Taxing Romney

During Monday night’s debate in Myrtle Beach, Mitt Romney was compellingly and cogently pushed — by Rick Perry, no less — on the issue of releasing his tax returns. The former Massachusetts governor sputtered. “I have nothing in them that suggests there’s any problem and I’m happy to do so,” he replied. “What’s happened in history is people have released them in about April of the coming year, and that’s probably what I would do.”

But even the transcript, with its awkward constructions and noncommittal “probably,” doesn’t quite capture the unfortunateness of the response. It was quite simply Romney’s weakest moment in his weakest debate, combining all of the silly tropes alleged by his opponents into a single caricature of a slippery, well-heeled frontrunner trying to coast through the primaries.

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