Last week, Governor Palin urged Mitt Romney to be release his tax records and back up his "job creation" claims.
“Governor Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, and people are wanting to know: is there proof?” Palin told Sean Hannity on Fox News.
Rick Tyler, former Gingrich aide and head of Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC, has already accused Romney of having created those 100,000 jobs in Asia and Mexico. Earlier this week, Big Government pointed out that Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs contrasts with claims he made during his 1994 U.S. Senate campaign, when he claimed to have created 10,000 jobs at Bain. Romney retired from Bain Capital in 1999.
Palin said that Romney needed to come clean about his record, given the likelihood that Democrats would probe the tax issue and Romney’s tenure at Bain if he were to become the Republican nominee.
While being interviewed again last Saturday, Governor Palin restated why she believes Mitt Romney needs to be more transparent about his record:
"Let’s talk about job creation claims by a candidate and get to the bottom of it. And the candidate who is being accused of maybe not creating all of the jobs that they have claimed, well he can capitalize on it and he can explain what his record is."
Governor Palin is absolutely correct. Mitt Romney can use the opportunity of people calling on him to release his records to make his case. By releasing his tax records, the data he used to come up with the number of jobs he "created" at Bain Capital, and even the names of his bundlers, he can "inoculate" himself for what is sure to come.
As the front-runner in this GOP primary cycle, the left is presently storing up ammunition to use against Mitt Romney come general election season. They are fully aware that Romney has yet to release these very important documents. Without them, the left is free to assume any reason they want as to why he hasn’t.
As Eleanor Clift did over the weekend, via Newsbusters:
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: Romney’s refusal so far to release his income tax returns will be linked to probable investments in the Cayman Islands and the likelihood that he paid a very small percentage of his income in taxes.
I’m not here to debate the use of offshore accounts. I personally feel that taxes should remain low on principle, but it is a line of attack that Democrats will use to vilify Romney in the general. Another line of attack will be Romney’s refusal to release information pertaining to his bundlers. This can been seen in a Washington Post editorial titled "Why won’t Romney release his tax returns?" from January 11th:
Tax returns offer information not available on the financial disclosure forms that are legally required of candidates, including their charitable deductions and use of tax shelters. Tax information could be especially revealing in the case of Mr. Romney and his extensive investment income, which may be why he has been reluctant to release it. During his 1994 Senate race, Mr. Romney called on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D) to release his tax returns and show he had “nothing to hide.”Neither candidate released his tax information. Such secrecy will not stand for a presidential nominee.
The identity of a candidate’s bundlers is similarly important. Campaign finance laws limit individual contributions to a candidate to $2,500 per election ($5,000 if you include the primary and general election campaigns), but bundlers haul in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by tapping extensive donor networks. Knowing to whom and for how much candidates are indebted is essential information, of which candidates and their advisers are exquisitely aware. Yet under current law the only bundlers whose identities candidates must disclose are registered lobbyists. That information is useful but insufficient: A CEO who bundles $500,000 for a candidate can have as much influence as the company’s Washington lobbyist. Why should this knowledge be kept from voters?
The New York Times agrees:
It is not too much to ask someone seeking the nation’s highest office to sacrifice some personal privacy to reassure voters that they have no hidden entanglements.
And this is not the only place where secrecy has been a problem. Unlike Mr. Obama or John McCain, or George W. Bush in earlier contests, this year’s presidential hopefuls have refused to identify the “bundlers” who reel in many hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions for their campaigns, disclosing only those bundlers who are registered lobbyists, as the law requires.
Only Mitt Romney’s campaign can save itself (and possibly the GOP as a whole) a lot of future headaches by releasing the information in question. If they continue to stone-wall, the left and their friends in the media can imply anything they want the general public to believe, as to why Romney is being so secretive.
I implore Mitt Romney’s campaign to release Romney’s tax records, his jobs numbers claim, and the information about his bundlers, in a day in age when crony capitalism and insider trading rules Washington DC at the expense of the nation.
You can do the same by emailing the Romney campaign at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Via snail mail at:
Mitt Romney for President
P.O. Box 149756
Boston, MA 02114-9756
Or by phone at: 857-288-3500
Update by Doug: Governor Palin’s admonition that Mitt Romney back up his claim of creating 100,000 jobs is looking more prescient every day. Independent fact checkers are finding it impossible to verify, via Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker (emphasis mine):
Romney insisted that his great achievement in life has been creating jobs—specifically, 100,000 jobs while at Bain. As The Wall Street Journal and others have now made clear, “creating jobs” was never a metric that Bain used to define success, and, frankly, is not a metric that any company uses to define success. Independent fact-checkers have declared Romney’s 100,000 figure somewhere between phony and unverifiable. It is now one of the most important claims of this campaign for journalists to substantiate. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Romney’s success depends on whether that job-creation statement withstands scrutiny.
Fantastic. Romney’s apologists assure us that the two greatest rationales for Mitt’s nomination are his alleged electability and job creation record. The former is looking increasingly dubious, and those looking into the latter find it somewhere between "phony and unverifiable". Multiple Choice Mitt already has a well-deserved reputation as a serial flip-flopper, and if he’s also seen as someone prone to making things up (e.g. 100,000 jobs created), nobody will believe anything he says…least of all the independents that all of those brilliant Republican insiders insist will be in Mitt’s corner come November. Color me skeptical.
Of course if Romney would simply point us to the data which backs his claim up, as Governor Palin advises above, this problem would disappear as fast as Mitt changes his position on an issue. I await this information with baited breath.