ThinkProgress misleads on Romney vs. Kerry tax comparison

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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During a recent CNBC interview with Larry Kudlow, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney asserted that John Kerry had only “released two years of taxes” when he ran for president.

ThinkProgress quickly accused Romney of lying, noting that Kerry actually released twenty year’s worth of tax returns. The HuffPost dialed it back a little, calling Romney’s assertion “misleading,” and explaining the confusion (Kerry had also released tax returns during his previous Senate races.)

When he ran for president in 2004, Kerry released his ’03 tax return, showing an income of $395,338. However, the Kerry-Heinz net worth was estimated between “at least $900 million and possibly as much as $3.2 billion” in 2004.

Theresa Heinz Kerry never really released her tax returns – at first refusing, and then in October 2004 just weeks before election day, releasing (as the HuffPost notes) just two pages of only her 2003 tax return.

So, for all of the John Kerry tax returns that he may have released over the years when he was a senator, there was never a full release of their household income — because Theresa’s were never released.

Why is this relevant? It was Theresa’s fortune that helped keep Kerry’s campaign afloat when Howard Dean was still in the race. He mortgaged their Boston townhouse and sold an expensive painting in order to keep his campaign afloat. He only had these assets to leverage because of Theresa Heinz Kerry’s money.

Matt K. Lewis