WASHINGTON — Former President Bill Clinton said Mitt Romney's financial record is a matter of legitimate campaign scrutiny because he's been selling himself as a fix-it man on the economy.
Clinton told NBC's "Today" show Romney's hesitation to release all of his tax returns "struck me as a little odd." Romney has released a full tax filing only for 2010.
He explained, "I am a little surprised he only released a year's worth of tax returns. That kind of perplexed me, because this is the first time in, I don't know, more than 30 years that anybody running for president has only done that. you know, it's typical we all release 10, 11 years. I think Senator McCain released over 20 years of tax returns."
Clinton said Romney's record as the head of private equity firm Bain Capital is fair game and says taking a microscopic look at Romney's finances is "just as relevant as going over my record as governor when I ran for president."
He said voters "ought to make up their own mind" whether they support someone who apparently sought to minimize his federal tax liability by parking large sums of money overseas.
On extending the Bush-era tax cuts, he said, "If we're going to have long-term debt reduction, we're going to have to have some spending cuts and some more revenues and that's the fairest place to get it. What the Republicans are trying to do is to put him in a position of giving all that up for another year, which I think would be a big mistake."