Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says, “I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes.”
During an interview on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto” on Wednesday, Romney said, “I’m just saying the fact that [Trump] is so aggressive in avoiding any discussion of taxes… and is not willing to put them out so far, suggests that there’s something in there he doesn’t want us to see.”
Romney said, “Well, frankly I’d like to see a number of things from the candidates, not just their positions on issues in some detail and some candidates are more thorough in laying out what they’re going to do than others. But I’d also like to see their back taxes. I’d like to see where they filed their taxes in the last several years. I’m not talking about their taxes this year. I’m talking about the taxes that have already been filed with the IRS. And Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have [not] shown us their back taxes. And you know, this was an issue in my campaign.”
Cavuto followed up, “Well how far back are you talking about?”
“Well, just a couple of years,” Romney said. At least “the last two years that have already been filed. And this will give us a real sense of whether these people are on the up and up and whether they’ve been telling us things about themselves that are true or not. So I mean, I think frankly I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes.”
Asked what he meant by that, the former Massachusetts governor said, “Well, I think there’s something that 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 or perhaps he hasn’t been giving money to the vets or to the disabled, like he’s been telling us he’s been doing.”
“The reason that I think there’s a bombshell in there is because every time he’s asked about his taxes, he dodges and delays and says ‘Well, we’re working on it.’ Hey we’re not talking about the taxes that are coming due this year. Of course they’re working on those. They won’t be ready for months,” Romney said. “We’re talking about taxes already filed. Back taxes. And my back taxes when I ran in 2012, my back taxes I put out in January of 2012. We’re now, we’re now you know, in late February and we still haven’t seen either Donald Trump’s or Marco Rubio’s or Ted Cruz’s taxes. And frankly the voters have a right to see those tax returns before they decide who our nominee ought to be.”
Romney argued, “They were all over me for my taxes, it became a big issue. But I put my taxes out in January of 2012. And that gave people a chance to digest it and decide whether I was going to be the nominee or not. And if in fact Donald Trump’s taxes or Marco Rubio’s taxes or Ted Cruz’s have some real problems in there, let’s get them out there and see them. But I think it’s pretty clear that given Donald Trump’s dodging and weaving and delay, I think the last time he was asked about his taxes he said, ‘Well, it’s going to be a month.’ Look, people have a right to know if there’s a problem in those taxes before they decide who our nominee is going to be.”
Cavuto followed up, “Well, what problem would you envision? The low rate that he’s paying if that’s the case, or the fact that he doesn’t give as much to charity or veterans groups or whatever?”
“Well, you know, you’ve gone through a good list there. One we could find he doesn’t have anywhere near as much income as we might think he would have with a $10 billion net worth, or he doesn’t pay any taxes or he pays very, very low taxes,” Romney claimed.
“Well, are you saying you think he’s worth significantly less than that,” Cavuto asked.
“I don’t know. I’m just saying the fact that he is so aggressive in avoiding any discussion of taxes — of his taxes, and is not willing to put them out so far, suggests that there’s something in there he doesn’t want us to see. By the way, any time you talk about money, Donald Trump likes to tell you how wealthy he is, how he’s worth billions of dollars. And the first time he was asked about his taxes on the ‘Today’ show he said, you know, ‘They’re beautiful. They’re big and they’re beautiful.’ Well, great, let us see them.”Trump “likes to tell people how well he’s done. Why isn’t he willing to let us look at the tax returns and that’s something, this was an issue in my campaign,” Romney argued. “That’s why I’m so sensitive to it. It’s an issue in my campaign, we’re going to select our nominee, we really ought to see from all three of these fellows what their taxes look like. To see if there’s an issue there. I think in Donald Trump’s case it’s likely to be a bombshell.”
Cavuto reiterated his earlier question, “When you say a bombshell, you question the figures he has given and the charitable donations he has made?”
“It’s very possible,” Romney guessed. “I mean, you know Donald Trump has said he’s the best in the country for the disabled veterans and for the disabled generally, well if his taxes show that he hasn’t made any contributions to the disabled veterans or to the disabled generally, that would be a big issue,” Romney said. “And I’m not saying that’s the case, I have no evidence of that. But I’m just saying there are things that could be issues and when people decide they don’t want to give taxes it’s usually because there’s something they don’t want you to see.”