The late New York Yankees Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, would say about Mitt Romney’s attack on Donald Trump: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Mitt Romney responded to Donald Trump’s “excuse” that he cannot yet release his tax returns. On Thursday night’s CNN debate stage, Trump provided the most explicit reason yet: He’s being audited. “As far as my return, I want to file it, except for many years, I’ve been audited every year,” he said. “Twelve years or something like that. Every year they audit me, audit me, audit me. I have friends that are very wealthy people” who never get audited. But Mitt Romney, who started it all, shot back in a tweet there is “No legit reason” Donald Trump can’t release returns while being audited, adding that “If scared, release earlier returns no longer under audit.”
Not only did Trump come under attack from Mitt Romney over the past couple of days, Trump was, perhaps for the first time in ten debates, under attack from Senator Ted Cruz, and most especially, Senator Marco Rubio.
In 2012, we reported that a “reliable source” told then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Mitt Romney had paid no income taxes for ten years. It hurt Mitt Romney, as he was demonized throughout the 2012 presidential campaign. Tearing a page from the news, Mitt Romney is pulling a “Donald Trump” on Donald Trump, and it is apparently getting under his skin. Romney strongly suggested Wednesday on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World” that there might be a “bombshell” waiting to go off with Trump’s tax returns. “I think there’s something there,” Romney said of Trump’s tax returns. “Either he’s not 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,” Romney, the former Massachusetts governor told Cavuto on Fox.
Romney also hinted that “Perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the veterans or to the disabled like he’s been telling us he’s been doing. I think that’s the reason there’s a bombshell [in his returns],” he said. Cavuto pressed Romney on the issue of Trump’s declared charitable donations. “Well, if his taxes show that he hasn’t made any contributions to the disabled veterans… that would be a big issue, and I’m not saying that’s the case,” Romney added, sounding very much like Harry Reid. “I’m just saying there are things that could be issues.” Romney also called on the entire GOP field to release their tax returns, just for good measure and possibly just to flush out Trump. On Thursday, Trump explained on the CNN Republican debate stage he would love to release his taxes, but he is being audited.
Not to let the others off the hook and to avoid criticism that Romney is just picking on Trump, Romney said that voters “have a right to see [candidates’] tax returns” before deciding on a nominee. “We’re now in late February and we still haven’t seen Donald Trump’s or Marco Rubio’s or Ted Cruz’ taxes. If in fact [their] taxes have some real problems, let’s get them out there and see them,” Romney said. “When people decide they don’t want to give you their taxes, it’s usually because there’s something they don’t want you to see,” Romney said.
This 2016 presidential campaign could be as much fun as the last 2012 presidential campaign, in which, ironically, Romney had come under ceaseless attack from Democrats. It now appears that Romney will ceaselessly attack Trump. Could be payback for that embarrassing “endorsement” of Romney by Trump, that was then called the “political kiss of death,” as we reported back then, after first promising and giving his word to endorse Newt Gingrich. Romney has a lot of time on his hands these days and has a lot of time to ponder what was done to him. In fact, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”