As an increasing number of Republicans is urging Mitt Romney to release more of his tax records, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday counseled his former White House rival to be “as transparent as you can be.”
But in contrast to some other top Republicans, Perry appeared to stop short of advising Romney to release as much as a decade’s worth of personal financial information.
“I’m a big believer that no matter who you are, or what office you’re running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background and what have you,” Perry told reporters at the state Capitol on Tuesday when asked about the tax return issue, reports the Associated Press.
He added: “I certainly think it is inappropriate for the president of the United States to not keep his college transcript and his law school transcripts public, that he should make those available. I’m all about transparency.”
It’s worth noting that according to the AP report, it doesn’t appear that Perry explicitly called on Romney to reveal more information than he has already pledged to release. (Romney thus far has released his 2010 return and plans to release his 2011 return before Election Day; Democrats have called on the presumptive GOP nominee to release as much as a decade’s worth of information.)
In his response to a reporter’s follow-up question, according to the AP, Perry focused more on the matter of President Obama’s college transcripts than on Romney’s tax-return issue; on the latter, he argued that candidates should “within reason” divulge information to voters.
“I think the president ought to release all of his transcripts, yes sir,” Perry said. “I think anyone running for office, if they get asked within reason to give people background about what they have been doing, including tax returns, should do that. That’s my deal on it.”
Among the Republicans jumping into the tax fray this week have been Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who told Politico in an interview Tuesday that he believes the best move for Romney politically is to release more of his returns.
Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume also weighed in on the matter Monday night, telling host Bill O’Reilly, “I don’t see any evidence that this is making a difference, but you know, anytime it’s disclosure versus non-disclosure, you always wonder whether it isn’t better to just put it out there.”
The two join Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour (R) and conservative commentators George Will and Bill Kristol in suggesting that the best move for Romney might be to release his returns and move on.
Democrats on Tuesday sought to make the most of the growing GOP discord.
“This is a call that’s not just being made by us; it’s being made by many people, including people from Mitt Romney’s own party,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Texas, where the president held a quartet of fundraisers.