By Teresa Welsh |
Mitt Romney must release his tax returns. His resistance is a growing liability. It gives President Barack Obama fodder to attack his character, and leads the public to question his honesty. Some undecided voters may think he's trying to cover-up how long he worked at Bain Capital. (Romney resigned in 1999 to become head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics planning committee). Romney's Republican critics aren't helping matters. The growing intraparty grumbling makes it harder for the presumptive nominee to influence the agenda. Election campaigns succeed when candidates control the message. He's got to get a full hold on the echo chamber. The Republican National Convention is just six weeks away; he doesn't need a broken coalition dampening his post-convention bounce.
How should his campaign communications team best manage publication? Time the release on a slow news day. Perhaps releasing 12-years worth of 1040s next Friday night during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics. But any way you cut it, Romney can't avoid getting more 10-megaton attacks from the president. Between keeping mum and going public, the latter is far more prudent.
What's interesting about Romney's George W. Bush-like stubbornness is that it bucks the idea that he's wishy-washy. His mind isn't as easily changed, at least when it concerns private matters. But a presidential candidacy demands full disclosure. This is one time where he should flip-flop.
About Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Penny Lee President of Venn Strategies
Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Matt Mackowiak President of Potomac Strategy Group