it apart for as long as they can to avoid discussing the economy, which is their goal,” Weber added. - CALLUM BORCHERS

Sununu’s remark on Obama raises eyebrows and ire

An attack on the president

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The Mitt Romney campaign struck a nerve Tuesday when oft-used surrogate John Sununu said he wished President Obama “would learn how to be an American” — an attack that conjured the belief among some conservatives that Obama was not born in the United States.

The remark by Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, overshadowed the rest of a conference call with reporters who sought to focus attention on federal dollars given to Obama donors.

Sununu clarified his comment later in the call.

“What I thought I said, but what I didn’t say, is the president has to learn the American formula for creating business,” Sununu said.

The Obama campaign gave Sununu little credit for his explanation.

“The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end,” Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement. “The question is what else they’ll pull to avoid answering serious questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital and investments in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts.” - CALLUM BORCHERS

Obama campaign sues Ohio officials over early voting

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Obama’s reelection campaign filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against Ohio’s top elections official in a dispute over the battleground state’s law that restricts early in-person voting during the three days before Election Day.

The lawsuit filed in Columbus comes after a series of election law changes cleared the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature and were signed by Governor John Kasich, also a Republican.

Obama’s campaign and Democrats argue that the law unfairly ends early in-person voting for most Ohioans on the Friday evening before the Tuesday election, while allowing military and overseas voters to cast a ballot in person until Monday.

Before the changes to the law, local boards of election had the discretion to set their own early in-person voting hours on the days before the election.

The state’s elections chief, Secretary of State Jon Husted, has argued that all counties should have the same early voting hours and be open on the same days. Husted and his fellow Republicans contend it is unfair that a voter in one county can cast an early ballot on a day when a voter in a neighboring county cannot.

Obama for America was joined in the lawsuit by the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party.

Ohio is one of 32 states that allow voters to cast an early ballot by mail or in person without an excuse. About 30 percent of the swing state’s total vote — or roughly 1.7 million ballots — came in ahead of Election Day in 2008. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Clinton breaks travel record with 27,000-mile journey

WASHINGTON — If diplomatic achievements were measured by the number of countries visited, Hillary Rodham Clinton would be the most accomplished secretary of state in history.

While historians will debate and eventually rate her tenure as America’s top diplomat, Clinton is already assured of a place in the State Department record book.

When her plane touches down at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington early Tuesday morning, Clinton, a former US senator, will have completed a 13-day journey of 27,000 miles — about 2,000 miles more than the circumference of the Earth — through and over Europe to Asia and then doubling back to the Middle East.

Since becoming secretary of state in 2009, Clinton has logged 351 days on the road, traveled to 102 countries, and flown 843,839 miles, according to the State Department. While some previous secretaries may have flown more miles — mainly due to shuttling back and forth to the Mideast on peace missions — none has visited more nations. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

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