Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney predicted that there’s a “bombshell” lurking in the tax returns that Donald Trump has not released.
Trump said Monday that he’d “probably” release his tax returns “at some point” after radio host Hugh Hewitt reminded the GOP front-runner that he needed to release them sooner than later because Romney “got killed on this four years ago.”
“Well, we’ll get them out at some point, probably,” Trump told Hewitt. “I mean, I’m looking at it. I told my people the other day, start looking at it.”
Speaking by phone today on Neil Cavuto’s show, Romney said “there’s no question but that Donald Trump has the clearest path to become the Republican nominee.”
“I think for the other people still in the race their path is becoming a slimmer and slimmer opening. And they’re having a difficult time communicating to their supporters just how they could become the nominee,” Romney said. “It’s not impossible. I think it’s very difficult for any one of the non-Donald Trump contenders to be able to be a real threat unless perhaps the field narrows.”
He added that’s not happening yet, save for Jeb Bush, “who I think really put country first by saying, look, I’m going to step aside and let my supporters go to someone else who they feel is representative of the kind of views the country needs.”
Cavuto noted that Romney has not made an endorsement yet; Mitt said he’d “like to see a number of things from the candidates” first.
“I’d also like to see their back taxes. I’d like to see where they filed their taxes in the last several years. I’m not talking about their taxes this year. I’m talking about the taxes that have already been filed with the IRS. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, none have shown us their back taxes,” Romney said. “You know, this was an issue in my campaign.”
Just looking at the past two years that have already been filed, the governor predicted, “will give us a real sense of whether these people are on the up and up and whether they’ve been telling us things about themselves that are true or not.”
“Frankly, I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Romney added. “I think there’s something there. Either he’s not as anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn’t been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay, or perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the vets or to the disabled like he’s been telling us he’s been doing.”
“The reason that I think there’s a bombshell in there is because every time he’s asked about his taxes he dodges and delays and says, well, we’re working on it. Hey, we’re not talking about the taxes that are coming due this year. Of course they’re working on those. They won’t be ready for months. We’re talking about taxes already filed, back taxes.”
Romney noted that during his run he had released tax returns by January 2012. That July, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Romney of not paying taxes for 10 years based on information from an anonymous source — a claim that won Reid Politifact’s “Pants on Fire” designation.
“Frankly, the voters have a right to see those tax returns before they decide who our nominee ought to be,” Romney said.
Back to Trump, Romney stressed that “the fact that he is so aggressive in avoiding any discussion of taxes — of his taxes, and is not willing to put them out so far, suggests that there’s something in there he doesn’t want us to see.”
“By the way, anytime you talk about money, Donald Trump likes to tell you how wealthy he is, how he’s worth billions of dollars. The first time he was asked about his taxes on the Today show, he said, you know, they’re beautiful, they’re big and they’re — well, great, let us see them. He likes to tell people how well he’s done. Why isn’t he willing to let us look at the tax returns? This was an issue in my campaign. That’s why I’m so sensitive to it,” Romney continued.
“We’re going to select our nominee. We really ought to see from all three of these fellows what their taxes look like to see if there’s an issue there. I think in Donald Trump’s case it’s likely to be a bombshell.”
Trump told CNN tonight that he’ll “make a determination over the next couple of months” about whether or not he’ll release his tax returns.
Trump dismissed Romney as “yesterday’s news.”
“There is no bombshell at all other than I pay a lot of tax and the government wastes the money,” he said.