Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Marco Rubio says number of tax returns Mitt Romney releases not 'relevant issue'

WASHINGTON — A number of Republicans (and, of course, Democrats) are calling on Mitt Romney to release more tax returns than the two years he has agreed to, but U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says it's a non-issue.

"I honestly don't think it's that big a deal," the Florida Republican and top Romney surrogate said Wednesday. "If he releases three years, they'll ask him for four. If he releases four, they'll ask him for five.

"If (people) think there should be more disclosure, they should pass a law to make it that way. I think he's complied with everything the law asks of a presidential candidate. ... He's released as many years as John McCain did. I don't really think it's a relevant issue."

Rubio released nine years of tax returns in his 2010 U.S. Senate race. McCain did release two years but countered recent trends.

George W. Bush released nine years of returns, Bob Dole 30 and George H.W. Bush 14. Ronald Reagan released only one year. Barack Obama made public seven years of returns in 2008. Romney's father, George, released 12 years in his 1968 presidential bid.

Speaking to Florida reporters from his office in Washington, Rubio indicated his political action committee, Reclaim America, could get involved in Florida's Senate race, saying while he appreciates his relationship with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson he believes the seat is potentially key to a GOP takeover of the chamber. The leading GOP candidate is U.S. Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers.

More from the interview:

• Rubio will stump for Romney on Thursday in Orlando as a counter to President Obama's visit. "It'll be an interesting time to remind Americans of what a failure his policies have been for Floridians." Rubio will join Romney when the candidate makes a bus tour through Florida on Aug. 13.

• He's installed the iPhone app that will be used to disclose Romney's vice presidential running mate. Rubio, thought to be in the VP mix, was asked in jest what can be divined from that. "I don't know ... you can divine whatever you want. I just think it's pretty cool. I think it's a good way to announce it." He refused to comment on the VP selection process but was reminded that some people think he's too inexperienced. "I get more experience every day," the 41-year-old replied to laughter.

• He applauded Ted Cruz's win Tuesday in a Texas GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. Cruz, like Rubio, is 41 and Cuban-American and a tea party darling who knocked off an establishment favorite. "He's smart, he's articulate, he's really knowledgeable on constitutional issues which is something we need more of around here," Rubio said. "I think he'll be a real leader for a long time."

• Rubio said he's still working on his Dream Act alternative but does not appear close to releasing a proposal. "The stakes are so high and this issue is so important that I've always wanted to make sure whatever it is we propose, we have the answer to every question that could be raised. If you don't have the answer to one or two critical questions you set the whole thing back. You may even end up damaging it."

Marco Rubio says number of tax returns Mitt Romney releases not 'relevant issue' 08/01/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Clearwater police fatally shoot suicidal man after threat at hotel

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Police fatally shot a armed suicidal man who threatened officers at a hotel early Thursday morning.

  2. White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  3. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions


    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  4. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error


    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  5. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today


    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]