Maybe you're one of those people who thinks Mitt Romney is doing a disservice to the American people by not releasing more years of tax returns as is standard among presidential candidates. Well, you're wrong—it's the American people who are doing Mitt Romney a disservice by demanding them. After weeks of controversy over his decision not to release his tax returns, including criticism from several Republicans, Romney's wife, Ann, explained to NBC News' Natalie Morales why no more documents are coming out: you people are just so darn mean about it.
"Have you seen how we're attacked?," Ann Romney asked, hitting the table with her hand for emphasis. "Have you seen what's happened?" What has happened is that her husband is running for the most important job in the whole world so people want to know as much information as possible about him. But that is not how Ann Romney sees it. "It will just give them more ammunition," she said.
According to many observers and commentators, Ann Romney is more likeable than her husband, and very sympathetic, having lived with multiple sclerosis, survived breast cancer, and raised five boys. (The polls reflect this.) So maybe the campaign wanted to reframe the debate over Romney's tax returns from being a story about (lack of) disclosure to being a story about the harassment of a nice lady.
But if you look at the stills of the interview, Ann Romney doesn't look all that sympathetic. She looks angry and points her finger while saying, "We have been very transparent to what's legally required of us, but the more we release, the more we get attacked, the more we get questioned, the more we get pushed."
She shifting in her chair while glaring at her interviewer when Morales mentioned that some of those offshore accounts have her name on them.
"And so we have done what's legally required and there's going to be no more tax releases given. And there's a reason for that. And that's because of how -- what happens as soon as we release anything." There's nothing bad in those documents, trust her, as she told Morales:
Mitt's financial disclosures as governor are huge. If people want to really look and see, any question they have. The other thing they have to understand is that Mitt is honest, his integrity is just golden...
There's nothing we're hiding. We've had a blind trust for how many years. We don't even know what's in there. It's been managed by a blind trust since before Mitt was governor [Note: That is literally true, since exactly one day before Romney was sworn in] you know, 2002, forward. And so I'll be curious to see what's in there too.
When she remembered how long their money had been in a blind trust, she looked a little annoyed:
And when she joked that she was looking forward to finding out what was in their blind trusts, she didn't seem to sincerely think her own joke was funny.
The interview will air Wednesday night on Rock Center.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.