Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose 2008 team reviewed years of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax history as part of the vice presidential vetting process, said Monday that there was nothing in the former Massachusetts governor's returns to suggest he ducked years of tax obligations.
"I am absolutely confident that [Romney] ... did pay taxes." McCain told the Las Vegas Sun’s Jon Ralston during an interview set to air on his “Face to Face” program on Tuesday. “Nothing in his tax returns showed that he did not pay taxes.”
Last month, McCain also spoke broadly about Romney's financial history, saying he could "personally vouch" that the presidential candidate's returns contained nothing "disqualifying," but declining to go into any specifics.
Claims of Romney's alleged neglect of tax liabilities rose to the forefront of political debate late last month when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told The Huffington Post that a source -- a former Bain investor -- had told him that the Republican "didn't pay any taxes for 10 years."
Romney and his campaign have strongly and repeatedly denied Reid's claims, while maintaining that the two years of returns they plan on releasing are sufficient. A number of Republicans have also spoken out, blasting Reid for making unfounded allegations about Romney's tax history.
Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) joined McCain for the interview and continued to hit Reid for his assault on Romney. Graham said he believed Reid was “making it up” and that the Nevada senator’s effort to interject himself in the presidential race was “beneath his job of majority leader.” Ayotte called Reid's accusation "sad and disappointing."
"Politically, I think that would help him," Paul said in a interview with <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78599.html#ixzz20w7ycTBE" target="_hplink">Politico</a>. "In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want."
"I have no idea on why he has restricted the number to this point," <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57474352/pressure-mounts-on-mitt-romney-to-release-more-tax-returns/?tag=socsh" target="_hplink">Lugar said</a>.
"I don't know why... he didn't get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest," Will said on ABC's "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/george-will-mitt-romney-bain_n_1674513.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HP%2FPolitics+(Politics+on+The+Huffington+Post)" target="_hplink">This Week</a>." "He's done nothing illegal, nothing unseemly, nothing improper, but lots that's impolitic."
"He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy," Kristol said on "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1674325.html" target="_hplink">Fox News Sunday</a>." "You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two."
"I just believe in total transparency," Bentley told <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/07/gop-governor-calls-on-mitt-romney-to-release-additional-tax-returns-and-show-he-has-nothing-to-hide/" target="_hplink">ABC News</a>. "In fact, I was asked today that question -- do you think that Governor Romney should release his tax returns? And I said I do. I said, I release my tax returns. I may be the only public official in Alabama that does, but I release mine every year and I just believe that people should release their tax returns. And if you get them out and just get past that, it just makes it so much easier."
When asked on "<a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/barbour-romney-should-release-more-tax-returns-20120710" target="_hplink">The Situation Room</a>" if Romney should release more returns, Barbour said, "I would. But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly."
"If there's nothing there, there's no 'there' there, don't create a there,'" Steele said on MSNBC.
"Tax returns the next problem. Releasing returns under pressure: more weakness, more pain," Frum <a href="https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/224509505973661696" target="_hplink">tweeted</a>.