In a CNBC interview with Larry Kudlow to air later tonight, Mitt Romney defends his decision to release only two years of tax returns — both filed after he decided to run for President — by claiming that 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry also released two years. From an advanced transcript:
KUDLOW: Why not release your tax returns? Why not go back 10 years?
Gov. ROMNEY: Well, we’ve had people run for president before, and they’ve released two years. John Kerry released two years of taxes.. I’ve released one already, put the estimate out for the next year. We’ll have two years of taxes..
In fact, John Kerry released not two years of returns, but 20. From an April 14, 2004 article by Byron York:
In addition to his 2003 returns, Kerry also released federal tax returns from the years 1999 to 2002 yesterday. There has been some dispute about returns for those years. Kerry has claimed that he had already released the returns — in January of this year, he said, “I released all my tax returns for 20 years. I have never not released my tax returns throughout my political career.” But aside from releasing details from his 2002 taxes — which showed a total income of $144,091 — it is not clear that Kerry has ever made public his returns from 1999 or 2000 or 2001 before now.
A top Romney adviser repeated this false claim on July 15.