Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Gotcha Morning | The Tax Returners Go After Mitt Romney
We saw a rare unified effort by Democrats on this week's Sunday morning talk shows to focus attention onto Mitt Romney's foreign bank accounts and get the candidate to release more than one year of tax returns. President Obama hasn't stepped into this fray himself yet, but Joe Biden did yesterday with his hilarious one-liner to Latino voters in Las Vegas. Then, last night on MSNBC's Hardball, in a move that could hardly have been engineered by the DNC, former RNC chairman Michael Steele urged Mitt Romney to release "at least 3, 4, 5" years of tax returns to put this issue to bed. Democrats are starting to create doubts in the minds of voters about Mitt Romney in a similar way to how prominent Republicans (not only radical Birther fringe) have been framing President Obama as "other" throughout his first term. Back in February of 2011, Speaker of the House John Boehner, when pressed by David Gregory to repudiate the Birthers back in February of 2011, said he "believes" President Obama is a Christian and a citizen. That same month, candidate Michele Bachmann said she "takes him at his word" that's he's a Christian American. A year later, the President felt the need to reaffirm his Christianity at the National Prayer Breakfast just in case anyone got the wrong idea from the Republicans who seed doubt on TV. Telling voters that Mitt Romney's offshore banking practices aren't necessarily illegal, but if he won't show us his tax returns we'll never know, is not that different from Republicans saying they "believe" President Obama was born in the country, but until they hold his birth certificate in their hands they can't really be sure. When President Obama did finally suck it up agree to address this nonsense publicly and release his long-form birth certificate on the web (and subsequently on a mug) most Republicans (not including Rick Perry) let the issue drop. But the image of President Obama as someone "not like you" has clearly lingered in voter's minds with only 34% of Americans identifying him as a Christian as recently as last month. Even if Mitt Romney releases his entire tax return history and nothing illegal is uncovered, the picture of him as an out-of-touch millionaire with bank accounts all over the world will remain.