Mitt Romney is set to appear on five networks Friday night, capping off a tough week with a series of interviews on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Here are four questions Romney will likely have to answer:
1. Condoleezza Rice, really?--A Drudge Report story claiming that the former Secretary of State was at the top of Romney’s short list dominated cable news and the twitterverse Friday. The thinly sourced article was largely shot down by people in Romneyworld, but a discussion of Rice will likely be part of broader discussion of the “when and who” of the VP race.
2. More tax returns?-- Democrats hammered Romney all week over his failure to release more tax returns and follow in the footsteps of his dad. (George Romney set a standard by releasing 12 years of returns when he ran for president in 1967.) And even GOP stalwart Haley Barbour said that if he were Romney, he would release more info. Romney has been adamant about not releasing much more financial information, going back to his early days in politics, but it seems unlikely that he can maintain this approach, especially when even Republicans are suggesting that it’s untenable.
3. What’s in the Cayman Islands? — Top Obama surrogates had plenty to chew on when a Vanity Fair article took a deep dig into the tax forms and financial forms that Romney did release.
Here’s a key sentence: Though he left the firm in 1999, Romney has continued to receive large payments from it—in early June he revealed more than $2 million in new Bain income. The firm today has at least 138 funds organized in the Cayman Islands, and Romney himself has personal interests in at least 12, worth as much as $30 million, hidden behind controversial confidentiality disclaimers. Again, the Romney campaign insists he saves no tax by using them, but there is no way to check this.
4. The Bain years? — Picking up on stories in two liberal outlets (Mother Jones and TPM), the Boston Globe ran a story that suggested Romney remained at Bain in some capacity until 2001, rather than 1999 which he has claimed as his departure date in pushing back against claims that he was “outsourcer-in-chief.” Factcheckers, including the Washington Post’sGlenn Kessler have largely sided with Romney. Romney has released ads charging that Obama is playing fast and loose with the facts, but he’ll be pressed more specifically on what his involvement was at Bain after 1999.