- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 25, 2016

Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said there’s reason to believe there’s some sort of “bombshell” buried in businessman Donald Trump’s tax returns and that candidates should release back taxes for the last several years for the American people to see.

“Frankly, I think we have good reason to believe that there’s a bombshell in Donald Trump’s taxes,” Mr. Romney said Wednesday on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Fox News.

“I think there’s something there — either 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,” Mr. Romney said.

“The reason 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,” he said. “We’re now in late February, and we still haven’t seen 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.”

“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,” he said. “I think in Donald Trump’s case, it’s likely to be a bombshell.”

In an interview with CNN, Mr. Trump said his returns are “extremely complex,” saying he’ll make a determination on releasing them “over the next couple of months.”

“I’ll make a determination at the right time. I’m in no rush to do it,” Mr. Trump said. “Nobody’s been bringing it up except for Mitt Romney, and the reason he brings it up is that he lost in the last election and lost very badly. So I don’t know why he’s bringing it up.”

At a town hall moderated by Fox News host Megyn Kelly that aired Wednesday evening, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson all said they would release their figures.

Mr. Romney acknowledged that it became an issue for his campaign, as he ended up releasing some of his numbers in January 2012 amid pressure to do so.

“This was an issue in my campaign. That’s why I’m so sensitive to it,” Mr. Romney said.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, then the majority leader, had repeatedly said Mr. Romney hadn’t paid taxes for 10 years, and got a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact for the claim in August 2012.

Mr. Reid said last year that “of course” Mr. Romney paid taxes but that he had “zero” apologies and “no repentance” “because it was an issue that was important,” saying the issue was about Mr. Romney releasing his tax returns.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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