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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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Posted at 09:28 AM ET, 08/17/2012

If Romney isn't going to release his tax returns, he should quit talking about them

Mitt Romney has asked Republicans to understand and stick with him while he stiff-arms those who want him to release his tax returns. Well, he would make it easier if he had maintained message discipline and didn't talk about them anymore. If he is going to react to Sen. Harry Reid's taunts or take reporters’ bait and supply a steady ooze of information, then his refusal to release his returns is impossible to defend.

Romney's personal tax returns are now a bigger part of the 2012 campaign than his tax cut plans for the American economy.

This time Romney keeps the story going by offering fresh news. Yesterday he said, "I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent."  A question now hangs over the campaign: "Governor Romney, what else did you see?" Romney probably won’t tell us right until the time that he does.

What is a supporter supposed to do with the new information? How is an undecided voter supposed to process this new data?  Actually, at this point, a supporter would be wise to assume more sloppy news is coming. This is demoralizing for Republicans at a time when we all want to catch a wave.

Maybe it is too late; no one can defend Romney and the management of his tax returns any longer. We will know in November how much the issue and its mismanagement matters.

I've said before that Romney's personal finances produce challenges  that will be managed, not solved. Well, Romney’s campaign continues to manage it terribly.

The Obama campaign is cheering yesterday's comments and its good fortune. Mitt Romney's tax returns and Medicare are the campaign messages heading into the weekend.

The Ryan announcement had temporarily eclipsed the tax return attacks and just about everything else Obama was using against Romney. But the tax-return hiatus didn't last long; it was Romney who kicked off the next round. Assume more news about Romney's tax returns will be forthcoming — from the Romneys. Blah.

By  |  09:28 AM ET, 08/17/2012

 
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