Trump’s Complete Reversal On Romney’s Tax Returns

Mitt Romney, flanked by Donald Trump, speaks at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, where Trump endorsed Romney. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/GERALD HERBERT
Mitt Romney, flanked by Donald Trump, speaks at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, where Trump endorsed Romney. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/GERALD HERBERT

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump blames Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss to Barack Obama on Romney’s decision to release his tax returns.

“I watched Mitt Romney four years ago, he waited until September to [release the returns], just before the election,” Trump said. “They made him look so bad, it was so unfair. I actually think he didn’t lose because of the 47 percent [comment], I think he lost because of a couple really minor items in a tax return where he did nothing wrong.”

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Trump’s comments represent a complete reversal from his positions back in 2011 and ’12. In January 2012, Trump told Greta Van Sustren that Romney “was hurt really very badly” by his initial refusal to release his tax returns. He advised Romney to “release them now.”

Romney released his 2010 return and a summary of his 2011 return later that month. But by September, pressure was mounting for Romney to release his full 2011 return. When he did, revealing he paid a 14.1 percent tax rate, Trump praised the decision. Trump said he even personally reviewed Romney’s return, which he described as “very honorably done” and “absolutely beautiful and perfect.”

Trump Is Getting A Free Pass On His Tax Returns. These Numbers Prove It.Politics by CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert Unlike every other major party nominee since 1976, Donald Trump has not…thinkprogress.orgBut Trump is singing a different tune these days. He refuses to release any tax information — not even a summary. He says he won’t release his returns because they’re under audit. But as we’ve detailed, that explanation doesn’t hold up. Being under audit actually makes it easier to go public with returns, as the risk of going public is triggering an audit in the first place. Trump is now explicitly acknowledging political calculations are at work in his decision not to disclose.

If Trump sticks to his guns and doesn’t release any tax returns, he’ll be the first major party nominee to not do so since 1976.