The establishment of the Republican Party is beginning to become quite concerned with the Romney penchant for secrecy. The calls for disclosure are a continuation of the same requests made by Romney’s fellow Republicans during the primary battles. The calls for openness are neither out of line or inappropriate. So, what is so important that the Romney campaign is willing to withstand such pressure to hide?
We can’t help but wonder what the tax returns will show that Romney needs to hide. His refusal to disclose his tax returns and to be clear about his relationship to Bain Capital after 1999 raises questions that are very troubling. While the Republican talking point machine keeps on telling us that the Democrats are focusing on these issues to draw attention away from the economic problems confronting the country, the opposite is true. The Democrats are asking the questions because Romney has made his successful business experience the center piece of his validation as the economic messiah. The Democrats are not moving the focus, they are keeping the focus on who is best suited to fix the economy.
It is ironic that it was Romney’s father, when running for the GOP nomination, who set the standard for releasing tax returns that has been followed by every candidate of both parties since. It is difficult to understand why the Romney campaign would create such a firewall around the Romney financial information, knowing full well that it gives the Obama campaign such a large issue to keep pounding away at. What is so damaging that makes the pressure he is receiving from both Democrats and Republicans alike worth tolerating?
While experience, skill and knowledge are all characteristics important to the American people in their Presidential candidate, character is the most important. This is particularly true since the events related to Watergate and President Nixon. The refusal of the Romney campaign to disclose relevant information related to his tax returns, his offshore accounts and his work at Bain Capital can’t help but bring his character into question. What are you hiding Mr. Romney?