Man, this guy sure does hate talking about his taxes. Here, via The Page, is a portion of ABC News's interview with Mitt Romney:
David Muir: Was there ever any year when you paid [a] lower [tax rate] than 13.9%?
Mitt Romney: I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law. From time to time I’ve been audited as happens I think to other citizens as well and the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due. I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.
David Muir: You said you would go back and look, would you look for us?
Mitt Romney: I haven’t looked at the tax rate paid year by year. I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall.
Romney's language is maddening here, stuffed fat with "so far as I can recall" and "my view" and "I don't think" and other qualifiers. I'm especially interested in what I think is the truest statement in this whole passage, where Romney says he doesn't think someone should be qualified to be president if they overpay their taxes. Why not? Don't Republicans always suggest that if Democrats care so much about paying taxes, they can always overpay? Wouldn't overpaying your taxes—or simply not hiding your money in overseas tax havens—be a patriotic thing to do?
This October, there will be three presidential debates. I would hope that in one of them, President Obama takes a carefully worded version of this question directly to Romney, because I have never once heard the man talk about his taxes without sounding like a jittery public defender on his first day on the job.