Donald Trump is afraid of the prospect of releasing his tax returns, but he had a completely different opinion on the matter of candidates informing the public of their taxes when it concerned Mitt Romney’s reticence to release his 2011 returns during his campaign against Barack Obama.
“Mitt Romney didn’t show his tax return until SEPTEMBER 21, 2012, and then only after being humiliated by Harry R!” Trump tweeted earlier this year. “A bad messenger for estab!”
Mitt Romney didn't show his tax return until SEPTEMBER 21, 2012, and then only after being humiliated by Harry R! A bad messenger for estab!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016
This is not an opinion Trump formed recently. In 2012, The Donald said that Romney’s campaign was “hurt very badly” by his refusal to release his taxes, and in July of this year, he even blamed Romney’s tax ‘SNAFU’ as the reason Mr. Robot lost the election — even above and beyond the “47 percent” remark that most agree cost him the presidency.
“He waited ’til September to give ’em, just before the election. They made him look so bad. It was so unfair,” Trump told ABC’s “This Week” at the time. “I actually think he didn’t lose because of the 47 percent [comments]. I think he lost because of a couple of really minor items in a tax return, where he did nothing wrong. … It is unfair.”
Romney, of course, eventually released his tax returns on September 21, 2012.
As damaging as he says it was to Romney’s campaign, The Donald still refuses to release his tax returns — something his own son admits would be damaging to his candidacy. Donald Trump Jr. recently said that, if his father were to release his returns, people would begin asking uncomfortable questions that would “detract” from the 2016 Republican nominee’s message.
Why won’t Trump release his tax returns? What is he trying to hide by refusing to release them? Perhaps we’ll never know, but Americans –including his own supporters — should absolutely care that we don’t.
Featured image via Getty Images (Sara D. Davis)/screengrab