Mitt Romney accused President Obama Monday of running “a campaign based on falsehood and dishonesty” and insisted he would make public only two years of tax returns, despite the urging of some in his own party to release more.
Over the weekend, some Republicans joined the Obama campaign in calling for Romney to show voters his returns from before 2010, the only year for which the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has released a complete tax return. Romney also made public an estimate for 2011 in January and has pledged to release a complete return for that year, once it is finished.
Romney noted Monday in an appearance on “Fox and Friends” that releasing tax returns is voluntary and painted the Obama campaign’s demands as unreasonable. The president’s reelection team has repeatedly questioned why Romney was willing to furnish John McCain with 23 years of tax returns in 2008, while being vetted as a potential running mate, but is unwilling to share the same documents with the public.
No presidential candidate since 1976 has released more than 12 years of tax returns, according to records maintained by PolitiFact.
“The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more,” Romney said on Fox News. “More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try and make a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about.”
Romney criticized Obama for a recent barrage of attacks on his business record, saying the president is unable to run on his own record.
“The president only has one thing going, and that is constant attacks on me,” Romney said. “They’re dishonest. They’re misdirected. And I think the American people recognize that kind of politics as something of the past. It may work in Chicago, but it’s not going to work across America.”
Going on the offensive, Romney said it is Obama who has shown a lack of transparency by blocking Congress from gaining access to some documents related to the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal.
“If we want to talk about transparency, the real issue is, why has this president used his presidential power and executive privilege to keep the information about the Fast and Furious program from being explained to the American people?” Romney said.
Romney also launched an attack that his campaign said will be its focus this week -- that Obama has shown favoritism to political donors through government contracts.
“I think it’s wrong. I think it stinks to high heaven. I think the administration has to explain how it is they would consider giving money to campaign contributors,” Romney said.
Callum Borchers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.