August 10th, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- The internet is abuzz today with stories that John Huntsman Sr., father of John Huntsman Jr -- the other Mormon GOP Presidential candidate this year -
- is the source of statements that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes for 10 years. Speculation has serviced that there is some kind of internal Mormon church feud over the amount of money candidate Romney has been tithing to the Mormon church -- compelling influential Mormons to expose Romney's tithing chinciness in retribution for his church contribution parsimony. I think that is probably less likely than other scenarios being bandied about.
Another speculation has surfaced that influential GOP operators who favor John Huntsman Jr as the prospective Presidential candidate for
2016, are undermining Romney -- because Romney getting elected would preempt, effectively, a presidential run by anyone else in the GOP in 2016, because the party would not permit a GOP challenger to run against a GOP incumbent.
It has not been a secret to anyone that there was no love lost between John Huntsman Jr and Mitt Romney during the campaign or any
other time -- and to some degree it was apparent during the campaign that Romney's genuflecting, curtseying, and pandering to the extreme right wing of the Republican party as the primaries wore on -- made it virtually impossible for a sane, relatively reasonable, somewhat moderate Republican candidate to get much traction as the primaries progressed. There is a strategy being discussed by more moderate Republican operatives that it will be necessary during this election for Mitt Romney to get soundly and thoroughly defeated such that in 2016 the party can readjust its ideological center significantly enough to the left for a more moderate candidate to emerge and have a plausible chance to win the GOP primary and the general election itself in 2016. Following that scenario, it might make sense for Huntsman senior to help defeat Romney soundly and in so doing make room and set the table for a slightly more centrist and sane John Huntsman Jr to make a run in 2016 -- and have a serious chance to win the primary and general election in 2016 with no democratic incumbent impeding the run by a slightly more moderate GOP candidate.
But regardless of which innuendo or rumor you are inclined to favor -- it is nevertheless irrefutable that every day that ticks by with the tax
questions raised by Harry Reid and the media being ignored, brushed aside or side-stepped is working inexorably against Mitt Romney and the Romney campaign team. It has been said by the media and some democrats that Romney can run, but he can't hide. It looks like -- from this perspective at least -- that he is now even having trouble running. Each day that Romney does something beside release 10 or 12 years of tax returns becomes in essence a day in which anything else Romney does becomes less significant or meaningful to anyone in politics. Romney and his campaign have "hung fire" on the issue of his taxes to the point where nothing he simply says about them is treated as serious, honest, or significant -- and every campaign appearance he makes without releasing his tax returns -- is considered inconsequential, evasive, suspicious and suspect. And it may be too late already for Mitt Romney and the Romney campaign to tack back into the mainstream of presidential political campaigning even if they did finally release 10 or 12 years of returns -- and I don't think they will.
I think Romney and his campaign have painted themselves into a corner in which Romney can't win by releasing his taxes because of what they will reveal --
and yet every day he doesn't release them creates the impression in the media and the public's mind that it doesn't really matter whether he does or doesn't release his taxes, because we are already becoming convinced that they contain the worst information they could possibly contain -- whatever that worse thing is to each of us -- in our own individual and collective minds.