August 17th, 2012
07:37 PM ET

Obama campaign offers Romney new deal in argument over tax returns

OutFront tonight: let's make a deal!

Or not.

The Obama campaign issued a new challenge to Mitt Romney today: release FIVE years of tax returns, instead of the ten they had been demanding. As a perk, they say they will drop the issue completely if he does so.

Sound too good to be true? The Romney campaign agrees – their response was a solid "thanks but no thanks." But there's something that Mitt Romney himself noted yesterday that makes his ongoing refusal to release more turns – and take control of the narrative – pretty surprising.

He may pay a very low tax rate on his capital gains returns, but when you factor in his charitable donations, Mitt Romney willingly parted with over 30% of his income over the last two years.

We were OutFront on this math: here's Erin's analysis from July 16.

But he's far from seizing the narrative right now when it comes to his taxes. In fact, by only showing a little leg – 13% to be exact – he's keeping the story going!

So if Mitt doesn't want to take our advice, that's OK, we get it. But he should at least take his own. In 1994, when he was challenging Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat, he made an issue out of Kennedy's refusal to release his tax returns, telling the Boston Globe that "It's time the biggest-taxing senator in Washington shows the people of Massachusetts how much he pays in taxes." Additionally, he offered to release the past three years of his own returns if Kennedy released his.

OutFront tonight – McKay Coppins, a BuzzFeed reporter who has been following Mitt Romney this election season, Erick Erickson, CNN contributor and editor of Redstate.com, and Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.

Filed under: Election 2012 • Politics
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