On Wednesday, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney blasted 2016 Republican (presumptive) presidential nominee Donald Trump for refusing to release his taxes. Trump told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he had no plans to release his tax statements before election day. “There’s nothing to learn from them,” he stated.
Romney, a harsh critic of the real estate mogul since delivering a speech warning of the dire consequences of Trumpism in early March, took to social media to publicly denounce what he saw to be hypocrisy of the highest order.
Here’s the Facebook post seen ‘round the world:
Romney shared the post on Twitter as well, introducing the scathing critique with the line “Mr. Trump, take down that tax wall!, an an allusion to President Reagan's famous demand that the Gorbachev and the Soviets tear down the Berlin Wall.
Mr. Trump, tear down that tax wall. https://t.co/pQUZAJuE0k— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 11, 2016
The former GOP candidate received some strong praise for his assertive imputation from fans who have come to believe that the Republican establishment is on its way to acquiescing to Trump’s bullying.
Trump attacked Romney for not releasing returns fast enough in ’12.— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) May 11, 2016
Now Romney hits Trump for not releasing at all https://t.co/SwG8WPAwrh
Nice to see people still have a pair, @MittRomney.— Shoshana Weissmann (@senatorshoshana) May 11, 2016
The first line of Romney’s post set the tone for the rest of his critique. “It is disqualifying for a modern-day presidential nominee to refuse to release tax returns to the voters,” he declared. That line alone may very well be the most forceful condemnation of the new GOP nominee that any Republican has issued to date.
Throughout the post, Romney essentially calls bullcrap on Trump’s unconvincing excuses for not releasing his tax returns. “There is nothing that prevents releasing tax returns that are being audited,” he writes. (For a comprehensive explainer on why audits don’t prevent you from releasing your taxes, see The Daily Wire’s report here).
Moreover, Romney’s assertion that Trump’s tax statements may contain a “bombshell” is well within the parameters of reasonable suspicion (For a list of things Trump may be hiding in his tax statements see The Daily Wire’s report here).
As the most vocal critic of Trump in the Republican party, Romney sure sounds like a presidential contender.
Ultimately, Romney concludes his post by exposing the sheer extent of Trump’s hypocrisy. In 2012, Romney delayed releasing his taxes until the final months of the election season. Trump was, ironically, the primary critical voice demanding that Romney release his returns for the voting public. Ultimately, Romney released his returns --- a task Trump has refused to emulate. “Anticipating inquiries regarding my own tax release history, I released my 2010 tax returns in January of 2012 and I released my 2011 tax returns as soon as they were completed, in September of 2012,” writes Romney.
As the most vocal critic of Trump in the Republican party, Romney sure sounds like a presidential contender. Could it be that Romney is preparing a power move at the convention in July? A huge portion of the Republican party, including members in both the establishment and conservative wings, sure hope so. At this point, Romney would be a godsend if it meant derailing the erratic, anti-conservative, and populist Trump train.