Romney digs in against releasing more tax returns
By Sam Youngman
IRWIN, Penn. (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney shrugged off growing pressure on Tuesday to release more of his tax returns, and his campaign lashed out at President Barack Obama in an effort to turn the campaign debate away from Romney's business and financial record.
Romney said he would not give in to mounting attacks over his refusal to release his tax returns prior to 2010, including calls from some Republican allies to disclose the records and end the controversy.
"In the political environment that exists today, the opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy," Romney told the conservative National Review Online.
"I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about," he told the magazine, which itself later published an editorial urging Romney to release more tax returns.
The Obama campaign put up a new television ad in the swing state of Pennsylvania raising questions about why Romney, the former head of a private equity firm, will not release more of his tax returns.
"Tax havens, offshore accounts, carried interest -- Mitt Romney has used every trick in the book," the ad's narrator said. "Romney admits that over the last two years he's paid less than 15 percent in taxes on $43 million in income. Makes you wonder if some years he paid any taxes at all," the ad said, concluding: "What is Mitt Romney hiding?"
On a conference call with reporters arranged by the Romney campaign, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu called Obama and his campaign a "bunch of liars" and said: "I wish the president would learn how to be an American."
Obama, who has released a certificate showing he was born in Hawaii, still faces accusations from some conservatives that he was not born in the United States and should not be legally able to serve as president. Continued...