Ann Romney is being attacked for her comment made to Robin Roberts this week on Good Morning America. When asked about her husband’s refusal to release more tax returns, she said, “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life.”
“You people” certainly strikes many as condescending. But as I listen to the interview what I hear is Romney drawing a line between the media and politicians. While not the best choice of words, it doesn’t deserve the opprobrium and ridicule that it has attracted.
Criticisms of Ann Romney’s choice of words is as bad as the many petty and harsh attacks against Obama by the know-nothing right.
However, the context in which she made the comment does deserve more attention. What she said was that everything that the public needs to know about the Romney’s finances can be gleaned from the few tax returns that they have made public. Releasing more returns will give “more material for more attack.”
This is an admission that the Romney’s tax returns are an embarrassment for someone running for president. No one questions that the Romneys are generous with their church; no one questions Mitt’s gesture of not taking a salary as governor. But there are legitimate reasons for citizens to know about a presidential candidates tax returns. George Romney knew this. That is why he called on those running for president to reveal their tax returns for the previous 12 years.
Mitt Romney refuses to do this. His wife now tells us why: there is more to be concerned about. What that is we can only speculate about. This is hardly reassuring for someone who is running as much on character as anything else.