Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney again refused to release additional personal financial data on Friday, and this time he offered an explanation: President Barack Obama would exploit it.
In London for the summer Olympic Games, Romney told NBC's "Today" show he has already released all of the information he is willing to make public.
"We just laid out exactly what is required by law, which is all of our financial statements and then in addition, two years of tax reports just like John McCain put out,'' Romney said. "We looked at what he did, and we've done the same thing. It's hundreds of pages of documents."
Pressed by "Today" host Matt Lauer, Romney said he believed more information would give President Obama's re-election team more of a chance to exploit it.
"My guess is if you decide to do more and more and more, you just give, if you will, the opposition a chance to distort and twist and be dishonest about more material," he said.
Romney has released his 2010 tax return and an estimate for 2011 and has continually compared his release with McCain's in 2008. McCain, however, released his returns in April of 2008, while Romney's team has said his return for this year will be released once it's prepared.
Romney has been under increasing pressure for only releasing a small portion of his records, with critics pointing out that his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, released 12 years of his returns during his 1968 campaign for president.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have also released 12 years of their tax returns, following the precedent set by George Romney that presidential candidates have generally followed ever since.
Earlier this month, the Obama campaign released an online video calling anew on Romney to release his tax records and details about his Cayman accounts.
In a statement, the Obama campaign said, "Americans don't know if Romney put his money there to avoid paying taxes because he won't follow the precedent set by his father and release his tax returns."
Also this month, a Vanity Fair magazine article raised questions about his Cayman accounts, noting that they could be used as a tax haven and describing Romney as a "remarkable financial acrobat."
Sen. John McCain said last week he can "personally vouch" that his staff found nothing incriminating in 23 years' worth of Romney's tax returns it reviewed while Romney was being considered as a running mate.
"Everything was fine," McCain said. "I can personally vouch for the fact that there was nothing in his tax returns that would in any way be disqualifying for him to be a candidate."
by RTT Staff Writer
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