Romney’s Tax Returns Are Hurting Him Badly

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Jamelle Bouie highlights the following question from today’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll:

Recent events have hurt both candidates, but Jamelle points out that the tax issue has hurt Romney much more than anything else:

Romney’s anger over the Obama campaign’s decision to go after his tax returns makes more sense in this light; the controversy is doing real damage to his campaign, and more important, it has the potential to do more if Team Obama can return it to the forefront of the discussion.

I wouldn’t bet against that possibility. As long as Romney refuses to release his returns, Obama can continue to hit him on the issue. Death by a thousand cuts is an exaggeration, but it’s not far off from what might happen; Romney could become defined by the things he won’t reveal, and gradually loses the trust of the public. His low favorability becomes a burden he can’t lift, keeping him behind Obama through the fall, and into the election.

We’ll see. My guess is that Romney’s tax returns don’t have quite that much staying power, and the Obama campaign will move on to other topics in the near future. Romney’s tax plan, which is almost comically tilted toward the rich, is one possibility. It plays off Romney’s tax returns nicely, and I understand that attacks on Romney’s plan poll pretty well.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend