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Rick Perry inadvertently calls on Romney to release tax returns

July 18, 2012|By Mitchell Landsberg
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to members of the media at the State Capitol in Austin.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to members of the media at the State Capitol… (Rodolfo Gonzalez / AP Photo…)

Remember Rick Perry? He's the guy who tangled bitterly with Mitt Romney in the Republican primary, attacking him for practicing "vulture capitalism" at Bain Capital and being attacked, in turn, for what Romney characterized as "liberal" immigration policies in Texas.

Perry, the Texas governor, resurfaced Tuesday as a voice in the presidential campaign when he appeared to join the chorus of (mostly Democratic) voices urging Romney to release more of his tax returns.

"No matter who you are or what office you are running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background," Perry said to CBS News Austin affiliate KEYE-TV.

An aide later said Perry wasn't specifically calling on Romney to release more returns. Perry, in fact, quickly turned the subject around to President Obama, joining the chorus of (mostly Republican) voices calling on him to release his college transcripts.

"I certainly think it is inappropriate for the president of the United States to not keep his college transcript and his law school transcripts public. He should make those available," he said. "I'm all about transparency."

Romney has allowed scrutiny of only one year of his tax returns, those from 2010, although his campaign has said it will release his 2011 returns before the election. Obama's campaign has called on Romney to match his father, George Romney, who released 12 years' worth of tax returns when he ran, unsuccessfully, for the Republican nomination for president in 1968.

The National Review, the influential conservative publication, also called on Romney to release his returns. In an online editorial Tuesday, the magazine said that Romney was right in saying that Obama was engaging in "a fishing expedition" by demanding the release, "but he should release the returns anyway."

"It is to President Obama's advantage to fight the election out over tactics and minutiae," the editorial said. "By drawing out the argument over the returns, Romney is playing into the president's hands. He should release them, respond to any attacks they bring, and move on."

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mitchell.landsberg@latimes.com

Twitter: @latlands

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