Romney, Perry, and Tax Returns

When Mitt Romney and Rick Perry aren’t berating each other on the debate stage, with body language more befitting a bar fight, their campaigns are busy lobbing highly charged attacks back and forth: “Ponzi scheme,” “Romneycare,” “no heart” (on immigration),” “flip-flop.” And the newest verbal grenade: “tax returns.”

Earlier this week Perry spokesman Mark Miner told Politico, which had first reported the story, that “Governor Perry has always released his tax returns and Mitt Romney and the other candidates should do the same.” If history is any indication, watch for Perry to push that theme hard, and for Romney to remain firm in his decision to keep his returns private. “We’ll take a look at the question of releasing tax returns during the next tax filing season,” says Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul about the Perry campaign’s request. By then, of course, the primary campaign could be effectively over.

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