Gingrich: Romney owes it to voters to release tax returns
Newt Gingrich on Tuesday questioned why Mitt Romney has not released his tax returns, arguing that if the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination has nothing to hide, he ought to make the documents public before South Carolina holds its first-in-the-South primary on Saturday.
“Either there’s nothing there, so why isn’t he releasing them, or there’s something there, so why is he hiding them?” Gingrich told reporters here after holding a town hall at an art gallery. “I believe we have the right to know. Therefore, he owes us the knowledge. If there’s nothing there, why not release it this week?”
He warned that if there is a problem in the tax returns, President Obama’s campaign will discover it during the general-election campaign.
“You do not want a nominee who blows up in September, because in September you have no choice,” Gingrich said. “If somebody has a fatal weakness, you better find out about it before they get the nomination.”
The issue of Romney’s tax returns came up in a debate Monday night, when the former Massachusetts governor hedged when asked whether he would release the documents.
Gingrich, who appeared buoyant coming off a sharp debate performance at the Myrtle Beach face-off, reiterated his pledge that if he were the GOP nominee, he would challenge Obama to a series of seven three-hour-long debates with a time-keeper but no moderator, modeled on the debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.
A supporter, asking what Gingrich would do if the president wouldn’t agree to the debates, said, “We’ve got to bloody Obama’s nose.”
Gingrich responded, “I don’t want to bloody his nose, I want to knock him out.”